chapter  7
25 Pages

Ethics and sustainable tourism

Previous chapters have presented many examples of the kinds of ethical problems that can arise through tourism developments. We have framed these issues in terms of particular ethical approaches, including moral relativism, utilitarianism, rights, distributive justice, communicative ethics, and the ethics of care, difference and of authenticity. As we have seen, recent debates about the negative impacts of tourism have led to calls for a more environmentally aware and culturally acceptable form of tourism. In particular, the concern was raised about mass tourism that it was culturally insensitive and especially damaging to indigenous communities. This last chapter will chart responses within the tourism industry, which have sought to allay ethical concerns by addressing at least some of the issues surrounding the past exploitation of local communities and environments. These various forms of alternative tourism (Krippendorf, 1982), which include among others ‘sustainable tourism’, ‘ecotourism’, ‘community-based tourism’ and ‘ethical tourism’, generally involve small-scale developments that substitute for, or place limitations on, the unethical excesses commonly associated with mass tourism.