Tourism and Science: Research, Knowledge Dissemination and Innovation

  • Natarajan Ishwaran
  • Maharaj Vijay Reddy


This chapter outlines the nexus between tourism innovation and sustainable development goals. It advocates building strong links between science and tourism through increased use of disaggregated data at national and destination levels for understanding and highlighting the specific contributions that tourism and hospitality make towards economic growth, employment and other sustainable development indicators. New research methodologies such as big data analytics, citizen science and cultural ecosystem services allow improved access to and collection of data and better analyses of the complex interactions between economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable development at the destination level. Three cases chosen from UNESCO designated World Heritage sites and biosphere reserves are briefly described to illustrate opportunities for tourism and hospitality to collaborate with other economic development sectors and to strive for the attainment of destination-specific mix of SDGs. An international collaborative research program on tourism and sustainable development will be timely and three lines of inquiry that such a program of could pursue are recommended.


SDGs Science Data Research Innovation International cooperation 


  1. Baggio, R., Scott, N., & Cooper, C. (2010). Network science: A review focused on tourism. Annals of Tourism Research, 37(3), 802–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baker, J. (2017). Tourismification and integration of Buganda’s culture in community Socio-economic activities for poverty reduction and sustainable development. Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering A, 6, 98–109.Google Scholar
  3. Bricker, K. S., Donohoe, H., Becerra, L., & Nickerson, N. (2015). Theoretical perspectives on tourism – An introduction. In K. S. Bricker & H. Donohoe (Eds.), Demystifying theories in tourism research (pp. 1–6). Wallingford, Oxfordshire: CABI Publishers. 256 p.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burke, A. (2011). How to build an innovation ecosystem – For spurring science progress an interconnected community is key. The New York Academy of Science Magazine, Spring, 19–23.Google Scholar
  5. Cameron, C., & Rossler, M. (2013). Many voices, one vision: The early years of the world heritage convention. Farnham: Ashgate Publishers. 309 p.Google Scholar
  6. Chiesa, T., & Gautam, A. (2009). Towards a low carbon travel and tourism sector, A report prepared with the support of Booz and Company. Geneva: World Economic Forum. 36 p.Google Scholar
  7. Clark, B. R., & Boyer, E. L. (1987). The academic life: Small worlds, different worlds. The Carnegie foundation for the advancement of teaching. Princeton, NJ: A Carnegie Foundation Special Report. 360 p.Google Scholar
  8. Echtner, C. M., & Prasad, P. (2003). The context of third world tourism marketing. Annals of Tourism Research, 30(3), 660–682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. ESSC. (2014, September 26). ESS big data action plan and road map 1.0. European Statistical Systems Committee.Google Scholar
  10. Franklin, A., & Crang, M. (2001). The trouble with tourism and travel theory. Tourist Studies, 1(1), 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fulong, C., Huadong, G., Peifeng, M., Lin, H., Wang, C., Ishwaran, N., & Hang, P. (2017). Radar interferometry offers new insights into threats to Angkor site. Science Advances, 3, e1601284.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hall, C. M., & Williams, A. M. (Eds.). (2008). Tourism and innovation. Abingdon: Routledge. 263 p.Google Scholar
  13. Headwater Economics. (2015). Haymakers report. Montana’s economy, public lands and competitive advantage. 4 p. Accessed July 10, 2017, from
  14. Hjalager, A. M. (2015). 100 innovations that transformed tourism. Journal of Travel Research, 54(1), 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Jansen-Verbeke, M. (2009). Tourismification of cultural landscapes: A discussion note. Resources Science, 31(6), 934–941.Google Scholar
  16. Kajikawa, Y. (2011). The structuring of knowledge. In H. Komiyama, K. Takeuchi, H. Shiroyama, & T. Mino (Eds.), Sustainability science: A multidisciplinary approach (pp. 22–34). Tokyo: United Nations University Press. 474 p.Google Scholar
