Responsible Tourism and Sustainability – the Case of Kumarakom, Kerala, India

Article (PDF Available)inJournal of Policy Research in Tourism Leisure and Events 4(3):302-326 · November 2012with 8,438 Reads 
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
DOI: 10.1080/19407963.2012.711088
Cite this publication
Abstract
This paper discusses the notion of 'responsible tourism' and its current use within the tourism literature. We argue that the concept as used currently means everything and therefore adds nothing to the conceptual terrain of tourism trends and nomenclatures. We then introduce our own understanding of the concept arguing that while responsible tourism is linked to sustainability initiatives such as alternative tourism, ecotourism, ethical tourism, green tourism, soft tourism, pro-poor tourism, geo-tourism, integrated tourism, community-based tourism, etc it also demarcates an analytical realm of its own. We suggest that the practical use of the term in areas where it has been adopted (such as South Africa and Kerala for instance) suggests a rather restricted use. We identified this realm as the tourism sector-specific manifestation of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda. Following Flyvberg's [(2006). Five misunderstandings about case-study research. Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2), 219-245] call for exemplars and paradigmatic case studies to advance knowledge in a particular domain, the responsible tourism initiative in Kumarakon, Kerala, is presented. Discussion of the case study traces the particular governance context of Kerala and the position of tourism in the state economy. The responsible tourism initiatives at the state level and local level are then described highlighting the 'how' of the implementation and the impact that it has produced. Generic, non-prescriptive principles that could be said to be necessary in some form for the successful translation of responsible tourism principles to practices are then identified. Such an approach is contrasted with one that places faith in the voluntary adoption of 'responsible' practices by the private sector on its own. It is argued that responsible tourism can make a contribution to practice provided the conceptual terrain is delineated against other forms of tourism and if research within the terrain can unpack the particular forms of challenges that are thrown up by the delineation itself.
Advertisement
1
Responsible Tourism and Sustainability: The Case of
Kumarakom in Kerala, India
Authors:
Dr Angelique Chettiparamb, Senior Lecturer, School of Real Estate and Planning,
University of Reading, Reading, RG6 6UD.
and
Dr Jithendran Kokkranikal, Senior Lecturer, Department of Marketing, Events and
Tourism; Business School; University of Greenwich; London, SE10 9LS
Abstract:
This paper discusses the notion of ‘responsible tourism’ and its current use within the
tourism literature. We argue that the concept as used currently means everything
and therefore adds nothing to the conceptual terrain of tourism trends and
nomenclatures. We then introduce our own understanding of the concept arguing
that while responsible tourism is linked to sustainability initiatives such as alternative
tourism, ecotourism, ethical tourism, green tourism, soft tourism, pro-poor tourism,
geo tourism, integrated tourism, community-based tourism, etc it also demarcates an
analytical realm of its own. We suggest that the practical use of the term in areas
where it has been adopted (such as South Africa and Kerala for instance) suggests a
rather restricted use. We identified this realm as the tourism sector specific
manifestation of the CSR agenda.
Following Flyvberg’s (2006) call for exemplars and paradigmatic case studies to
advance knowledge in a particular domain, the responsible tourism initiative in
Kumarakon, Kerala is presented. Discussion of the case study traces the particular
governance context of Kerala and the position of tourism in the state economy. The
responsible tourism initiatives at state level and local level are then described
highlighting the ‘how’ of the implementation and the impact that it has produced.
Generic, non-prescriptive principles that could be said to be necessary in some form
for the successful translation of responsible tourism principles to practices are then
identified. Such an approach is contrasted with one that places faith in the voluntary
adoption of ‘responsible’ practices by the private sector on its own. It is argued that
responsible tourism can make a contribution to practice provided that the conceptual
terrain is delineated against other forms of tourism and if research within the terrain
can unpack the particular forms of challenges that are thrown up by the delineation
itself.
1
2
Key words: responsible tourism, pro-poor tourism, corporate social responsibility,
sustainable tourism, Kerala, Kumarakom.
Introduction
The concept of responsible tourism has been present in the tourism literature since
the early eighties (Smith, 1990; Cooper and Ozdil, 1992). Seminal works by deKadt
(1980) and Krippendorf (1987), for instance, raised concerns over the impacts of
tourism on the environment and destination communities. In response to increasing
instances of social and environmental problems of tourism, a range of sustainability
initiatives such as alternative tourism, ecotourism, ethical tourism, green tourism, soft
tourism, pro-poor tourism, geo tourism, integrated tourism, community-based
tourism, etc. emerged in the tourism literature. Responsible tourism is closely linked
to these concepts. These sustainability-oriented alternatives to mass tourism seek to
promote environmental conservation, cultural integrity, socioeconomic development
and the welfare of communities, especially the disadvantaged sections, living in
tourism destinations (TIES, 1990; Scheyvens and Momsen, 2008; Oliver and
Jenkins, 2003; Blackstock, 2005; Cawley and Gilmour, 2008; Kontogeorgopoulos,
2009; Weeden, 2002; Hall, 2008). Even though such initiatives help promote the
principles of sustainable tourism (Sharpley, 2000), a range of political, economical
and commercial challenges such as differing priorities of the national/regional
economy, the structure and incentives of the public administration system, over-
commercialisation, the structure of the international tourism system to name but a
few, make implementation difficult in practice (Tosun 2001). This paper examines a
fairly successful case study of planning and implementation of ‘responsible tourism’
in the village of Kumarakom in Kerala, India. Though the case study itself is
interesting for the practice of sustainable/responsible tourism, it also presents an
opportunity to critically evaluate the conceptual and practical contribution that the
concept of ‘responsible tourism’ might make in tourism studies.
The next section discusses the notion of ‘responsible tourism’ and its current use
within the tourism literature. We show that the concept as used currently means
everything and therefore adds nothing to the conceptual terrain of tourism trends and
nomenclatures. We conclude this section with our own understanding of the concept.
In the next section we elaborate upon this arguing that our understanding while
remaining broad based identifies distinctive areas of concern that clarifies the
conceptual focus and thus the contribution made to tourism studies. The next section
2
3
discusses the methodology which in turn is followed by a discussion of the case
study itself. The contribution of the concept of ‘responsible tourism’ as we have
defined it is then discussed. Finally, the policy contributions of the case study is
presented. The conclusions summarise the main arguments presented in the paper.
The Concept – ‘responsible tourism’
The sustainability orientation of responsible tourism is stressed by Smith (1990:480),
who defined responsible tourism as “a form of tourism which respect the host’s
natural, built and cultural environments and the interest of all parties concerned”.
Besides the absence of a distinction between responsible tourism and sustainable
tourism that this view prompts, the controversies surrounding ‘sustainable tourism’
also gets imported into the debates of responsible tourism. For instance, the
sustainability debate is often criticized for its lack of conceptual clarity (Higgins-
Desbiolles, 2010); has been characterised as a flawed and inadequate concept that
is based on misconceptions on the role of tourism demand, the nature of tourism
resources, the imperative of inter and intra-generational equity, socio-cultural
integrity, measurement and forms of sustainable development (Liu, 2003); and for
offering micro solutions to what is essentially a macro problem of unsustainable
growth in tourism (Wheeler, 1991). Wheeler (1991) is critical about the growing
number of seemingly environment-friendly tourism initiatives and argues that
responsible tourism cannot be a solution for the problems of tourism, as long as the
volume of global tourism is on the increase. Any increase in tourism volume will
necessarily have a corresponding increase in negative impacts. Therefore
responsible development of tourism will require reducing the scale and volume of
tourism. Wheeler (1991:96) views responsible tourism as “a pleasant, agreeable, but
dangerously superficial, ephemeral and inadequate escape route for the educated
middle classes unable, or unwilling, to appreciate or accept their/our own destructive
contribution to the international tourism maelstrom.”
Many authors argue that reform of and more carefully planned and managed mass
tourism could be a realistic way of dealing with the problems of mass tourism
(Cohen, 1987; Butler, 1990; Wheeler, 1994). Sustainable forms of tourism thus
generally propose small scale destinations and tourism activities. The shrinking of
scale could however threaten tourism’s economic and environmental viability as
lower numbers would create negligible financial returns. Further, an increase in
3
4
smaller destinations could invite environmental harm to more locations if the demand
for tourism locations remains high (Butler, 1990; Cater, 1993; Sharpley, 2009). The
new interest in environment and sustainability in general could also threaten
vulnerable and fragile locations as they become new products of sustainable tourism
(e.g. eco tourism) thus making them vulnerable to the perils of tourism development,
and businesses (MacLellan, 1997; Wight, 1993). However, though consensus on its
efficacy is still elusive, the sustainability debate has helped draw attention to the
need for a balance between commercial and environmental interests in tourism, and
has resulted in many good practices of energy-saving and recycling in the tourism
industry (Wall, 1997).
Responsible tourism has similarities with pro-poor tourism (PPT) too. This is another
form of value oriented tourism that emerged in the late 1990s. It has the aim of
linking tourism and poverty alleviation by focusing on the interests of the poor in
tourism destinations (Ashley et. al. 2001; Hall, 2008). PPT focuses on the re-
distributive dimensions of sustainable tourism trying to ensure that tourism yields
more net benefits to the poor (Scheyvens and Momsen, 2008). PPT too however,
has been criticised for its theoretical impreciseness, failure to consider the
importance of markets and the need for commercial viability, and for ignoring the
existing PPT features and potential of mass tourism (Harrison, 2008).
The definition for responsible tourism used by the South African Department of
Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT), considers responsible tourism as ‘tourism
that promotes responsibility to the environment through its sustainable use,
responsibility to involve local communities in the tourism industry; responsibility for
the safety and security of visitors and responsible government, employees,
employers, unions and local communities’ (DEAT, 1996, 4 cited in Merwe and Wocke,
2007, 1). There is an attempt here to promote the concept as signifying everything
without really laying down precise parameters for distinguishing the added
contribution that this new term might bring to the already crowded conceptual terrain
of different forms of tourism. Goodwin (2011:31) from the International Centre for
Responsible Tourism exemplifies this fuzziness when he argues that ‘responsible
tourism is about everyone involved taking responsibility for making tourism more
sustainable’. The exhortation to everyone taking responsibility for everything only
serves to weaken the concept as it does not really add any conceptual clarity to
tourism studies.
4
5
A drift towards tourism businesses is evident in George and Frey’s (2010, 12)
description of responsible tourism as managing the business in a way that benefits
its local community, natural and business environment and itself’ (added emphasis).
We shall argue that ‘responsible tourism’ must be seen as a tourism sector specific
manifestation of the wider CSR agenda in the business world.
The CSR agenda and ‘responsible tourism’
CSR practices grew as a response to pressures arising from changing ethical values
of consumers and increasing demands from multiple stakeholders for businesses to
be more ethical (McWilliams and Siegel, 2001). CSR relates to a company’s
obligation to be accountable to all of its stakeholders in its operations and activities
with the aim of facilitating sustainable development (Dodds and Joppe, 2005). CSR
practices can then, in principle, help businesses introduce environmentally friendly
operational practices that help them reduce cost, ensure better employee satisfaction
and gain consumer support as an ethical business (Malovics, et. al. 2008). A raft of
initiatives fall within their scope as for instance ethical sourcing, waste reduction and
non-exploitative waste disposal, equitable employment, honest advertisement, fair
pricing, community partnerships, responsible resource management, etc.
Businesses however are ultimately driven by profit motives (Welford, 1997). Their
investment decisions are typically dictated by profit, not by altruism, and therefore
any trade-off at the expense of commercial viability generally requires either targeted
public policies or a consumer demand that favour particular businesses practices
(Henderson, 2007). Thus CSR practices are normally adopted for its modified, but
still profit oriented business value that result from either requirements for legal/policy
compliance or public relations and estimations of long term commercial value
(Pearce and Doh, 2005; Miller and Twining-Ward, 2005; Inoue and Lee, 2010). For
example, Business in the Community (BITC), a business-led coalition in the United
Kingdom set up to promote corporate social responsibility, lists the benefits of CSR
as: reputation management, risk management, employee satisfaction, innovation and
learning, access to capital, and financial performance (BITC, 2003).
As with other business sectors, tourism businesses have also embraced CSR
practices declaring their environmental and social commitment (Bohdanowicz, 2007).
Its advocates contend that CSR initiatives can help enhance a tourist destination’s
5
6
competitiveness and image (Williams, et. al. 2007; Bohdanowicz, 2005). However, as
mentioned earlier, the ability of the private sector in tourism to direct and coordinate
their actions towards wider goals of sustainability, business ethics, pro-poor
development etc, will need to be steered. As an industry that is fragmented and
made up of large numbers of small and medium enterprises, with a range of potential
effects that are in the main, wide ranging and diverse, corporate social responsibility
within the tourism sector takes on sector specific nuances with specific challenges
and opportunities. We suggest that responsible tourism initiatives can be seen to be
the policies and practices that embody an extension of the CSR agenda in tourism.
As such then, it relates to encouraging, regulating and steering private actors in
tourism to adopt a wider broad based CSR agenda through legal intervention, public
policy, voluntary action or social mobilisation. The central role of tourism businesses
in responsible tourism policies is demonstrated by the various Declarations in
responsible tourism such as the Cape Town Declaration (2002), the Kerala
Declaration (2008), the Alberta Declaration (2011), etc and the experience of South
Africa in introducing the South African National Responsible Tourism Guidelines and
that of Kerala in introducing the Responsible Tourism initiative through local
governments. In all of the above, facilitating ‘responsible’ behaviour of the private
sector through CSR related practices targeting wider socio-economic- cultural issues
is the focus.
The concept of responsible tourism then overlaps significantly with related concepts
of sustainable tourism, ethical tourism, pro-poor tourism and integrated tourism.
Sustainable tourism is defined by Middleton, (1998, ix, cited in George and Frey,
2010, 13) as ‘achieving a particular combination of numbers and types of visitors, the
cumulative effect of whose activities at a given destination together with the actions
of the servicing businesses, can continue into the foreseeable future, without
damaging the quality of the environment on which the activities are based’. While
ethical tourism can be thought of as emphasising the ethical dimension of
sustainable tourism and pro-poor tourism can be thought of as emphasising the re-
distributive dimensions of sustainable tourism, the concept of integrated tourism
brings inter-sectoral linkages into the equation and emphasises broad cross–linkages
in tourism that allows it to become sustainable. Responsible tourism, as we have
defined it, can then be seen as distinct from all of the above in its focus on the role of
private sector and the CSR agenda in achieving all of the above more normative
goals.
6
7
Responsible tourism has now been officially adopted by many important tourism
destinations and tourism businesses. The concept has also been actively promoted
by academic centres of study such as the International Centre for Responsible
Tourism1; and International Conferences2. Though perhaps not yet a ‘movement’,
responsible tourism is increasingly being pursued by states and city governments as
a means to engage with the private sector. The international appeal of the concept
can be partly explained by the centrality of the private sector in managing impacts of
tourism and the increased wider interest in CSR activities in general. Thus, besides
offering a normative appeal, ‘responsible tourism’ also offers a pragmatic appeal in
managing tourism for after all, the private sector is the major provider of tourism
experiences and services in most destinations worldwide and is a fast growing
presence in the tourism sector.
Studies in responsible tourism can be expected to both draw upon and contribute to
the wider CSR literature. However actual case study based accounts of experiences
in the implementation of responsible tourism have only just started appearing in the
academic tourism literature. Some early reports on South Africa have now emerged
(George and Frey 2010; Merwe and Wocke 2007). This paper is an early case study
based contribution to this nascent and emerging field of study. The methodology
used to document this case is explained below.
Research Methods
A case study based research approach is adopted. As stated by Yin (1981) one of the
most distinguishing characteristics of case study research is the fact that phenomena
are studied in their real-life context. The research strategy therefore is particularly apt
for studies of phenomena that can only be understood and explained through its
context the particular actors, institutions, imageries and the happenings therein -
because of which, and through which, particular practices and phenomena emerge. It
has been argued that such context based learning is essential for professionals to
make their transition from scientific rule- based knowledge dominated by analytical
rationality typical of ‘beginners to ‘virtuoso experts’ capable of understanding and
appreciating the non-rule based complexities involved in practice (Flyvberg, 2006).
This then is also a call for the study of exemplars in advancing knowledge, for as
Flyvberg citing Kuhn, (1987) remarks:
1 http://www.icrtourism.org
2 such as the five ‘International Conferences on Responsible Tourism in Destinations’ held at
Cape Town, South Africa; Cochin, Kerala, India; Belmopan, Belize, Central America; Muscat,
Oman; and Alberta, Canada.
7
8
a discipline without a large number of thoroughly executed case studies is a discipline without
systematic production of exemplars, and that a discipline without exemplars is an ineffective one.
(Flyvberg, 2006, p.242).
Flyvberg further defines a ‘paradigmatic case study’ (p.232). This is a case that aims
‘to develop a metaphor or establish a school for the domain that the case concerns’
(Flyvberg, 2006, 229). Paradigmatic cases thus highlight particular features of the
domain of enquiry and as such need not be typical or even remarkable.
It is not possible consistently, or even frequently, to determine in advance whether a
given case Geertz’s (1973) cockfights in Bali, for instance—is paradigmatic. Besides the
strategic choice of case, the execution of the case study will certainly play a role, as will
the reactions to the study by the research community, the group studied, and possibly, a
broader public. The value of the case study will depend on the validity claims that
researchers can place on their study and the status these claims obtain in dialogue with
other validity claims in the discourse to which the study is a contribution (Flyvberg, 2006,
233).
There are thus few guidelines for the selection of such cases, and the literature
suggests a retrospective justification more or less along the lines of the saying ‘the
proof of the pudding is in the eating’.
The case study chosen here can be claimed to be atypical in the sense that it is
situated in the state of Kerala in India, which has come to be known for relatively high
(amongst developing regions) levels of social development, social movements and
active citizenship (Parayil, 2000, Heller, 1996, Heller, et al, 2007). The state has also
instituted far reaching institutional changes that allow for direct citizen participation in
bottom-up planning, against which local budget allocation takes place (Chettiparamb,
2005, 2006). Innovative programmes such as the Kudumbashree in poverty
alleviation have also been reported (Williams et al, 2010). The responsible tourism
initiative is a relatively new venture of the Government of Kerala.
The atypical nature of the case poses an interesting context for this paper. If
responsible tourism is to be re-conceptualised and understood as an extension of the
CSR agenda as we have suggested, then it is worthwhile to investigate the operation
of the scope of this conceptualisation to encapsulate, while clarifying current
understandings of the term ‘responsible tourism’. A detailed study of the concept of
responsible tourism in Kerala then has value for it has the potential to evolve into a
8
9
‘paradigmatic case study’ in that it could provide the empirical arguments that allow
for pinning down the rather nebulous concept of ‘responsible tourism’ to a CSR
agenda in tourism.
In line with the purposes of case study research in general (Yin, 1981), the
investigation of the case study in this paper is exploratory and phenomenological. It
aims to elicit a thick description of the ‘how’ in the implementation of responsible
tourism in Kumarakom. The implementation of responsible tourism in Kumarakom is
relatively well known and therefore substantial secondary information was available.
Given the exploratory nature of the study, research methods were confined in the first
instance to an analysis of secondary data. Besides serving as a valid research
method in itself, as Cowton (1998) suggests, analysis of secondary data can also be
a useful initial stage that leads on to the initiation of primary research. Though further
primary research will undoubtedly help explore and enhance the conclusions
suggested in this paper, we believe that the arguments we make at this stage are
nevertheless of significance to tourism and planning studies.
Cowton (1998, 429) suggests a number of practical and logistical advantages for
research based on secondary sources. However and more importantly (for the
purpose of this paper) he suggests that due to the multiplicity of perspectives through
which secondary data may have been collected, the descriptive validity of the case
study can be often be better established than in (sometimes biased) narrative
reporting from primary research structured around particular research questions.
However, care is also needed in working with secondary sources for -
secondary data are likely to map only approximately onto the researcher's ideal research
questions, hypotheses or concepts, and the researcher needs both to bear in mind the
extent of that approximation and to make readers aware of it when the results are written
up for publication (Cowton, 1998, 429).
Sourcing extensively across different secondary sources can then help as the
multiplicity of narratives can provide a source for triangulation and multiple
interpretations. Sources for secondary data used in this paper include academic
publications, government publications (state and local levels), newspaper reports,
and publications and websites of activist groups such as EQUATIONS and TOURISM
WATCH engaged in lobbying against environmental and social issues in tourism.
Descriptive background information on the context was first sought. These were
categorised into information on the location (state and local); information on general
9
10
governance modes and information on tourism policy. The historical and
geographical policy context of the case study from the first phase informed the
search and analysis of the second phase which focused on the case study itself: the
formulation, implementation and impacts of responsible tourism initiatives in
Kumarakom.
In the following sections, we present the governance context of the state of Kerala
followed by a brief overview of the tourism sector. In the second section, we describe
the implementation of responsible tourism in Kumarakom in Kerala. The third section
advances our arguments and we conclude in the fourth and final section.
The governance context of Kerala
Kerala is located on the Southern-most tip of India on the East coast of the Arabian
Sea. The population is around 33.4 million (provisional figures, 2011 census). The
state has attracted the interest of development scholars mainly because it has been
successful in maintaining high levels of literacy, health and gender parity alongside
relatively high quality of life in spite of low economic development3. These have been
argued to be an outcome of both historical factors and public intervention in the form
of state policies through redistributive programmes such as land reforms, a public
distribution system for food, and various welfare programmes for the socially and
economically marginalised (Parayil, 2000). Social reforms led by important social
leaders, the communist movement and science based people’s movements that were
active in the late 19th and most of 20th century also served to instil significant levels of
civic and political activism amongst the population (Franke and Chasin, 1997).
In terms of governance, a broad based bottom-up planning initiative called the
People’s Planning Campaign which involves participatory budgeting was launched in
1996 and has been firmly institutionalised since (Chettiparamb, 2005, 2006, Isaac
and Franke, 2000). Through the process of bottom-up planning, communities are
empowered to plan local projects, prioritise the projects against a budget, and
partake in implementation and monitoring of the same. The process is an annual
process and presently around 25% of plan funds of the state budget (devolved to
local governments in Kerala) are planned through such a process. The programme
has been by and large successful, on a number of counts, particularly in rural areas.
Innovative schemes have been designed and implemented and localities have had
the freedom to prioritise diverse kinds of economic, social and infrastructure schemes
3 See George 1997 and Tharamanaglam, 1997 for alternate views
10
11
that suit the specificities of their place (Kerala State Planning Board, 2011, Isaac and
Franke, 2000).
Also important for this paper is the Kudumbashree programme of Kerala. This is a
state sponsored poverty alleviation programme with broader goals of women’s
empowerment (realised through women’s collectives) and local economic
development (realised through close integration with the local government who are
themselves empowered as stated previously). The programme has a multi-
dimensional view of poverty fore-fronting self help as a core strategy. The mission
statement reads:
‘[t]o eradicate absolute poverty in ten years through concerted
community action under the leadership of local governments, by
facilitating organization of the poor for combining self-help with
demand-led convergence of available services and resources to
tackle the multiple dimensions and manifestations of poverty,
holistically’ (Kudumbashree, n.d, a, added emphasis).
The structure that delivers these objectives is closely linked to the local government
system (see figure 1). Overall coordination is done by the State Poverty Eradication
Mission through its District offices. The Neighbourhood groups are made up of 10-20
women members from economically backward families constituted on a spatial basis.
These groups are federated to Area Development Societies at ward level and
Community Development Societies at local government level. The spatial
organisation allows for dove tailing of policy to specific needs of the poor determined
on a spatial basis. Through bottom-up planning, these needs become the impetus for
change and multi-faceted new programme development.
11
12
Figure1: Organisational structure of the Kudumbashree Programme.
Source: Author.
Projects taken up by the Kudumbashree units involve local economic development
through micro-enterprises (both production and service); thrift and credit operations
through micro-finance; women’s empowerment initiatives through capacity building
and debate; and general social development through initiatives in housing, children’s
education, support for cultural activities and so on (Chettiparamb, 2011). The
programme has won many awards and is generally known as an ‘exemplarwithin
poverty alleviation policy circles in India (Oommen, 2008, Kudumbashree, n.d,b).
While the programme has undeniably been quite successful in poverty alleviation and
women’s empowerment, success in micro-enterprises has been rather patchy
(Oommen, 2008; Williams, et al 2010). While there are significant numbers of
successful stories, stories of business failures and struggles are also abundant.
Though multiple forms of support are provided to Kudumbashree units, marketing of
produce and products remain a problem (Oommen, 2008; Pat, 2005).
Tourism sector in Kerala
Kerala is known for its scenic beauty and is a popular tourist destination. It was listed
as the top 10 ‘paradises found’ in the millennium edition of the National Geographic
12
13
magazine (Sebastian and Rajagopalan, 2009). Though almost 50% of the state's
population was dependent on agriculture until the 1980s, this sector has since
declined with farming becoming increasingly unprofitable (George, 1997, Kerala
State Planning Board, 2011). Industrial activities in the state are also limited, due to a
multiplicity of factors, not least of which was the presence of a militant trade union
movement (Tharamangalam, 1997). In terms of natural and cultural assets, Kerala
however has a varied portfolio of attractions such as beaches, backwaters, hill
stations, festivals, ayurveda (the traditional Indian medical practice), wildlife,
traditional cuisines, classical and folk art and dance forms, unique artefacts and a
distinctive style of architecture (Kelly and Kokkranikal, 2010). Tourism was therefore
identified as a major economic development alternative. This recognition triggered a
series of tourism development and promotional activities in the late 1980s (Kerala
State Planning Board, 2011).
In the second half of the 1980s, a raft of initiatives to tap the tourism potential of the
state was introduced. Tourism was given an industry status in 1986, thus making the
sector eligible for all public sector incentives and concessions that were extended to
other industries. This was followed by the announcement of significant investment,
particularly in tourism infrastructure, and the announcement of a number of
performance incentives for the tourism industry. Some of the public sector
interventions taken during this time include the establishment of a new tourism
training institute, Kerala Institute of Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS) in 1988;
formation of District Tourism Promotion Councils in all fourteen districts, to
decentralise tourism efforts and make it more spatially sensitive; a year-long
campaigning for tourism awareness in 1992 to increase public awareness of tourism
related issues; organisation of familiarisation tours for overseas travel trade and
media and the development of international airport at Kochi as a cooperative venture.
Strategically, these programmes, projects and interventions served to elevate and
proclaim tourism as a high profile sector for private investment.
The late nineties and early twenties saw Kerala significantly benefitting from private
sector investment in tourism. Public-private joint ventures with leading hotel chains in
the country were launched by the setting up of Tourist Resorts Kerala Limited (TRKL)
for the purpose. The Department of Tourism also publishes an annual calendar of
indigenous cultural festivals and have been organising the Grant Kerala Shopping
Festival (GKSF) annually since 2001. The state participated in major international
tourism trade fairs and has organised a trade fair of its own - the Kerala Travel Mart -
since 2000. This period also saw the identification and promotion of a specialised
13
14
niche market in health (ayurveda) tourism by supporting traditional practitioners of
ayurveda and health resorts through standardisation, education, training and
marketing programmes.
The decline of Kashmir as a major tourist destination (due to the India-Pakistan
conflict in the area) indirectly helped Kerala (Kokkranikal and Morrison, 2002). The
state took this opportunity to present itself as an attractive and viable alternate tourist
location thus attracting national government budgetary support. Kerala tourism is
now widely acclaimed as one of the successful marketing stories in Indian tourism
(Chakravarti, 2001). The state has won the national award for the ‘best performing
state in the tourism sector several times and has been hailed as ‘the undisputed
tourism hotspot of India' (Charkavarti, 2001). Tourism statistics from the mid-80s
onwards has consequently seen a quadrupling of arrivals.
With all the boosterism evident in tourism policy and promotion, Kerala inevitably has
also suffered from the down-side of tourism. Tourism destinations have suffered from
problems such as littering and pollution resulting in adverse environmental impacts;
social issues such as drug trafficking, commercial sex exploitation involving men,
women, and children have arisen (Kokkranikal and Morrison, 2002); displacement of
local inhabitants and competition for resources and infrastructure have surfaced; and
indigenous cultural attractions such as Kathakali (a form of dance drama), theyyam
(a religious festival celebrated in North Kerala temples), and other similar temple
festivals have been packaged as tourist products, leading to concerns of
commodification of traditional living practices. Resentment has thus grown amongst
the general public with increasing concerns about the pressure exerted by tourists,
on the sometimes already over-stretched infrastructure and resources in the state
(Kokkranikal, 1993). With the development of new destinations and consequent
increase in marketing activities, the number of tourists to the state is only likely to
increase.
The above pressures and public discontent has now induced the Government to
adopt the concept of ‘responsible tourism’ as a way forward. The implementation of
the concept in Kerala has however taken on a character and tone that is specific to
Kerala and its development history. In the next section, we detail how this particular
initiative in Kerala takes on a place based, community mediated dimension in
Kumarakom, in Kerala.
14
15
Responsible tourism in Kerala
A concerted effort to implement responsible tourism began with a state level
consultation on the subject organised by the Department of Tourism, Government of
Kerala, in association with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism and
EQUATIONS (a non-government activist organisation and ‘hard’ campaigner on
tourism related issues) organised at Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital, on the 2nd
and 3rd of February, 2007. Discussions were conducted in three sub-groups
consisting of 1) Local self governments and civil society organisations; 2) Tourism
industry and 3) State Government Departments and organisations. A series of
economic, socio-cultural and environmental issues were identified by each of these
sub-groups which were in turn captured in a workshop document that eventually led
to the preparation of a framework for the implementation of responsible tourism. A
‘State Level Responsible Tourism Committee (SLRTC) emerged from this consisting
of 40 members with representation from different groups of stakeholders.
In the first meeting of SLRTC it was decided that the responsible tourism initiative
should be piloted in four different types of destinations in Kerala, all chosen for their
importance as tourism destinations, but differing in tourist volumes and the ecological
sensitivity of the destinations. These were to be Kovalam (near saturated, coastal
destination), Kumarakom (ecological fragile backwaters destination), Wayanad
(dispersed settlement pattern and hill resort destination) and Thekkady (contained
settlement pattern and hill resort destination). Three state-level multi-stakeholder
Working Groups were then constituted for steering economic, environmental and
socio-cultural aspects of tourism management in these destinations. At local level,
multi-stakeholder Destination Level Responsible Tourism Committees (DLRTCs) and
local level implementation cells consisting of working groups that mirrored the state
level working groups were to be formed under the local government. The DLRTCs
were to have representatives from local self governments, tourism industry, NGOs,
civil society organizations, academia and media. Additionally, organizations and
individuals professing expertise in a range of subject areas of relevance to the
management of tourism were also to be members. While the state level committees
worked on preparation of guidelines for responsible tourism at destinations, local
committees were to work on the specificities of implementing the guidelines in
locations. Thus, the initiatives though supported by the state tourism department,
were to be formulated by local governments through destination level planning,
implementation and monitoring. Figure 2 below shows the proposed overall
organisational structure for the implementation of responsible tourism.
15
16
Figure: 2: Proposed organisational layout for the implementation of Responsible
Tourism in Kerala (adapted from http://www.keralatourism.org/rt-impactsocial.php
(accessed 22nd October, 2011)
It is worth noting here that the Kerala Declaration for responsible tourism was
working with a rather diffuse definition. For instance, the Kerala Declaration on
Responsible tourism co-signed by the Conference Convenor Dr Harold Goodwin and
the State Secretary for Tourism Affairs Dr Venu, pledges to ‘take forward the concept
of Responsible Tourism into practice, focusing on local economy, well being, local
culture and environment’ (Goodwin and Venu, 2008). Further the document declares
that ‘one of the purposes of responsible tourism is that the benefits of tourism are
equitably accessed and distributed’ (Goodwin and Venu, 2008).
A major impetus for the responsible tourism initiative came when links were
established to the Kudumbashree programme. As mentioned earlier, eradication of
poverty through facilitation and development of entrepreneurial skills amongst
women while contributing to local economic development through programme
‘convergence’ is a strong mandate of the Kudumbashree programme. The federated
16
17
Kudumbashree units are also, by and large, a politically and socially forceful
presence in most local government endeavours throughout the state. For the
Kudumbashree programme, the responsible tourism initiatives held the potential for
opening up markets for goods and services that in turn could be a spur for local
entrepreneurship development and thereby poverty alleviation. Marketing of produce
and services to various extents had always been an Achilles heel for the
Kudumbashree entrepreneurial units (Oommen, 2008, Pat, 2005). The responsible
tourism programme was therefore of great interest to them (Venu, 2008).
In the state level workshop conducted in February, 2007 (mentioned earlier), a series
of issues in engaging with responsible tourism practices were identified. From the
rather large list of issues local food procurement by tourism providers and local level
facilitation of the same, were taken up for detailed investigation. Kerala Institute of
Tourism and Travel Studies (KITTS) detailed the problems in this sector through a
survey of issues in local food procurement for hotels in the four destinations chosen.
