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Concepts of Sustainable Development in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Essay 2014 11 Pages

Tourism - Miscellaneous

Excerpt

Contents

Introduction

The Concepts of Sustainable Development

Key Sustainable Issues and Trends

Economic

Ecology

Social Issues

Policies for Enhancing Sustainability and Competitiveness in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Reducing the Industries’ Carbon Footprint

Consumer Demand for Sustainable Practices

Marketing the Tourism Industry’s Environmental Credentials Sustainable

Developing Partnerships and Frameworks

Assisting the Tourism Industry to Adapt to Climate Change

Arguments against Sustainable Development

References

Introduction

Sustainable development can be explained as one that meets the needs of the present time without interfering on the future generations’ ability of to meet their own needs (WCED 2013). As such, two key concepts emerge from the idea of sustainable development: the concept of needs, in specific regard to the fundamental needs of the poor; and the notion of the implications that social organization and technology pose on the environment’s ability to meet current and future needs. Thus, sustainable development requires for the world viewed as a system -one which connects space; and one that connects time (WCED 2013). The thought of the world as a system over space, for instance, brings with it an understanding that air pollution in North America will affect the quality air in Africa, and that spraying pesticides in Brazil poses some significant harm to stocks of fish off Australia’s coast. However, the scope of sustainable development is much wider than just the environment (SDC 2011). It is also about looking forward to a healthy, strong and just society. This translates to meeting the needs of a diverse people in current and future communities, promoting individual wellbeing, social harmony, and creating equal opportunities. The way development is approached affects everyone. Our societal decisions have real consequences on the lives of the people. Therefore, sustainable development seeks to provide a sober approach for making better decisions on issues that affect people’s lives (SDC 2011).

The Concepts of Sustainable Development

Sustainable development refers to development and consumption in a sustainable way, such that our resources are not depleted and there is nothing left for future generations. Hence, the concept of sustainable development is premised on two key factors: the environment and the society (Danilov-Danil’yan & Igor 2009). This comes in light of the fact that we are connected with both the environment and societies as well.

Key Sustainable Issues and Trends

Three major issues usually emerge with the idea of sustainable development. These include economic, ecologic and social issues (Danilov-Danil’yan & Igor 2009).

Economic

Economic sustainability is premised on the theory of capital convertibility alongside the concept of maximum income, acquired through saving essential capital resources for future generations to benefit from it. This entails the implementation of the principle of equitable distribution among generations. Economic sustainability aims at maximizing on the flow of earnings and usage that could be realized while maintaining the stock of assets to yield beneficial outputs (Cook 2014). The main aim of implementing sustainability principles is to safeguard an optimal amount of common capital for future generations (Dasgupta 2007). Due to rural poverty and overexploitation, it has been suggested that environmental resources be regarded as important economic assets in the name of natural capital. Traditionally, economic development requires growth in gross domestic product. As such, sustainable development may translate to better quality of life for many while necessitating a reduction in resource consumption. Economic analysis and valuation is therefore guided by issues of generational equity, uncertainty of long-term outcomes and irreversibility of environmental change. Edward Barbier (as cited in Dasgupta 2007) recognized that the aims of economic development and environmental conservation are not in conflict and can reinforce each other. Heal (2009) identified strong reasons to act on climate change, and suggested that more work be done to fully account on the relevant economics and how they affect human well-being.

Ecology

In ecology, sustainable development seeks to preserve the diversity of essential ecosystems, biological species and ecological processes. In this regard, the exuberance of sub-systems is important to a critical perspective of a worldwide stability of the total ecosystem. Thus, the importance of preserving biological diversity is emphasized in order to ensure a balanced nature, global elasticity of ecosystems and their adaption to a dynamic biosphere, as well as securing future possibilities. In respect to biological diversity, it is important to note that it is irreplaceable. This fact offers a strong argument against undermining the value of biological diversity. It is also vital to take into consideration the role of thermodynamic laws towards economic sustainability ( Ciegis, 2008). Freshwater makes only 2.5% of the Earth’s water where 98.8% of the fresh water is in groundwater and ice. As such, beyond ecology as an intersection of humans and the environment, sustainability addresses how the natural environment endures and maintains its diversity and productivity. Environmental sustainability calls for society to undertake activities that satisfy human needs while maintaining life support systems in the planet. This, for instance, translates to the sustainable usage of water, exploiting renewable energy, and sustainable supplies (like harvesting forest wood while maintaining the biomass and biodiversity).

Social Issues

The concept of social-cultural sustainability reflects the interrelation between development and fundamental social norms and seeks to uphold the stability of social systems. Social sustainability aims at reducing vulnerability and maintaining health (in terms of vigor, resilience and organization) within social and cultural systems. It also aims to enhance their capability of withstanding shocks (Juscius & Snieska, 2008). In the very least, social sustainability requires the preservation of some vital components of social capital, in light of the society’s ability to solve economic, social and environmental problems, as well as being active in the development of the entire system. Responsibility for our world depends on global solidarity and consolidation, based on holistic thinking, systematic approach to the reality, visualizing humanity and the biosphere as one system, and a global cultural basis. Moreover, the notion of sustainable development provides a means of solving two different and usually conflicting clusters of aims: stability-safety-environment and development-progress-growth. Corporate social responsibility for social sustainability is important too (Juscius & Snieska, 2008).

Policies for Enhancing Sustainability and Competitiveness in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry

Tourism is a major driver of economic and social development. Its consistent ability to regain growth after stints of severe recession has been witnessed over many years, and demonstrates its resilience and competitiveness (Edwards & McKibben 2010). Tourism also plays a key role in creating a positive image for any country that seeks to maximize on trade and investment in the global arena. The contributions of tourism are not confined to employment creation, exports and other economic activity. Rather, tourism plays an important role in reshaping the North/South relationships through joint marketing and promotion of nations in the international markets. On the other hand, unsustainable tourism practices can negatively impact on the industry’s future viability. As such, the social and environmental impacts of tourism cannot be overlooked. Therefore, there is need for the relevant policy makers to take a pivotal role in addressing the sustainability challenges facing this sector. Some policies to enhance sustainability and competitiveness in the tourism and hospitality include:

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Details

Pages
11
Year
2014
ISBN (eBook)
9783656923985
ISBN (Book)
9783656923992
File size
435 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v294584
Grade
Tags
concepts sustainable development tourism hospitality industry

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Title: Concepts of Sustainable Development in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry