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Is the concept of sustainable tourism sustainable? Developing the Sustainable Tourism Benchmarking Tool


  • Lucian Cernat

    (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Julien Gourdon

    (CERDI - Centre d'Études et de Recherches sur le Développement International - UdA - Université d'Auvergne - Clermont-Ferrand I - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)


Given the complexity of the issues surrounding the concept of sustainable tourism, the current paper tries to provide a unified methodology to assess tourism sustainability, based on a number of quantitative indicators. The proposed methodological framework (Sustainable Tourism Benchmarking Tool – STBT) will provide a number of benchmarks against which the sustainability of tourism activities in various countries can be assessed. A model development procedure is proposed: identification of the dimensions (economic, socio-ecologic, infrastructure) and indicators, method of scaling, chart representation and evaluation on three Asian countries. This application to three countries show us that a similar level of tourism activity might induce different sort of improvements to implement in the tourism activity and might have different consequences for the socio-ecological environment. The heterogeneity of developing countries exposed in the STBT is useful to detect the main problem of each country in their tourism activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucian Cernat & Julien Gourdon, 2011. "Is the concept of sustainable tourism sustainable? Developing the Sustainable Tourism Benchmarking Tool," Working Papers halshs-00557121, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00557121
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Haiyan Song & Peter Romilly & Xiaming Liu, 2000. "An empirical study of outbound tourism demand in the UK," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(5), pages 611-624.
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    3. Mihai F. Băcilă & Raluca Ciornea & Luiza M. Souca & Alexandra M. Drule, 2022. "Content Analysis on Sustainability Dimensions in DMOs’ Social Media Videos Advertising the World’s Most Visited Cities," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(19), pages 1-25, September.
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    5. Fernando J. Garrigós-Simón & José Luis Galdón-Salvador & Ignacio Gil-Pechuán, 2015. "The Economic Sustainability of Tourism Growth through Leakage Calculation," Tourism Economics, , vol. 21(4), pages 721-739, August.

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    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics

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