From this study, it emerged that hoteliers though in principle willing to procure food
locally, had a number of concerns that would have to be addressed if local
procurement was to become a reality. These were:
Produce requirements in practice were not steady throughout the year and supply
chains would have to cater to this variability. Sudden spurts in demand were not
uncommon and timeliness of supply would be needed.
Acceptable prices needed to be negotiated. In some instance, local procurement
could be more expensive with prices lower outside the locality.
Quality control of food produce was of prime importance.
Local food producers often were very small entities and hoteliers could engage in
one to one transactions with each producer (Venu, 2008).
A strategy to address the above concerns was then needed. Detailing of such a
strategy, as well of initiation of other initiatives in line with the spirit of responsible
tourism, was left to the local governments at the destinations chosen. In the next
section we detail the initiatives taken up in one destination Kumarakom. This
destination was chosen as it is widely acknowledged as ‘successful’ within Kerala.
Responsible Tourism in Kumarakom
17
18
Kumarakom is largely a rural society with an agrarian economy. It is located on the
banks of the Vembanad Lake in South Kerala and covers an area of 51.66 square
kilometers of which 24.13 square kilometres are part of the backwaters leaving just
27.54 kilometres for human habitation and farming (Shyamlal, 2008). Paddy fields
make up almost 12.5 square kilometers. The total population of the area is around
24,900 (Shyamlal, 2008) and the main occupation of the population before the
advent of tourism was agriculture, fisheries, daily wage labour and shell-mining from
the backwaters. The place is known for its backwaters, paddy fields, mangroves, bird
sanctuary and intrinsic inland water canals, all of which constitute a fragile
backwaters ecosystem. The vast Vembanad Lake forms an integral part of this
ecosystem and at Kumarakom this is capitalised as a significant tourist attraction.
Tourism became a significant economic sector in Kumarakom in the early 1990s after
one of India’s leading hotel chains – the Taj Goup – leased a heritage resort in 1989
from the Government of Kerala (Equations, 2007; Sebastian and Rajagopalan,
2008). This eventually led to a spontaneous (rather than planned) growth of tourism,
characterised by expensive hotels/resorts for high-spending tourists, significant
conversion of paddy fields to high value resort sites with consequent ecological
impacts, spiralling land prices, restricted access to the lake for the local population,
unwelcome socio-sexual intrusions by tourists and minimal local involvement in the
economic aspects of tourism (Sebastian and Rajagopalan, 2011).
The first initiative to address problems arising from tourism in the location came in
2002, when the Panchayat (rural local self –government in India) sought help from
EQUATIONS (a Bangalore based activist organisation campaigning on tourism
related issues), and other locally active civil organisations to formulate a ‘People’s
Charter and Draft Guidelines on Sustainable Tourism’. The Charter demanded the
preparation of a Master Plan for tourism development; proposed regulations for new
constructions and tourism related activities; protested against the enclavisation and
exploitation of common resources, demanded effective allocation of costs of tourism
to the industry itself; better distribution of the benefits from tourism and increased
participation of the local community. Debate and public discussions on the social
obligations of tourism industry and its corporate accountability were thus discernible
quite early. The Charter also demanded the creation of institutional forums such as
an expert committee to conceptualise, plan, implement and monitor tourism
development within the Panchayat (Kerala Tourism Watch, n.d, Padmanabhan and
18
19
Georgey, n.d). However, not much in terms of change on the ground resulted from
this (Padmanabhan and Georgey, n.d).
By 2004, the Grama Panchayat constituted an institutional forum called the
‘Functional Committee’ on tourism. The President (elected leader) and Secretary
(chief executive officer) of the Kumarakom Grama Panchayat were to be the
Chairperson and Secretary of the Committee. Other members were all elected
Panchayat members, people with knowledge and expertise in tourism, District Town
Planning Officer, environmentalists, economists, local NGOs and representatives
from the tourism industry. The committee was charged with the implementation of the
People’s Charter and the monitoring of tourism activities. Though initial discussions
on the various aspects were held, the committee was subsequently dissolved with
the dissolution of the then Panchayat (Kerala Tourism Watch, n.d).
In 2005, in an effort to regulate some of the unbridled tourism activity, the state
government declared the area as a ‘Special Tourism Zone’ (along the lines of special
economic zones) under the Kerala Tourism (Conservation and Preservation of Areas)
Act 2005 (Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, 2005a). Though guidelines
for the conservation and preservation of Kumarakom were issued under this
Ordinance (Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, 2005b), Sebastian and
Rajagopalan (2008) report that they were not yet implemented in 2007. However,
though the functional committees no longer existed, tourism related activities were
taken up by a civil forum. The civil forum was essentially a collective of civil society
movements, individuals and people’s groups (Kerala Tourism Watch, 2007). This
forum was active in campaigning (sometimes successfully) against issues such as
reclamation of land from backwaters for parking space; illegal sand mining and
environmental pollution. It demanded action on (again effectively) violation of building
rules; declaration of the bird sanctuary area as a ‘community conserve’; reservation
of 30% of jobs for the local population and closure of illegal massage parlours
(Kerala Tourism Watch, n.d.). Thus even though public awareness on tourism related
issues was strengthening in Kumarakom, the potential for institutionalised broad
based economic leveraging while safeguarding the ecological and social assets had
not yet been effectively realised before the responsible tourism initiative.
The lack of effective institutionalisation earlier meant that the responsible tourism
initiatives that were initiated by the Kerala State Government in December, 2007 did
not inspire much hope locally. As a first step therefore, the Panchayat, together with
19
20
officials from the state Government, organised a local meeting in order to explain the
programme, the schedule for implementation and introduce the key players in the
initiative (Michot, 2010). Following the survey by KITTS mentioned earlier, the
Destination Level Responsible Tourism Committee Cell (RT Cell) first worked on a
strategy for encouraging local procurement by resorts. Some of the key elements of
such a strategy involved
Selected ranges of food produce would be targeted at first.
Food production beyond tourism would also be targeted by including the local
population in order to ensure both spare production for hotels at all times and
enough demand for excess supply).
Dedicated brokering units facilitated by the local government would be
established to address timeliness, quality control, fair price guarantees and
access to resources (finance, land and skills).
An agricultural calendar for the locality was then prepared. This calendar mapped out
the local demand from the resorts for specific produces at different times of the year
and 18 hotels and resorts were cajoled (through state and local influence) into
signing up to an agreement to purchase produces exclusively from the farmers of the
locality (Michon,2010; Interview 2011).
The KITTS study had also identified groups of people in the locality that were
economically struggling the most. Kudumbashree units of 5 members were then
constituted from these groups for the cultivation of the food produces chosen. 180
such groups involving 900 women were formed with land for cultivation earmarked
and fertilizers and seeds supplied by the Panchayat. Fallow land for cultivation was
found through a household survey and physical reconnaissance survey. It is reported
that paddy cultivation in 55 acres of and vegetable cultivation in 30 acres resulted.
Further, 612 homestead farmers were motivated to take up vegetable cultivation.
Organic farming practices were encouraged. The resource mapping exercise also
identified 26 un-used ponds, 20 of which were restored as fish farms and 6 were
restored for lotus cultivation. Initially (in 2008) 11 produces from the units were
supplied to the hotels, which in 2010 has grown to 45 produces. It is estimated that at
present around one third of the population of the village is involved in the production
and sale of agricultural produce (Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, n.d).
20
21
Other initiatives that were also started under the responsible tourism initiative were
the development of microenterprises in souvenir units; the formation of art and
culture groups by women and children in a number of traditional art forms;
development of calendars of local festivals and celebrations that could be used for
marketing and promotion by industry partners; development of tour packages of
village life and experiences; environmental protection through the promotion of eco-
bags instead of plastic bags; mangrove regeneration and control of backwater
pollution; energy saving initiatives through the development of local green
certification; and use of energy efficient street lighting. Further, a grass root level
community generated multifaceted resource mapping (containing information on
different kinds of resources including that of art and culture), and a destination labour
directory were completed to help with planning (Department of Tourism, Government
of Kerala, n.d). The clientele for all of these initiatives are the tourists that come to
the numerous privately owned tourist resorts in the area.
Michon (2010) reports that the responsible tourism has had real and quantifiable
results on the ground. He lists these as
“Significant increase in local agricultural production
Creation of a cultivation calendar
Creation of systems for steady prices to avoid inflation and market
fluctuations
Creation of 10 Karshakasamity (farmers groups), with a total of 460 people
Creation of 20 Kudumbashree units, with a total of 250 women
Creation of 5 Micro Enterprises focused on women
o1 women fish processing unit
o1 women chicken processing unit
o1 women Chappathy (local bread) processing unit
o2 coconut supply units” (Michon, 2010, p.10)
Michon (2010) further reports that the responsible tourism initiative has led to the
involvement of 760 women in the cultivation of local produce, 35 in retail activities, 30
in art and cultural groups, and 45 in the village tours. In line with overall
Kudumbashree aims, the responsible tourism initiative has significantly contributed to
an overall social agenda for women’s empowerment too.
21
22
The initiative at Kumarakom is largely acknowledged within policy circles and
practitioner circles, both locally and more widely within the state, as a success. It is
therefore useful to deconstruct the case study and analyse its contribution to not just
practice, but also academic debates around the notion of responsible tourism.
Sustainability, the CSR agenda and responsible tourism
The responsible tourism initiative in Kumarakom as detailed above can be seen as
broad based and incorporating elements of a wide range of tourism sub-strands -
pro-poor tourism, community participation in tourism and integrated tourism - that are
normatively promoted within debates and discussions on sustainable tourism. In this
section we present our case for positioning the concept of responsible tourism and
linking it to the CSR agenda in tourism.
Corporate Social Responsibility can be defined as ‘actions that appear to further
some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law’
(Mc Williams and Siegal, 2001, p.117). Carroll (1991) suggests a pyramid of
Corporate Social Responsibility wherein four different motivations for businesses to
engage with CSR practices are identified. The first of these - the economic
responsibility is the base upon which the other three legal responsibility, ethical
responsibility and philanthropic responsibility rests. This then suggests that while
economic sustainability is a fundamental motive, other motivations can also feed into
it thereby strengthening the corporation social responsibility agenda of a firm.
Further, Nicolau (2008) and Sheldon and Park, (2012) argue that when concern for
the long-term overrides concerns for the short–term, CSR becomes a more viable
strategy for firms. Many international (see the initiatives of the United Nations Global
Contact and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises) and national
organisations (see the Responsible Tourism Manual for South Africa, 2002) have
attempted to encourage adoption of CSR practices through the creation of standards.
However, as Sheldon and Park (2012, 394) note, these remain as voluntary
guidelines and ‘the various agencies authoring these initiatives are challenged to
transition voluntary guidelines into meaningful and widely adopted action’.
Studies on the actual adoption of CSR practices as opposed to intentions show a
very low translation rate. For instance, Sheldon and Park (2012) report that the
McKinsey Quarterly Survey of 2008 show that only 30% of those who supported CSR
in principle had actually taken any action. Results from Center for Corporate
22
23
Citizenship at Boston College (2007) are also reported as similar, though less drastic.
