This paper traces the history and evolution of sustainable tourism and identifies some critical issues and omissions in this and related approaches such as responsible tourism, ecotourism and pro-poor tourism. The academic, institutional and practical intersections of sustainable tourism and responsible tourism are examined. It reveals that important theoretical and practical considerations around well-being, inclusion, and sustainability have been omitted. A critical look at ecotourism reveals additional concerns, such as a cornucopia of guidelines and principles, without clear ethical justifications to support them. At the same time, academics in this domain have been slow to consider the modernist and neoliberal influences shaping ecotourism and sustainable tourism development, such as through the discourse of ecological modernization. We identify some key omissions, such as the missing 'body' in sustainable tourism discourse, lack of critical analysis of postcolonial and dependency issues, and propose re-situating 'sustainable tourism' within a micro-macro, local-global systems approach informed by a clear framework of justice and ethics.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law