Policy Sciences

, Volume 44, Issue 1, pp 35–52 | Cite as

A social-ecological approach to voluntary environmental initiatives: the case of nature-based tourism

Article

Abstract

This paper addresses the role of voluntary environmental initiatives by the tourism industry to alleviate social dilemmas for the management of natural resources. The objective is to explore whether previous findings on the determinants of voluntary action in the management of common-pool resources (CPR) also apply to a sector, such as tourism, where non-extractive uses are dominant. The paper applies the social-ecological systems framework recently developed by Ostrom (Science, 325, 419–422, 2009) to analyze qualitative data from meta-analyses of successful voluntary environmental initiatives in tourism. Results show that the determinants of voluntary action in tourism are partially consistent with previous research on CPR, finding relevant the presence of leadership, norms of behavior among members of the voluntary initiatives, shared mental modes, salience of the resource for users, and substantial productivity of the resource system in the likelihood of self-organization. However, other variables that have been shown to be relevant in non-tourism CPR situations are not supported by this analysis, such as: most variables regarding the ecological system (its size, predictability, and the mobility of its derived resource units) as well as the number of users and supportive collective choice rules that enable users to craft and enforce some of their own rules. The implications of this partial mismatch in findings are not straightforward. The paper presents a set of research questions that open a path for further research.