  17. Legrand, M., & Chlous, F. (2016). Citizen science, participatory research and naturalistic knowledge production: Opening spaces for epistemic plurality (an interdisciplinary comparative workshop in France at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle [National museum of natural History]). Environmental Development, 20, 59–67.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lopolito, A., Morone, P., & Taylor, R. (2013). Emerging innovation niches: An agent based model. Research Policy, 42, 1225–1238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mayer-Schonberger, V., & Cukier, K. (2013). Big data: A revolution that will transform how we live, work and think. London: John Murray Publishers. 242 p.Google Scholar
  20. Milcu, A. I., Hanspach, J., Abson, D., & Fischer, J. (2013). Cultural ecosystem services: A literature review and prospects for future research. Ecology and Society, 18(3), 44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Millenium Ecosystem Assessment. (2005). Ecosystem services and human well being: Synthesis. Washington DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  22. National Parks Conservation Association. (2006). Gateways to Yellowstone: Protecting the wild heart of our region’s thriving economy. Washington DC: NPCA. 33 p.Google Scholar
  23. Peou, H., Ishwaran, N., Tianhua, H., & Delanghe, P. (2016). From conservation to sustainable development – A case study of Angkor world heritage site, Cambodia. Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering A, 5, 141–155.Google Scholar
  24. Pyke, J., Smith, E., Li, G., & Li, A. (2013). New ways to connect with China: Tourism and international education nexus. A strategic discussion paper. Australia-China Council, Department of Foreign Affairs, Australia. 13 p.Google Scholar
  25. Quammen, D. (2016, May). Yellowstone: America’s wild idea. National Geographic 229(5). Special issue on Yellowstone: The battle for the American West. 171 p.Google Scholar
  26. Reddy, M. V., & Wilkes, K. (2015). Tourism in the green economy: Rio to post-2015. In M. V. Reddy & K. Wilkes (Eds.), Tourism in the green economy. Abingdon: Routledge. 367 p.Google Scholar
  27. Schlesinger, L. A., Kiefer, C. F., & Brown, P. B. (2012). New project? Don’t analyse – Act. Harvard Business Review, Summer, 118–122.Google Scholar
  28. Smith, M., & Ram, Y. (2017). Tourism, landscapes and cultural ecosystem services: A new research tool. Tourism Recreation Research, 42(1), 113–119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. SPC/GIZ. (2013). REDD feasibility study for East Rennell world heritage site, Solomon Islands. A joint study conducted by the secretariat of the Pacific community (SPC) and the German technical agency GIZ. Suva: SPC/GIZ Regional REDD Project. 41 p (including annexes).Google Scholar
  30. Tourism Victoria (2014). Tourism excellence: The corner piece in visitor satisfaction. Accessed July 10, 2017, from
  31. UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)/UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). (2010). International recommendations for tourism statistics. Studies in methods: Series M No.83/Rev.1. New York: UNDESA/UNWTO. 134 p.Google Scholar
  32. UNESCO. (1972). Convention concerning the protection of the world cultural and natural heritage. Paris: UNESCO. Accessed July 10, 2017, from Scholar
  33. UNESCO. (2003). Convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage. Paris: UNESCO. Accessed July 10, 2017, from Scholar
  34. UNESCO. (2016, July 10–20). Item 7 of the provisional agenda: State of conservation of world heritage properties. Document No: WHC/16/40.COM/7. 40th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Istanbul, Turkey.
  35. UNESCO-HIST. (2016). Report of the technical consultation on East Rennell world heritage site in danger. Beijing: International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) Under the Auspices of UNESCO. 30 p.Google Scholar
  36. World Commission on Environment and Development. (1987). Our common future. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  37. Yergin, D. (2012). The quest. London: Penguin Books. 820 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natarajan Ishwaran
    • 1
  • Maharaj Vijay Reddy
    • 2
  1. 1.International Centre on Space Technologies for Natural and Cultural Heritage (HIST) Under the Auspices of UNESCOBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Coventry University Business SchoolCoventryUK

Personalised recommendations