• Evolving perspectives on tourism’s interaction with nature during the last 40 years

      Holden, Andrew (Taylor and Francis Ltd., 2015-05-22)
      The aim of this retrospective is to evaluate the changing paradigms of tourism’s relationship with nature over the last four decades. It is presented as one interpretation of this relationship not a definitive fait accompli. The period is characterized by an evolution of the society-nature relationship in response to environmental challenges never previously experienced. This includes a reassessment of ʼnature’ as both a social construction and scientific reality and a subsequent re-evaluation of our relationship to it, reflected in new paradigms including sustainability and environmental ethics. The paradox of tourism’s relationship with the environment has simultaneously played out over the period, exemplified in its contemporary interpretations as a key sustainable industry of the green economy and a significant contributor to GHG emissions and global warming. The conflicting interpretations of tourism suggest that the principles and ethics of environmental discourse will be critical for evaluating the tourism and nature relationship. This connection will continue to evolve and tourism’s increasing popularity and global economic importance ensures that it will have consequences for nature whilst providing a window into society’s environmental values and attitudes.