Henderson (2007) suggests that the nature of tourism and travel operations is such
that an additional layer of complexity is added as society is part of the product on
offer. The relationship of the industry to the environment and society is therefore
necessarily different. In spite of this, the capacity of tourism to adversely affect
multiple dimensions of society and the environment is rather well known.
Nevertheless, he argues that there is a potential positive impact that tourism can
deliver in destinations which is closely related to concepts of sustainability. But he
distinguishes between these two:
The principles of sustainable development have much in common with those of CSR and
the terms are sometimes used interchangeably. A company pursuing sustainable tourism
is, by definition, socially responsible while CSR incorporates some of the fundamental
tenets of sustainability. However, sustainable development seeks to embrace all the
participants in the development process and give equal weight to their voices. CSR
maintains a company perspective and questions of profitability remain at the forefront,
not to be eclipsed by social and environmental agendas. Sustainable development
implies a deeper and broader commitment and is part of a debate which is relevant to
most areas of human endeavour and informs private and public sector actions. In
comparison, CSR pertains only to industry members and covers a particular and
voluntary aspect of activity. It therefore occupies a position near the weaker pole of the
sustainability spectrum and should be assessed within the context of that discourse
(Henderson , 2007, 231).
We suggest that ‘responsible tourism’ could be the bridging concept that connects
the CSR agenda in tourism business practice to the wider sustainability agenda. If it
is to perform as a bridging concept, it must then retain the width of the sustainability
debate – incorporating a diverse range of actors and agendas – while refocusing this
on facilitative and complementary practices, provisioning of public goods, and
provision of regulatory limits that allow the private sector to reach its optimum
potential. This will then involve creative ways of planning and must include the design
of innovative mechanisms that have the dual purpose of achieving sustainability and
industry viability. Studies of CSR adoption in the travel and tourism sector is, in
general, ‘somewhat sparse’ (Sheldon and Park, 2012, 394), and case study reports
of the same are even more so. The case of Kumarakom is, we suggest, a
paradigmatic case study that embodies certain principles for the operationalisation of
‘responsible tourism’ in destinations. We discuss these principles and their
associated policy implications in the next section.
23
24
Operationalising responsible tourism: Policy implications
In this section we engage with four non-prescriptive principles for operationalising
responsible tourism. They are non-prescriptive, in the sense that the elements that
make up these principles will vary from case study to case study, yet they are
principles as care and attention must be given to ensure the presence and
operationalisation of these components in most situations. In other words, the
principles are not to be used as prescriptive dictums that would hold true in all
situations, but emerge as significant markers in achieving responsible tourism. We
discuss the importance of coercion, information flow, local embeddedness and local
leadership in this section.
In Kumarakom, the knowledge, capability and the will for action for responsible
tourism practices were not present initially within the industry, the state government
or the local government. The issue gained political/official prominence through
generalised awareness gained through the active campaigning of civil society
movements and NGOs engaged in oppositional politics which also resonated with
lived experiences in the locality. Once a political space was opened at state level
(arguably through the accumulation of such oppositional politics), the
bureaucratic/regulatory power of the state became available for implementation.
Michon (2010) highlights how the implementation of the responsible tourism initiative
was fraught with non-compliance from industry partners at the start (in spite of a
written agreement) due to higher costs of local produce. It was the personal
involvement and unwavering insistence of top-level bureaucrats that finally coerced
the industry partners to compliance and cooperation in the early days. Once
implementation was streamlined, industry partners started to reap the tangible
(product diversification and enhancement of tourist experience) and intangible (good-
will of community, better tourist-host relations and better linkages with regulators)
benefits which then could lead to the longer term sustainability of the venture.
The productive value of socially accepted value based coercion has to be therefore
acknowledged. This may emanate from civil society, government hierarchy,
consensus amongst industry partners or combinations of the above depending upon
the specificities of the destination. Further as we have seen good intentions need not
always translate into practice. The presence of coercion nudges good intentions in
CSR practices towards higher levels of CSR adoption by helping overcome real and
imagined risk barriers. Real and imagined risk can arise because of both increased
capital and recurring expenditure (high prices for local produces in the case of
24
25
Kumarakom) and also the need for change in business practices (delinking form
existing supply chains) resulting in uncertainty and consequent inertia. However if the
coercive mechanism can be streamlined into intrinsic motivational mechanisms the
longer-term sustainability can arise from changed business practices which in turn
could result in much less active regulation.
Though coercion is highlighted as a necessary principle to get responsible tourism
practices off the ground, these must remain socially accepted and value based.
There is a vast literature around the why and how of collaborative planning which
elaborates on the process of stakeholder interests and consensus formation to arrive
at socially accepted value based agreement (Healey, 1998, 1999, Innes, 2004,
Forester, 2006). Theoretically speaking, if due process has been followed, the need
for coercion should not exist. However, the daily grind of business practices for small
and medium businesses (which make up the bulk of tourist sector in most locations)
may not allow for extensive and exhaustive participation except on the most serious
of issues. Also all firms may not be always present. In Kumarakom for instance, only
the major actors and players in all three sectors were invited for the consultative
workshop. However, this served as a focus group representing broad based interests
in tourism, which then fed into identification of information gaps, design of institutional
forums and the formulation of generic policy guidelines for responsible tourism.
Information gathering practices such as carefully designed surveys, the KITTS
survey on difficulties in local procurement in Kumarakom for instance, can also help
in gathering information from more diverse groups such as small and medium firms
or identifying target populations such as the economically backward families in a
location. Directions of information flow and ensuring that interested parties are part of
the decision making process through a variety of means is therefore vital.
A focus on place has been claimed to have the potential to promote intersectoral
joined up thinking (Healey, 1999). This is because local embeddedness admits the
specificity of information required for evaluating and appropriating the strengths and
weaknesses of particular initiatives within a meaningful framework of solving or
creating problems. This allows the sorting and recognition of complementarities and
gaps in policy formulation thus enabling appropriate ‘bundling’ of policy initiatives.
Given that responsible tourism initiatives (and CSR initiatives in general) are geared
towards wider impacts of industry on society, the absence of place focus can
potentially result in the loss of information specificity needed for ‘truly’ responsible
initiatives and the loss of meaningfulness in terms of addressing an acknowledged
problem. This then has the potential to affect not just the initial uptake of the
25
26
responsible tourism initiative, but can also affect the intrinsic worth of the initiative
with consequent impacts on the sustainability of the initiative. Low uptake of
voluntary generic guidelines for CSR practices mentioned earlier are, we suggest,
partially explained by the lack of such local embeddedness.
Kumarakom shows the mobilisation of destination level initiatives that are informed
by local place-specific renderings of problems which in turn can draw upon the lived
experiences of a broad based (including marginalised) section of the population. All
sorts of knowledge experiential, tacit, codified and ethical can be more easily
accessed when policy and practice formulation is local, making them more
meaningful and problem oriented. It must be remembered that much of the activity in
conducting transect walks, identifying fallow land, training and project formulation
were mobilised through voluntary work of local actors. This broad based involvement
can itself serve as a coercive/seductive force on industry appealing to both the
business logic and civic/philanthropic motivations leading to long term sustainability.
Local embeddedness also can mobilise important networking power and improved
shared understandings. However, while these can be viewed as testimony to the
mobilising power of ‘meaning’ attributed to action in local place based interventions, it
is also testimony to a public awareness and civic responsibility that needs to be
already present or alternately built up.
The realisation of the breadth of impacts that responsible tourism implies will depend
not just upon an active and intervening civil society, but will necessarily also require
an informed and proactive local government with capacity for local leadership. The
results obtained in the survey conducted in Kumarakom report that business
managers found that there were too many constraints in the environment (local food
procurement for instance) which disempowered translation of positive intentions of
business managers into responsible tourism practices. Due partly to the
decentralised governance ethos of the Kerala state, the local government could step
in and act as a leader/facilitator to manage the perceived constraints in the
environment. Further, though the structure of the Kudumbashree units existed even
before the responsible tourism initiative, the supply side (products from
Kudumbashree micro-enterprises) had not found the demand side (tourism industry
outlets) automatically. The relative marginalisation of the women and poor women in
particular, could partially account for this. The intervention and helping hand of the
local state is thus imperative if the productivity of marginalised labour is to be non-
exploitatively joined up with the consumption needs of tourists. The local state must
then act as an adept co-ordinator, facilitator, negotiator and problem-solver. An
26
27
enabling governance climate that allows the local state to function on these lines is
thus essential.
We have above argued that the policy implications from the Kumarakom case study
suggest that coercion, information flow, local embeddedness and local leadership are
generic non-prescriptive, yet essential principles for the sustained implementation of
responsible tourism initiatives. It must be said here that these are by no the only
determining factors for the success of responsible tourism. For instance, the success
of responsible tourism may also be mediated by place specific features such as the
relative maturity of the tourism industry in the location (problems deeply embedded
for more mature tourism locations thus requiring increased levels of sustained
resources and sophistication in policy formulation), the type of tourism (eco-tourism,
health tourism, plantation tourism, etc each of which are different in their outward
orientation) the nature of the place (urban/rural/tribal), etc to name only a few. These
are agendas for future research. However, following a realist ontology, we believe
that regardless of differences in empirical manifestation (due to some of the factors
listed above), the arguments for paying attention to coercion, information flow, local
embeddedness and local leadership will still be relevant.
Conclusions
In this paper we have examined the concept of responsible tourism that has now
started appearing in the tourism literature. We reviewed some of the ways in which
the term has been used within tourism studies and suggested that the term has come
to signify everything, resulting in a blurring of the added conceptual contribution that
can be claimed of it. Instead we suggested that the practical use of the term in areas
where it has been adopted (such as South Africa and Kerala for instance) suggests a
rather restricted use. We identified this as the tourism sector specific manifestation of
the CSR agenda.
While writings around responsible tourism are available and declarations of intentions
and guidelines for implementing these are also available within tourism, not many
case study based exemplars have been reported. We see this as a gap for as argued
by Flyvbverg (2006) exemplars are necessary for a domain of knowledge to
progress. The importance of a ‘paradigmatic case study’ becomes then relevant and
we proposed that the case study of Kumarakom could be conceived as such as
paradigmatic case study.
27
28
Discussion of the case study, first traced the particular governance context of Kerala
and the position of tourism in the state economy. The responsible tourism initiatives
at state level, and local level were then described highlighting the ‘how’ of the
implementation and the impact that it produced. Generic, non-prescriptive principles
that could be said to be necessary in some form for the successful translation of
responsible tourism principles to practices were then identified. These are coercion,
information flow, local embeddedness and local leadership mobilised and realised in
a dialectic tension of tolerance and confrontation. Such an approach is contrasted
with one that places faith in the voluntary adoption of ‘responsible’ practices by the
private sector on its own. Responsible tourism then can still make a contribution to
practice provided that the conceptual terrain is delineated against other forms of
tourism and research within the terrain seeks to unpack the particular forms of
challenges that are thrown up by the delineation itself.
