Tourism and the green economy: a place for an environmental ethic?
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractTourism has been recognized by major multilateral world agencies, the World Bank, IMF and United Nations, as a key economic sector for achieving a global transition from a brown to a green economic system. This transition includes an incumbent ethical mission, seeking to improve 'human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities' (UNEP 2011: 1ndash;2). Nevertheless, five key challenges have been identified to tourism playing its part in fulfilling the aims of a green economy, four of which are directly related to its interaction with the natural environment and encompass a strong behavioural component. They are: a consumer trend to travel further for shortening durations of time; a preference for energy-intensive transportation based upon non-renewable fuel usage with an accompanying growth in GHG emissions; excessive water consumption; and damage to marine and terrestrial biodiversity. Simultaneously, the United Nations Environment Programme holds that the driving force of the greening of the tourism industry is consumer demand. The favoured approach from the World Bank and IMF to change environmentally destructive behaviour and reflect the full costs of an increasing ecological scarcity is through price and market correction. Other favoured approaches place a reliance on the greening of technology as a solution to environmental problems. This paper argues that these measures will not be sufficient to deal with the environmental challenges facing the tourism industry and system, and that without a stronger environmental ethic in the market it will be difficult to impose controls on tourists behaviour designed for environmental conservation. It subsequently analyzes the conceptualization of environmental ethics, the rationale for the evolution of an environmental ethic in society and evaluates its relevance to the tourism market.
CitationHolden, A. (2015) 'Tourism and the Green Economy: A Place for an Environmental Ethic?'. Tourism Recreation Research 38 (1):3
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalTourism Recreation Research