Conflicts and challenges: cultural dimensions of sustainability and tourism

Moscardo, Gianna (2011) Conflicts and challenges: cultural dimensions of sustainability and tourism. In: Proceedings of the International Tourism Sustainability Conference. pp. 1-9. From: International Tourism Sustainability Conference, 21-24 September 2011, Mauritius.

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Culture is often represented as an onion with basic assumptions or worldviews at the centre, values, beliefs, attitudes and norms as the next layers, followed by patterns of behaviour, systems and institutions as the next layer and symbols, rituals and artefacts as the outer and most visible layer or onion skin (Hofstede, 2001). It is this outer layer that traditionally has been given the most attention in discussions of tourism and sustainability with concerns about the ways in which tourism can impact on these symbols, rituals and artefacts. Sustainability is, however, a broad concept that can be connected to all the layers of culture reflecting values, attitudes and beliefs and suggesting certain behaviours and institutions. Thus we might expect that there exist a number of points of cultural difference in conceptions of sustainability. The dominant definitions and models of sustainability, which are currently used in discussions of tourism and development are, however,embedded in a western Anglocentric tradition (Lahiry, 2010).Research in other areas indicatesconsiderable cross-cultural variation in the values that underpin sustainabilityand the processes and behaviours related to the practice of sustainability (Aras & Crowther, 2009). These cross-cultural differences have the potential to both create conflict and challenge in the area of tourismand sustainability and to offer alternatives to current practice. This paper will address this issue of cultural differences in the definitions of, and practices related to, sustainability focussing on implications for tourism planning and development. The paper will begin bydefining the key concepts of sustainability and culture, and proposing a framework connecting culture to aspects of sustainability. This framework will be used to highlight the cultural assumptions often hidden in discussions of tourism sustainability, identifying areas of potential conflict and challenge for tourism planning and management. The paper will also use the framework toexplore different cultural approaches to sustainability with a particular emphasis on the potential for the development of alternative approaches to sustainable tourism. The overall aim of the paper is to build a framework for sustainability in the tourism context that explicitly recognises cultural issues and contexts.

Item ID: 20328
Item Type: Conference Item (Other)
ISSN: 1694-1187
Keywords: tourism, sustainability, values, culture
Date Deposited: 21 May 2012 22:56
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 90 COMMERCIAL SERVICES AND TOURISM > 9003 Tourism > 900399 Tourism not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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