References:
Alberta Declaration (2011) Alberta Declaration on Responsible Tourism in
Destinations, International Centre for Responsible Tourism – Canada, Retrieved
March 23, 2012, from http://icrtcanada.ca/?p=230
Ashley, C., Roe, D. and Goodwin, H. (2001) Pro-Poor Tourism Strategies: making
tourism work for the poor. Pro-Poor Tourism Report No.1 (April) for the Overseas
Development Institute, London. Nottingham: Russell Press.
Blackstock, K. (2005) A critical look at community based tourism Community
Development Journal, 40(1), 39-49
BITC (2003) Why become a responsible business? retrieved February 12, 2012, from:
http://www.bitc.org.uk/issues/why_become_a_responsible_business/index.html
Bohdanowicz P. (2005), European hoteliers’ environmental attitudes: Greening
the business. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 46 (2), 188-
204
Bohdanowicz P. (2007), A case study of Hilton Environmental Reporting as a tool
of Corporate Social Responsibility. Tourism Review International 11(2), 115-131
Bond, P (2008) Social movement and corporate social responsibility in South
Africa Development and Change, 39, 1037-52.
28
29
Butler, R (1990) Alternative Tourism: Pious Hope or Trojan Horse? Journal of
Travel Research, 28(3), 40-45
Cape Town Declaration (2002) Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism,
Cape Town Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations – August 2002,
Retrieved on March 22, 2012, from
http://www.capetown.gov.za/en/tourism/Documents/Responsible
%20Tourism/Toruism_RT_2002_Cape_Town_Declaration.pdf
Carroll, A, B (1991) The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the
Moral Management of Organizational Stakeholders. Business Horizons 34 (4),
39-48.
Cater, E. (1993) Ecotourism in the Third World: Problems for sustainable tourism
development, Tourism Management, 14 (2), 85–90
Cawley, M and Gillmor, D.A. (2008) Integrated rural tourism: Concepts and
Practice, Annals of Tourism Research, 35 (2), 316-337
Chakravarti, S (2001, January 29), God’s Acre, India Today. Retrieved July 21,
2009, from http://www.india-today.com/itoday/20010129/cover.shtml
Chettiparamb, A. (2005) 'Fractal spaces in planning and governance' Town
Planning Review, Volume 76(3), 317-340
Chettiparamb, A. (2006) 'Bottom-up Planning and the Future of Planning
Education in India' Journal of Planning Education and Research, Volume 26(2):
185-194.
Chettiparamb, A (2011) Kudumbashree Project, Kerala, India: A Meta-governance
analysis, World Planning Schools Conference. Perth, 3rd - 9th July.
Cohen, E. (1987) Alternative tourism - a critique. Tourism Recreation Research,
12(2), 13-18
Cooper, C. P. and Ozdil, I. (1992). ‘From mass to 'responsible' tourism: The
Turkish experience.’ Tourism Management, 13(4): 377-386
Cowton, C, J (1998) The Use of Secondary data in Business Ethics research.
Journal of Business Ethics, 17 (4), 423-434.
DEAT (1996) White Paper on the Development and Promotion Of Tourism In
South Africa, Department Of Environmental Affairs And Tourism, Government Of
South Africa. Retrieved July 21, 2011, from
http://www.environment.gov.za/PolLeg/WhitePapers/tourism96.htm
29
30
DEAT (2002). Guidelines for Responsible Tourism Development. Pretoria:
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
de Kadt, E. (1979). Tourism: Passport to development. Oxford, Oxford University
Press.
Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala (n.d.) Responsible Tourism – The
Update. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from http://www.keralatourism.org/rt-
keralaupdate.php
Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala (2005a) ‘Kerala Tourism
(Conservation and Preservation of Areas) Act 2005’. Retrieved November 11,
2011 from http://www.keralatourism.org/tourismact.php
Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, (2005b) ‘Guidelines for
Conservation and preservation: Special Tourism Zone, Kumarakom’. Retrieved
November 11, 2011, from www. keralatourism .org/ tourismzone / Kumarakom .doc
Dodds, R. and Joppe, M. (2005). CSR in the Tourism Industry? A Value-Chain
Approach. New York: World Bank.
Equations (2007) Vembanad Lake and Tourism. Retrieved November 11, 2011,
from http://www.equitabletourism.org/files/fileDocuments378_uid10.pdf.
Flyvberg, B (2006) Five misunderstandings about case-study research.
Qualitative Inquiry, 12(2), 219-245.
Forester, J (2006) Making Participation Work When Interests Conflict: Moving
from Facilitating Dialogue and Moderating Debate to Mediating Negotiations.
Journal of the American Planning Association, 72 (4), 447-456.
Franke, R. and Chasin, B.H (1997) Power to the Malayalee People, Economic
and Political Weekly. 32 (48), 3061-3068
George, R. And Frey, N. (2010) Responsible tourism management: Using social
marketing to create positive change, South Africa Journal of Business
Management, 41(1), 11-23.
George, T.J.S. (Ed.) (1997) India at 50, Chennai: Express Publications (Madurai)
Ltd,
Goodwin, H. (2011) Taking Responsibility for Tourism, Oxford: Goodfellow
Publications
30
31
Goodwin, H and Venu, V (2008) Kerala Declaration on Responsible Tourism
http://www.responsibletourism2008.org/keraladeclaration.php. Accessed 28th
April, 2012.
Government of South Africa (1996) ‘The Development and Promotion of Tourism
in South Africa’ Retrieved November 11, 2011, from
http://www.info.gov.za/whitepapers/1996/tourism.htm#3.4
Hall, C.M. (2008) Pro-Poor Tourism: Do ‘Tourism Exchanges Benefit Primarily the
Countries of the South’? Current Issues in Tourism, 10 (2-3), 111-118
Harrison, D. (2008) Pro-poor tourism: a critique, Third World Quarterly, 29(5),
851-868
Healey, P (1999) Institutionalist analysis, communicative planning and shaping
places. Journal of Planning Education and Research.19, 111-121.
Heller, P (1996) Social capital as a product of class mobilization and state
intervention: Industrial workers in Kerala, India. World Development, 24(6), 1055-
1071.
Heller, P, Harilal, K, N and Choudhuri, S (2007) Building Local Democracy:
Evaluating the Impact of Decentralization in Kerala, India, World Development 35
(4), 626-648.
Henderson, J, C (2007) Corporate social responsibility and tourism: Hotel
companies in Phuket, Thailand, after the Indian Ocean tsunami. Hospitality
Management, 26 (1), 228–239
Higgins-Desbiolles (2010) The Elusiveness of Sustainability in Tourism: The
Culture-Ideology of Consumerism and its Implications, Tourism and Hospitality
Research, 10(2), 116-115
Idemudia, U (2011) Corporate Social Responsibility and developing countries:
moving the critical CSR agenda in Africa forward. Progress in Development
Studies, 11(1), 1-18.
Innes, J, E (2004) Consensus building: Clarifications for the critics. Planning
Theory, 3(1) 5-20.
Inoue, Y and Lee, S (2010) Effects of different dimensions of corporate social
responsibility on corporate financial performance in tourism-related industries.
Tourism Management, 32(4), 790-804.
31
32
Isaac, T.M. and Franke, R.W. (2000) Local Democracy and Development:
People’s Planning for Decentralized Planning in Kerala. New Delhi, India: Left
Word.
Kerala Declaration (2008) The Kerala Declaration on Responsible Tourism,
Retrieved March 22, 2012, from
http://www.responsibletourism2008.org/keraladeclaration.php
Kerala State Planning Board (2011) Economic Review 2010. Retrieved
November 11, 2011 from http://spb.kerala.gov.in/index.php/economic-review/er-
2010.html
Kerala Tourism Watch (2007) Forum Kerala demands Govt to stop STZs and pay
compensation to victims of irresponsible Tourism.
http://www.keralatourismwatch.org/node/12. Accessed 11th November, 2011.
Kerala Tourism Watch (n.d,a) Kumarakom – A Case study of Sustainable
Tourism. http://www.keralatourismwatch.org/node/87 Accessed 11th November,
2011.
Kelly, C. and kokkranikal, J. (2010) “The evolution and commodification of
Wellness Tourism in India: A case study of Kerala”; a conference paper for the
Tourism and Travel Research Association Conference, Budapest, Hungary, 21-23
April
Kerala State Planning Board (2011) Economic Review 2010. Retrieved
November 11, 2011, from http://spb.kerala.gov.in/index.php/economic-review/er-
2010.html
Kerala Tourism Watch (n.d,a) Kumarakom – A Case study of Sustainable
Tourism. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from
http://www.keralatourismwatch.org/node/87
Kerala Tourism Watch (2007) Forum Kerala demands Govt to stop STZs and pay
compensation to victims of irresponsible Tourism. Retrieved November 11, 2011,
from http://www.keralatourismwatch.org/node/12.
Kokkranikal, J (1993), ‘Tourism and the environment’, Kerala Calling, 13(10), .27-
39
Kokkranikal, J., and Morrison, A. (2002) ‘Entrepreneurship and sustainable
tourism: A case study of the Houseboats of Kerala’, Tourism and Hospitality
Research, The Surrey Quarterly Review. 4 (1), 7-20
32
33
Kontogeorgopoulos, N.(2009) The Temporal Relationship between Mass
Tourism and Alternative Tourism in Southern Thailand, Tourism Review
International, 13 (1),1-16
Krippendorf, J. (1987) The Holiday Makers: Understanding the Impact of Leisure
and Travel, Oxford: Butterwoth-Heinemann
Kudumbashree (n.d,a) The Mission Statement. Retrieved November 11, 2011,
from http://www.kudumbashree.org/?q=vision
Kudumbashree (n.d, b) ‘Milestones’. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from
http://www.kudumbashree.org/?q=milestones
Liu, Z.H. (2003) Sustainable Tourism Development: A Critique. Journal of
sustainable Tourism, 11 (6), 459-475.
MacLellan, L.R., (1997), ‘The Tourism and the Environment Debate: From
Idealism to Cynicism’, in Foley, M., Lennon, J. and Maxwell, G. (Eds.)
Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Management, London: Cassell.
Málovics, G. Csigéné, N. and Kraus, S. (2008) The role of corporate social
responsibility in strong sustainability. The Journal of Socio-Economics, 37(3),
907–918
McWilliams, A and Siegel, D (2001) Corporate Social responsibility: A Theory of
the Firm perspective. Academy of Management Review, 26, (1), 117-127.
Merwe, M, V, D. and Wocke, A (2007) An investigation into responsible tourism
practices in the South African hotel industry’ South African Journal of Business
Management, 38(2) 1- 15.
Michot, T (2010) ‘Pro-poor tourism in Kumarakom, Kerala, South India: Policy
Implementation and Impacts. Journal of Alternate Perspectives in the Social
Sciences. Working paper No7. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from
www.japss.org/upload/Working_Paper_no._7_March_2010_FINAL
%5B1%5D.pdf.
Middleton, V (1998) Sustainable Tourism: A Marketing Perspective, Oxford:
Butterworth- Heinemann
Miller, G. and Twining-Ward, L. (2005) Monitoring for a Sustainable Tourism
Transition: the Challenge of Developing and Using. Indicators. Oxon: CAB
International
33
34
Nicolau, J, L (2008) Corporate Social Responsibility: Worth-Creating Activities.
