1st Edition

Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet Environmental, Business and Policy Solutions

By Megan Epler Wood Copyright 2017
    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    336 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book helps all those involved in international tourism develop the new skills, tools and investments required to protect irreplaceable global resources from the impacts of escalating tourism demand over the next 50 years. It documents how technology and the growing global middle class are driving a travel revolution which requires a new paradigm in managing tourism destinations. Travel and tourism supply chains and business models for hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, airlines and airports are analysed and environmental management techniques are proposed for each sector. A pragmatic set of solutions are offered to support the transition to lower impact tourism development worldwide.

    It recommends that decision makers assess the current and future value of natural, social, and cultural capital to guide investment in destinations and protect vital resources. Case studies illustrate why budgets to protect local destinations are consistently underestimated and offer guidance on new metrics. Innovative approaches are proposed to support the transition to green infrastructure, protect incomparable landscapes, and engage local people in the monitoring of vital indicators to protect local resources.

    It provides students, professionals, and policy makers with far-reaching recommendations for new educational programs, professional expertise, financing, and legal frameworks to lower tourism’s rapidly escalating carbon impacts and protect the health and well-being of local populations, ecosystems, cultures, and monuments worldwide.  

    1 The Challenge of Sustainably Managing Tourism on a Finite Planet
    2 Managing a Spider Web: The Tourism Industry Supply Chains & Sustainability
    3 Economic Development of Tourism in Emerging Economies
    4 Hotels – The Backbone of the Tourism Industry
    5 I’ll Fly Away- Airlines, Airports and the Global Circulation of Travelers
    6 Tour Operators – Exporting and Importing Customers Worldwide
    7 The Cruise Industry – Empire of the Seas
    8 Destinations - The Heart of Tourism Sustainability
    9 Conclusions – The Future of Sustainable Tourism


    Megan Epler Wood founded and led The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) from 1990 to 2002. She is the Director of the International Sustainable Tourism Initiative at the Center for Health and the Global Environment, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, an instructor of online courses in sustainable tourism at Harvard Extension’s Graduate School of Sustainability, and a Senior Project Associate at the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise, Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University. Her consulting practice EplerWood International fosters sustainable tourism development in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

    Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet will give you a comprehensive and deep understanding of all of the multiple actors in the international tourism industry and their environmental impacts and challenges, along with economic, political, and cultural dimensions.The comprehensive analyses of each segment of the industry – tour operators, cruise liners, airlines, hotels, and the emerging online tourism entrants – lay out quantitatively and qualitatively the business models, competitive dynamics, policy, and environmental aspects.The analyses are evidence-based, drawing on a wide range of research and studies.The author’s decades of experience in multiple sectors of the industry, including nonprofit, for profit, and governmental organizations, illuminate the book with practical case examples, insightful first-hand experiences, and valuable expert judgments.The presentation is very well organized and exceptionally clearly written. The book is illuminating reading and enriching learning.
    James E. Austin, Harvard Business School, USA

    Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet is both comprehensive and provocative. A must-read for anyone interested in the present and future state of travel and tourism in the face of global climate change, poverty, and ecosystem degradation. Grounded in decades of leadership and experience, Epler Wood methodically presents the comprehensive social, environmental, and financial impacts of what has become one of the most important economic engines of the global economy and introduces new business models and approaches to move us beyond overconsumption of limited tourism assets.
    Mark B. Milstein, Cornell University, USA

    Epler Wood’s book carefully documents why travel and tourism plays a critical role in preserving natural and social capital and its seminal importance to human health, well-being, and compassion in this multicultural world. With equal emphasis, it outlines the importance of replicable measurements of the industry’s cumulative impacts, with in-depth analysis of each of the sector’s major industrial sectors – hotels, tour operators, cruise lines, airlines, and airports. Read this book to learn how to approach this global industry.
    John D. Spengler, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, USA

    How will we protect destinations with projected global population growth and an increase in the demand for travel? Epler Wood lays out an integrated vision for sustainable tourism that effectively addresses the relationship between traveler consumption patterns and their impact on natural resources. For corporate social responsibility and tourism destination managers alike, this book offers indispensable real-world case studies and provides a vision for a pragmatic way forward.
    Seleni Matus, George Washington University, USA

    Epler Wood argues throughout the book that quantitative analysis at a much larger scale is required to navigate successfully the growing complexity of our world and tourism as one of its biggest industries. Misinformation and feeling must be replaced with hard data and fact, a tall order in our present ever changing and confusing information world. This book deserves a place on the shelves of academics, government and business leaders, and all those that wish to ensure future generations can meet their needs on spaceship earth.                                                  Keith Dewar, Univeristy of New Brunswick, Saint John, Canada