Sustainable and Inclusive Development through Tourism

The 2030 Agenda for Development provides a charter for governments, communities, companies and organizations to advance sustainable development at all levels through different tools, including tourism. However, there are a number of evolving trends that are having profound impact on tourism and related industries to contribute to progress and sustainable development. These include technological advancements and innovation together with changing demography and consumer behaviour, work schedules and lifestyles. These industries are also affected by macro-processes, such as economic cycles, climate change, globalization and new and emerging crises, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Currently, there is no comprehensive framework which can help various actors to collaboratively engage and champion the inclusive community development through tourism. This project supports the G20 Presidency and World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) ongoing efforts to develop a framework that aims to inspire and guide key tourism stakeholders in the G20 countries and beyond in promoting the development of a holistic and integrated approach to inclusive development through tourism. Sustainability measures detailed in the framework are also in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Project

The inclusive community development through tourism project aims at evidencing how inclusive tourism could contribute to:

  • Decent livelihoods through empowering people, especially women and youth;
  • Safeguarding the planet via increased environmental awareness, protection and responsible behaviour;
  • Recognising the importance of adopting/integrating technology and innovations in tourism development;
  • Increasing awareness of the importance of crisis management and resilience in communities by undertaking a preliminary assessment of the impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 health pandemic and building future resilience.

In order to develop such framework, a 5-stage analysis highlighting underlying causes for potential success/failure observed in extant inclusive development frameworks, will form the key structure of the project report:

  • Stage 1. Scanning the knowledge-field

A review of extant literature on issues related to community development, tourism development and official development assistance enables a framing of the context in relation to the targeted SDGs.

  • Stage 2. Qualitative comparison of current development frameworks.

This involves a comparative analysis of existing frameworks and indicators for the measurement of tourism-based development and relevant community development frameworks identified during the desk research.

  • Stage 3. Designing and developing the framework for inclusive community development through tourism.

This is enabled through a review of secondary data sources produced by (inter)national development agencies and other organisations, and other scientifically agreed upon criteria. The framework discusses criteria for identifying communities that could benefit from development support, stakeholders for implementation of the framework, potential pillars of action, programmes, and interventions, and standards and methodologies for monitoring impact.

  • Stage 4. Identification and collation of 20 good practice case studies and development of recommendations for action.

Focusing on identifying evidence of good practice emanating from primary sources as well as other research outputs from international development agencies, tourism organisations and DMOs.

  • Stage 5. Development of recommendations for action.

These stem from evidence emanating from primary sources, a review of the existing recommendations by UNWTO on various themes and other international organizations (OECD, etc) and industry associations (WTTC and other).

The report is expected to be published in autumn 2020.

Research Team

Albert Kimbu

University of Surrey

Isabel Rodriguez

University of Surrey

Anyu Liu

University of Surrey

Hannah Gooding

University of Surrey

Xavier Font

University of Surrey

Susanne Becken

Griffith University

Allan Williams

University of Surrey

Iis Tussyadiah

University of Surrey

Susana Malcorra

IE University

Borja Santos

IE University

In partnership with:

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