Annals of Tourism Research, 35 (4), 990-1006.
Oliver, T. and Jenkins, T (2003) Sustaining rural landscapes: the role of integrated
tourism, Landscape Research, 28 (3), 293-307
Oommen, M, A (2008) Micro Finance And Poverty Alleviation: The Case Of
Kerala’s Kudumbashree. Working Paper No 17. Centre for Socio-economic &
Environmental Studies (CSES), Kochi, Kerala, India. Retrieved November 11,
2011, from http://maoommen.com/images/papers/MICRO%20FINANCE%20AND
%20POVERTY%20ALLEVIATION.pdf
Padmanabhan, P, G and Georgey, K (n.d.) A World Class tourism centre & its
host community. Retrieved November 11, 2011, from
http://www.kumarakomvillage.com/a-world-class-tourism-centre-its-host-
community/
Parayil, G (ed) (2000) Kerala – The Development Experience. Reflections on
Sustainability and Replicability. Zed Books. London.
Pat, A, K (2005) Kudumbashree – A Poverty Eradication Mission in Kerala.
Economic and Political Weekly, November 26th, 4989 – 4991.
Pearce, J.A., Doh, J.P. (2005). The high impact of collaborative social initiatives.
Sloan Management Review 46(3), 29–39.
Scheyvens, R and Momsen, J.H. (2008) Tourism and Poverty Reduction: Issues
for Small Island States, Tourism Geographies, 10 (1), 22-41
Sebastian, L, M and Rajagopalan, P (2009) Socio-cultural transformations
through tourism: a comparison of residents’ perspectives at two destinations in
Kerala, India. Journal of Tourism and Cultural Change, 7(1), 5-21.
Sharpley, R. (2000) Tourism and Sustainable Development: Exploring the
Theoretical Divide, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 8 (1), 1-19
Sharpley, R. (2009) Tourism Development and the Environment: Beyond
Sustainability, London: Earthscan
Sheldon, P, J and Park, S-Y (2012) An Exploratory Study of Corporate Social
Responsibility in the US Travel Industry. Journal of Travel Research, 50(4), 392-
407
Shyamlal G.S (2008) Carrying Capacity Study of Coastal Tourism in Kumarakom,
Kerala, Journal Ekonomi Bisnis, 13 (1), 1-15
34
35
Smith, V. L. (1990) Alternative/responsible tourism seminar. Annals of Tourism
Research, 17 (3), 479-480
Tharamangalam, J., (1998) The Perils of Social Development with Economic
Growth: The Development Debacle of Kerala, India, Bulletin of Concerned Asian
Scholars, 30 (1), Retrieved August 24, 2011, from
http://www.questia.com/googleScholar.qst?docId=97729156
TIES (1990) What is Ecotourism? Retrieved February 20, 2012, from
http://www.ecotourism.org/what-is-ecotourism
Tosun, C. (2001) Challenges of sustainable tourism development in the
developing world: the case of Turkey, Tourism Management, 22 (3), 289-303
Venu, V. (2008) The Kerala Responsible Tourism Initiative – A Work in Progress.
Paper presented at Incredible India 2nd International Conference – Responsible
Tourism, Kochi, India, 21-24 March. Retrieved September 27, 2011, from
http://responsibletourism2008.org/papers.php
Wall, J. (1997) Sustainable Tourism- Unsustainable Development, in Pigram, J
and Wahab, S (eds.), Tourism Development and Growth: the challenge of
sustainability’, London: Routeledge
Weeden, C (2001) Ethical tourism: An opportunity for competitive advantage?
Journal of Vacation Marketing, 8 (2), 141-153
Welford, R (1997) Hijacking environmentalism: Corporate responses to
sustainable development. Earthscan: London.
Wheeler, B. (1991). Tourism's troubled times: Responsible tourism is not the
answer. Tourism Management, 12(2), 91-96.
Wheeler, B. (1994). Ecotourism: A ruse by any other name. In C. P. Cooper and
A. Lockwood (eds.). Progress in tourism, recreation and hospitality management.
Chichester, John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Williams, G, Thampi, B, Narayana, D and Bhattacharya, D (2011) Performing
Participatory Citizenship - Politics and Power in Kerala's Kudumbashree
Programme. In Journal of Development Studies, 47(8), 1261-1280.
Williams, P., Alison, G., and Ian, P. (2007) Corporate Social Responsibility at
Tourism Destinations: Toward a Social License to Operator, Tourism Review
International, 11 (2), 133-144
35
36
Wight, P. (1993) Ecotourism: Ethics or Eco-Sell? Journal of Travel Research, 21
(3), 3-9.
Yin, R.K. (1981) The Case Study Crisis: Some Answers, Administrative Science
Quarterly, 26 (1), 58-65
36
  • ... grated tourism, community-based tourism, etc. it also demarcates an analytical realm of its own" [22]. Such types of (eco) tourism can be enabling local communities to improve their wellbeing via increased socio-economic benefits, develop belongingness, and similarly improve natural resource management [23]. ...
  • ... Semenjak saat itu, pariwisata model ini digaungkan sebagai prinsip-pripsip pembangunan yang bertemakan keberlanjutan. Prinsip ini -yang kemudian dikenal dengan istilah the three pillars atau the three elements of sustainability merupakan prinsip yang diadopsi dari pembangunan berkelanjutan (UNEP & WTO, 2005 Bramwell et al., 2008;Butler, 1995;Chettiparamb and Kokkranikal, 2012;Goodwin, 2011;Leslie, 2012bLeslie, , 2012c Budeanu, 2005;Stanford, 2008;Bramwell et al., 2008;Hall, 2012, Kusworo, 2015. Penekanan ini berarti baik masyarakat lokal, turis, penyedia amenitas pariwisata serta pemerintah lokal memiliki relasi atau nexus yang kuat dalam mewujudkan pariwisata yang bertanggung jawab. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Pariwisata saat ini memiliki masalah; relatif kecanduan pertumbuhan, yang tidak sesuai dengan tujuan keberlanjutan.Meskipun selama lebih dari tiga decade pariwisata berkelanjutan terus didengungkan sebagai bentuk ideal dari pariwisata; otoritas pariwisata di seluruh dunia tetap mempromosikan aspek-aspek pertumbuhan meskipun keterbatasan ekologis dan social telah menjadi isu strategis di banyak negara.Selain itu yang menjadi permasalahan kemudian, pariwisata seringkali dikaitkan dengan berbagai isu yang relative memiliki spectrum yang jauh dari pariwisata itu sendiri. Dengan melakukan studi literatur dari 67 artikel baik dari prosiding, jurnal nasional dan internasional, buku, serta laporan dari lembaga nasional dan internasional, artikel ini melihat bagaimana sebenarnya esensi dasar dari permasalahan utama sector ini di Indonesiaadalah overtourismdan tourism leakage.Karena itu tulisan ini berpendapat bahwa pariwisata harus dipahami dan dikelola dengan konteks keberlanjutan yang lebih luas.Rekomendasi dari tulisan ini diantaranya dibutuhkan riset-riset terbarukan seperti sustainable mobilities melalui big data sehingga beragam pendekatan untuk strategi pariwisata dapat dilihat secara real time dan menyasar langsung pada permasalahan pariwisata. ABSTRACT Tourism today has a problem. It is addicted to growth, which is incompatible with sustainability goals. Despite three decades discussing pathways to sustainable tourism, tourism authorities worlwide has continue to promote tourism growth despite the ecological and social limits of living on a finite planet. Looking to it's case to island destination in Indonesia overtourism and tourism leakage are two major problem the industry are facing.Therefore this article argues that tourism must be understood and managed with a wider context of sustainability. Additionally, strategic approaches to transitioning to a sufficiency approach to tourism and leisure is essential if sustainability is to be secured. Recommendations include Sustainable Mobilities, fostering diverse approaches to tourism strategies for development and regulating and managing tourism. An upgraded reseach in sustainable mobility through big data is reccomended to further diverse tourism strategies from approach that be analyzed in real time and directly targeted at tourism and destination problems. ABSTRAK Pariwisata saat ini memiliki masalah; relatif kecanduan pertumbuhan, yang tidak sesuai dengan tujuan keberlanjutan.Meskipun selama lebih dari tiga decade pariwisata berkelanjutan terus didengungkan sebagai bentuk ideal dari pariwisata; otoritas pariwisata di seluruh dunia tetap mempromosikan aspek-aspek pertumbuhan meskipun keterbatasan ekologis dan social telah menjadi isu strategis di banyak negara.Selain itu yang menjadi permasalahan kemudian, pariwisata seringkali dikaitkan dengan berbagai isu yang relative memiliki spectrum yang jauh dari pariwisata itu sendiri. Dengan melakukan studi literatur dari 67 artikel baik dari prosiding, jurnal nasional dan internasional, buku, serta laporan dari lembaga nasional dan internasional, artikel ini melihat bagaimana sebenarnya esensi dasar dari permasalahan utama sector ini di Indonesiaadalah overtourismdan tourism leakage.Karena itu tulisan ini berpendapat bahwa pariwisata harus dipahami dan dikelola dengan konteks keberlanjutan yang lebih luas.Rekomendasi dari tulisan ini diantaranya dibutuhkan riset-riset terbarukan seperti sustainable mobilities melalui big data sehingga beragam pendekatan untuk strategi pariwisata dapat dilihat secara real time dan menyasar langsung pada permasalahan pariwisata. ABSTRACT Tourism today has a problem. It is addicted to growth, which is incompatible with sustainability goals. Despite three decades discussing pathways to sustainable tourism, tourism authorities worlwide has continue to promote tourism growth despite the ecological and social limits of living on a finite planet. Looking to it's case to island destination in Indonesia overtourism and tourism leakage are two major problem the industry are facing.Therefore this article argues that tourism must be understood and managed with a wider context of sustainability. Additionally, strategic approaches to transitioning to a sufficiency approach to tourism and leisure is essential if sustainability is to be secured. Recommendations include Sustainable Mobilities, fostering diverse approaches to tourism strategies for development and regulating and managing tourism. An upgraded reseach in sustainable mobility through big data is reccomended to further diverse tourism strategies from approach that be analyzed in real time and directly targeted at tourism and destination problems.
  • ... Generally, responsible tourism is regarded as an agent of sustainable development, and thus the sustainability of a destination (Smith, 1990;Hunter, 1997;Chettiparamb and Kokkranikal, 2012;Mathew and Sreejesh, 2017). Its approach focuses on the quality of both the destination and the lives of its residents. ...