Keywords

Social-ecological systems Voluntary environmental initiatives Tourism Governance 

References

  1. Agrawal, A. (2001). Common property institutions and sustainable governance of resources. World Development, 29, 1649–1672.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alberini, A., & Segerson, K. (2002). Assessing voluntary programs to improve environmental quality. Environment & Resource Economics, 22, 157–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Álvarez Gil, M. J., Burgos Jiménez, J., & Céspedes Lorente, J. J. (2001). An analysis of environmental management, organizational context and performance of Spanish hotels. Omega, 29, 457–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderies, J. M., Janssen, M. A., & Ostrom, E. (2004). A framework to analyze the robustness of social-ecological systems from an institutional perspective. Ecologic science, 9 (1), 18.Google Scholar
  5. Andrews, R. N. L. (1998). Environmental regulation and business 'self-regulation'. Policy Sciences, 31, 177–197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Baland, J. M., & Platteau, J. P. (1996). Halting degradation of natural resources: Is there a role for rural commnities?. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  7. Basurto, X., & Coleman, E. (2010). Institutional and ecological interplay for successful self-governance of community-based fisheries. Ecological economics, 69, 1094–1103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Berkes, F., Hughes, T. P., Steneck, R. S., Wilson, J. A., Bellwood, D. R., Crona, B., et al. (2006). Globalization, roving bandits, and marine resources. Science, 311, 1557–1558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Blanco, E., Rey-Maquieira, J., & Lozano, J. (2009a). The economic impacts of voluntary environmental perfomance of firms: A critical review. Journal of Economic Surveys, 23, 426–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Blanco, E., Rey-Maquieira, J., & Lozano, J. (2009b). Economic incentives for tourism firms to undertake voluntary environmental management. Tourism Management, 30, 112–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Briassoulis, H. (2002). Sustainable tourism and the question of the commons. Annals of Tourism Research, 29, 1065–1085.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brock, W. A., & Carpenter, S. R. (2007). Panaceas and diversification of environmental policy. PNAS, 104, 15212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Butler, R. W. (1980). The concept of a tourist area cycle of evolution: Implications for management of resources. Canadian Geographer, 24, 5–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Calveras, A., & Vera-Hernández, M. (2005). Quality externalities among hotel establishments: What is the impact of tour operators? Tourism Economics, 11, 571–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Carmona-Moreno, E., Céspedes-Lorente, J., & de Burgos-Jimenez, J. (2004). Environmental strategies in Spanish hotels: Contextual factors and performance. The Service Industries Journal, 24, 101–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chhatre, A., & Agrawal, A. (2008). Forest commons and local enforcement. PNAS, 105, 13286–13291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Conrad, K. (2005). Price competition and product differentiation when consumers care for the environment. Environment & Resource Economics, 31, 1–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Darnall, N., & Carmin, J. (2005). Greener and cleaner? The signaling accuracy of US voluntary environmental programs. Policy Sciences, 38, 71–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Dawson, N. L., & Segerson, K. (2008). Voluntary agreements with industries: Participation incentives with industry-wide targets. Land Economics, 84, 97–114.Google Scholar
  20. Delmas, M., & Keller, A. (2005). Free riding in voluntary environmental programs: The case of the US EPA WasteWise program. Policy Sciences, 38, 91–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Drakos, K., & Kutan, A. M. (2003). Regional effects of terrorism on tourism in three Mediterranean countries. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 47, 621–641.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Font, X. (2002). Environmental certification in tourism and hospitality: Progress, process and prospects. Tourism Management, 23, 197–205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Foster, S. T., Sampson, S. E., & Dunn, S. C. (2000). The impact of customer contact on environmental initiatives for service firms. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 20, 197–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Garza-Gil, M. D., Prada-Blanco, A., & Vázquez-Rodríguez, M. X. (2006). Estimating the short-term economic damages from the Prestige oil spill in the Galician fisheries and tourism. Ecological Economics, 58, 842–849.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Healy, R. G. (1994). The “common pool” problem in tourism landscapes. Annals of Tourism Research, 21, 596–611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Huybers, T., & Bennett, J. (2002). Environmental management and the competitiveness of nature-based tourism destinations. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.Google Scholar
  27. Imperial, M. T. (1999). Institutional analysis and ecosystem-based management: The institutional analysis and development framework. Environmental Management, 24, 449–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kassinis, G. I., & Soteriou, A. C. (2005). Greening service organizations: environmental management practices and performance. In S. Sharma & J. A. Aragón-Correa (Eds.), Corporate environmental strategy and competitive advantage (pp. 115–138). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  29. Khanna, M. (2001). Non-mandatory approaches to environmental protection. Journal of Economic Surveys, 15, 291–324.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Knowles, T., & Curtis, S. (1999). The market viability of European mass tourist destinations. A post-stagnation life-cycle analysis. International Journal of Tourism Research, 1, 87–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Kousis, M. (2000). Tourism and the environment: A social movement perspective. Annals of Tourism Research, 27, 468–489.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Laney, L. O. (2009). Assessing tourism’s dontribution to the Hawaii economy. Economic forecast—Special report. Resource document. First Hawaiian Bank. https://www.fhb.com/pdf/FHB_Tourism_Study_09325.pdf. Accessed 30 May 2010.
  33. Lyon, T. P., & Maxwell, J. W. (2002). Voluntary approaches to environmental regulation. In M. Franzini & A. Nicita (Eds.), Economics institutions and environmental policy (pp. 75–120). Brookfield, Vermont: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  34. Mackendrick, N. A. (2005). The role of the state in voluntary environmental reform: A case study of public land. Policy Sciences, 38, 21–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Margolis, J. D., & Walsh, J. P. (2001). People and profits? The search for a link between company’s social and financial performance. Mahwah, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  36. Meinzen-Dick, R. (2007). Beyond panaceas in water institutions. PNAS, 104, 15200–15205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Mihalic, T. (2000). Environmental management of a tourist destination. A factor of tourism competitiveness. Tourism Management, 21, 65–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Morgan, M. (1991). Dressing up to survive: Marketing Majorca anew. Tourism Management, 12, 15–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Nagendra, H. (2007). Drivers of reforestation in human-dominated forests. PNAS, 104, 15218–15223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Olson, M. (1965). The logic of collective action. Cambridge, M.A.: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  41. Ostrom, E. (1990). Governing the commons: The evolution of institutions for collective action. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  42. Ostrom, E. (2000). Crowding out citizenship. Scandinavian Political Studies, 23, 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ostrom, E. (2005). Understanding institutional diversity. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Ostrom, E. (2007). A diagnostic approach for going beyond panaceas. PNAS, 104, 15181–15187.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ostrom, E. (2009). A general framework for analyzing sustainability of social-ecological systems. Science, 325, 419–422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ostrom, E., Burger, J., Field, C., Norgaard, R., & Policansky, D. (1999). Revisiting the commons: Local lessons, global challenges. Science, 284, 278–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pizam, A., & Smith, G. (2000). Tourism and terrorism: A quantitative analysis of major terrorist acts and their impact on tourism destinations. Tourism Economics, 6, 123–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Rivera, J. (2002). Assessing a voluntary environmental initiative in the developing world: The costa Rican certification for sustainable tourism. Policy Sciences, 35, 333–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rivera, J., & De Leon, P. (2005). Chief executive officers and voluntary environmental performance: Costa Rica’s certification for sustainable tourism. Policy Sciences, 38, 107–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rivera, J., Oetzel, J., De Leon, P., & Starik, M. (2009). Business responses to environmental and social protection policies: Toward a framework for analysis. Policy Sciences, 42, 3–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sasidharan, V., Sirakaya, E., & Kerstetter, D. (2002). Developing countries and tourism ecolabels. Tourism Management, 23, 161–174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Sirakaya, E. (1997). Attitudinal compliance with ecotourism guidelines. Annals of Tourism Research, 24, 919–950.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tisdell, C. A. (2001). National gains from international tourism in the light of environmental factors: Further considerations. In C. A. Tisdell (Ed.), Tourism economics, the environment and development: Analysis and policy (pp. 55–67). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.Google Scholar
  54. UNEP. (1998). Ecolabels in the tourism industry. Paris: United Nations Environment Programme.Google Scholar
  55. UNEP-UNWTO. (2005). Making tourism more sustainable. A guide for policy makers. Paris: United Nations Environment Programme.Google Scholar
  56. UNWTO. (2001). Public-private sector cooperation: Enhancing tourism competitiveness. Madrid: United Nations World Tourism Organization.Google Scholar
  57. UNWTO. (2002). Voluntary initiatives for sustainable tourism: Worldwide inventory and comparative analysis of 104 eco-labels, awards and self-commitments. Madrid: United Nations World Tourism Organization.Google Scholar
  58. UNWTO. (2004). Indicators of sustainable development for tourism destinations: A guidebook. Madrid: United Nations World Tourism Organization.Google Scholar
  59. UNWTO. (2009). Tourism highlights (2009th ed.). Madrid: United Nations World Tourism Organization.Google Scholar
  60. Velarde, S. J., Malhi, Y., Moran, D., Wright, J., & Hussain, S. (2005). Valuing the impacts of climate change on protected areas in Africa. Ecological Economics, 53, 21–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wade, R. (1988). Village republics: Economic conditions for collective action in South India. Oakland: ICS Press.Google Scholar
  62. Wilson, J., Yan, L., & Wilson, C. (2007). The precursors of governance in the Maine lobster fishery. PNAS, 14, 15212–15217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Public FinanceUniversity of InnsbruckInnsbruckAustria

Personalised recommendations