Corporate Responsibility Among International Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Operators
This book chapter will discuss the implementation of Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) in the ecotourism industry, a tourism sector which has long been considered a frontrunner of sustainable tourism. The first section provides an analysis of the degree in which ecotourism has delivered on its aspirations to contribute to biodiversity conservation, while minimising resource use and promoting local socio-economic development. It will be shown that the private sector is expected to play a key role in achieving these goals. Thus, there is a clear relation to the concept of corporate sustainability and responsibility. However, so far ecotourism has rarely been discussed in this context. To gather empirical evidence, the author analysed to what degree members of the international Adventure Travel Trade Association adhere to, and meaningfully implement, CSR principles. 76 nature-based outbound operators were chosen as study objects. Based on content analysis of the companies’ websites, the results show that, despite a general commitment to sustainability, CSR is mostly practiced in an unsystematic way with very limited formal reporting or external certification. Philanthropy is more prominent than integrating CSR into the tour operators’ core business management. The CSR 2.0 level is seldom attained.
KeywordsEcotourism Adventure travel Tour operators CSR Philanthropy
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