  • ... Some researchers previously showed that the implementation of the concept of ecotourism by involving local communities is a strategy to achieve sustainable tourism [10,11,12]. Nevertheless, the study of private sector participation in the development of ecotourism still shows the gap in the detail according to each context of the regions, especially in developing countries [13]. This paper will outline the efforts of the private sector in achieving sustainable tourism through the concept of ecotourism. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    This paper will discuss specifically the effort of Kupa-Kupa Beach Cottage and Meti Beach Cottage managers to achieve environmental sustainability through the concept of ecotourism. Furthermore, private sector involvement and mixed marketing strategy will be discussed to describe how community empowerment and local community support as an essential factor in regional tourism development, especially in North Halmahera District. The research method used is qualitative with case study approach. This paper shows that the private sector tends to adopt a community-based ecotourism concept to achieve environmental sustainability and tourism sustainability itself. The government will act as a stimulus and catalyst that is synergistic with the needs of the private sector to provide tourism facilities according to tourists' preference. Kupa-Kupa Beach Cottage and Meti Beach Cottage managers seek to provide employment for local communities as part of a marketing strategy so that they are mutually beneficial.
  • ... This often leaves local people as the objects of development but not the subjects of it (Mitchell and Reid, 2001). This can also be problematic from an environmental perspective, given any increase in tourism volume will necessarily have a corresponding increase in negative impacts (Chettiparamb and Kokkranikal, 2012). ...
    Article
    This article analyses the potential for tourism development in the young island nation of Timor-Leste, arguing that tourism could provide an important source of economic revenue, employment and cultural exchange. However, tourism can be a 'double-edged sword' and its successes are not always guaranteed. This article identifies that while Timor-Leste's stakeholders wholeheartedly support tourism, they have concerns about its development, preferring a community-based or 'pro-poor' model. Further, tourism decision-making in Timor-Leste is centralised and current government action does not align with tourism planning or stakeholder wishes. To date there has been limited research on community support for tourism in small-island developing economies; this article, therefore, provides a timely addition to the literature.
  • ... In other words, tourism is a social creation, which deals with the many desires of people of the modern industrialised world. Besides this, tourism is a ground in which many individuals interact and discuss with one another which creates a sense of unity (Chettiparamb & Kokkranikal, 2012). The involvement of individual of J&K in the peace process gained thrust in the year 2005 and 2006. ...
  • Article
    The national policy context influences micro-level management actions for natural World Heritage facing the challenge of climate change in the developing world. Little is currently known about how climate vulnerable natural World Heritage is managed to build resilience within the socio-ecological system. Management actions based on conservation, biodiversity, community and tourism policies are important determinants of socio-ecological resilience. The aim of this study is to present a critical cross-border comparative analysis of climate change management responses for building resilience in the Bangladesh and Indian Sundarbans World Heritage area. Drawing on semi-structured stakeholder interviews and document analysis, this research finds that along with the modification of conventional biodiversity conservation practices, management agencies address community needs such as adaptation, livelihoods, involvement and empowerment to build resilience by minimising community-induced forest depletion. The management regimes of the Sunderbans in Bangladesh and India have relative advantages in biodiversity conservation in response to climate change. This research also finds that biodiversity conservation actions are challenged by poor enforcement systems, destructive land use policy, and uncontrolled economic activities including tourism which may threaten the socio-ecological resilience of the World Heritage area.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Mengkaji kebijakan pariwisata sama halnya dengan mengkaji kebijakan publik. Proses perumusan dan implementasi kebijakan pariwisata tidak terlepas dari perspektif para aktor yakni subjektifitas pembuat kebijakan pariwisata. Pembuat kebijakan memiliki kewenangan atau kekuasaan untuk memperjuangkan kepentingannya menjadi kebijakan pariwisata (RIPPARDA). Dalam proses memperjuangkan kepentingan tersebut, aktor dapat memanfaatkan modal sosial dan kekuasaannya. Persepsi aktor dapat berupa pengetahuan, sikap dan tindakan aktor. Sedangkan modal sosial aktor dapat berupa jaringan, norma dan kepercayaan. Disisi lain, kekuasaan aktor dapat berupa kekuasaan normatif, kekuasaan renumeratif, dan kekuasaan koersif. Persepsi aktor pada tahap perumusan kebijakan pariwisata menjadi sangat esensial ketika aktor dituntut mampu menganalisis permasalahan pariwisata dan menetapkan strategi untuk menyelesaikan masalah dengan tepat. Sedangkan modal sosial, sering digunakan aktor untuk memperjuangkan pelbagai kepentingan menjadi kebijakan pariwisata. Selain itu, aktor juga dapat memanfaatkan kekuasaannya dalam proses perumusan dan implementasi kebijakan pariwisata. Hasil tinjauan pustaka ini memperkuat argumen bahwa tidak hanya komunikasi, sumber daya, disposisi dan birokrasi yang sangat esensial dalam perumusan dan implementasi kebijakan pariwisata, akan tetapi persepsi, modal sosial dan kekuasaan aktor juga menjadi aspek yang sangat esensial dalam proses perumusan dan implementasi kebijakan pariwisata.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    For several decades after Independence, the ‘Kerala model’ provided a development alternative that set it apart from the rest of India. The recent rise of Kerala as a fast growing ‘responsible’ tourism destination has led to a resurgence of this narrative of exceptionalism. This article charts the shift from the ‘old’ Kerala development model, and its emphasis on distributive justice, to the ‘new’ Kerala model that nurtures public–private partnerships, in understanding how Kerala’s reputation as a unique region in India is maintained amid significant socio-economic and political changes. Specifically, the article draws on ethnographic data from the Kumily/Periyar Tiger Reserve region in analyzing how unique locale-specific networks of biodiversity conservation ideologies, international capital and notions of environmental citizenship contribute to overall place-making in Kerala. These regional identities are formed through the confluence of several ideologies, influences and personnel, thereby contributing to unique ‘actor-networks’ that emerge at specific locales.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Within developing countries it has been identified that one means of achieving sustainable tourism is through the effective engagement of local communities. In particular, this involves the encouragement of indigenous entrepreneurship, often in the forms of self-employment and small-scale enterprises. The aim is to maximise potential economic and social benefits of tourism development within the host destinations. This paper provides a conceptual framework and descriptive case study within which to analyse an example of indigenous entrepreneurship as evidence in the operators of a houseboat tourism product in the State of Kerala, India. Conclusions are drawn relative to the sustainability of both the product and indigenous entrepreneurial activity.
  • Article
    This paper discusses concepts of space within the planning literature, the issues they give rise lo and the gaps they reveal. It then introduces the notion of 'fractals' borrowed from complexity theory and illustrates how it unconsciously appears in planning practice. It then moves on to abstract the core dynamics through which fractals can be consciously applied and illustrates their working through a reinterpretation of the People's Planning Campaign of Kerala, India. Finally it highlights the key contribution of the fractal concept and the advantages that this conceptualisation brings to planning.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    The global threat of climate change, diminishing natural resources and significant socio-economic inequalities is forcing companies and individuals to evaluate the impact they are having on the natural, social and economic environments. This trend has led to an increased availability and demand for socially, environmentally and economically responsible products. The tourism industry relies heavily on the sustained beauty and hospitality of the places and communities it operates in and has come under pressure to manage its negative impacts. Change in the industry has, however, been limited. This paper investigates the current attitudes and perceptions of tourism business owners in Cape Town towards responsible tourism management (RTM) practices in order to develop social marketing strategies that can influence positive behaviour change in management. Cape Town as an internationally acclaimed top tourism destination needs to urgently address its low levels of responsible tourism evidence. Survey data of 244 tourism businesses was used to statistically test what factors are causing the low levels of RTM practices in Cape Town. Findings suggest that despite general positive attitudes towards RTM, tourism businesses are not investing time and money into changing management practices. This is a common emerging market phenomenon where resource constraints negatively impact the relationship between what businesses would like to do and what actually gets done. Factors such as the perceived cost of RTM, a highly competitive environment and a perceived lack of government support are further negatively influencing this relationship. Recommendations are made as to how social marketing can be used to encourage businesses to adopt RTM practices by reducing the perceived and actual costs of implementing RTM. The paper discusses what channels should be implemented to facilitate change.
  • Article
    Tourism Development and the Environment: Beyond Sustainability? challenges the sustainable tourism development paradigm that has come to dominate both theoretical and practical approaches to tourism development over the last two decades. It extends the sustainable tourism debate beyond the arguably managerialist 'blueprint' and destination-focused approach that continues to characterise even the most recent 'sustainability' agenda within tourism development. Reviewing the evolution of the sustainable tourism development concept, its contemporary manifestations in academic literature and policy developments and processes, the author compares its limitations to prevailing political-economic, socio-cultural and environmental contexts. He then proposes alternative approaches to tourism development which, nevertheless, retain environmental sustainability as a prerequisite of tourism development. This book also acts as an introduction to the Earthscan series Tourism, Environment and Development. About the series: 'Tourism, Environment and Development' aims to explore, within a variety of contexts, the developmental role of tourism as it relates explicitly to its environmental consequences. Each book will review critically and challenge 'traditional' perspectives on (sustainable) tourism development, exploring new approaches that reflect contemporary economic, socio-cultural and political contexts. © Professor Richard Anthony John Sharpley, 2009. All rights reserved.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    The idea of “alternative tourism” popular among critics of conventional tourism is itself submitted to a critical examination. Two principal conceptions of “alternative tourism” are distinguished: as a reaction to mass consumerism (counter-cultural “alternative tourism”) and as a reaction to the exploitation of the Third World (concerned “alternative tourism”). The former inverts the values and attitudes of conventional tourism, engendering a quest for “elective centres,” found in the “pristine” and “unspoiled” parts of the world; but with its “Vermassung” it engenders environmental and social problems of its own. The latter seeks to reverse the trend towards impersonal mass tourism, and to establish personal relations between (paying) guests and local hosts; but it is necessarily restricted in scale and hence not a viable alternative to mass tourism. “Alternative tourism” in any form, cannot resolve the problems engendered by conventional miss tourism a mort realistic strategy is to concentrate directly on the reform of the latter.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Kumarakom Panchayath falls under Kottayam taluk and the Pallom development block of the Kottayam district. At present 61.22 Hectare of land is categorized as Resort area. Due to rapid growth of tourism, there will be a higher demand for land which will result in the faster development of the remaining resorts. It is assumed that over and above 61.22 ha of already committed resort areas an additional 40.44 ha of perennial crop with settlement will also be utilized for resort development and related activities. For Kumarakom panchayath a future scenario (Year 2011) of spatial structure has been worked out here based on the existing scenario and the envisaged changes in the land use structure. In addition to the projected population of 27,300, the tourist equivalent population also has to be considered for evaluating all central facilities requirement as well as utilities service requirement for Kumarakom panchayath. This means Kumarakom Panchayath is loaded with 42,000 (27,300 + 14,700) population instead of 27,300 natural population for providing services and facilities. The holding capacity of 91.5 ha of resort area in Kumarakom Panchayath estimated till 2011 will be 3660 beds (40 x 91.5 beds). The holding capacity of tourist beds in Aymanam and Arpookara panchayaths will be 20% of 3660 i.e. 732 beds. Thus, total holding capacity will be approximately 4392 beds. Usual tourist staff ratio of a luxury resort of three to five stars is 1:3. Therefore, population equivalent for a tourist is assumed as 4. This means for a holding capacity 3660 tourist in Kumarakom panchayaths, population equivalent of tourist will be 14, 640 (3660 x 4). Various suggestions regarding restricted development and environmental protection are suggested through this study.