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Research in Sustainable Tourism: A Longitudinal Study of Articles between 2008 and 2017

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The influence of tourism on the environment has led to research on the development of sustainable tourism. Scholars from popular destinations and their governments are actively conducting sustainable tourism research, and their contributions to the field have achieved global renown. Without data from the natural sciences, knowledge from tourism dominates this area. This work utilizes content analysis to systematically review these studies to present the current state of existing research with the aid of visualization tools. The findings delineate the development of research on sustainable tourism in terms of collaboration, impact, knowledge base, and thematic coverage. Six major themes are selected to showcase recent trends in sustainable tourism research and guide future studies. Accordingly, this study can contribute to the development of sustainable tourism research and guide industry practices.
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sustainability
Article
Research in Sustainable Tourism: A Longitudinal
Study of Articles between 2008 and 2017
Jianwei Qian 1ID , Huawen Shen 2, * and Rob Law 3
1Foreign Languages Teaching Centre, Communication University of Zhejiang, 998 Xueyuan Street,
Hangzhou 310018, China; 821223168@163.com
2
Faculty of International Tourism and Management, City University of Macau, Avenida Padre Tomas Pereira
Taipa, Macau 999078, China
3School of Hotel & Tourism Management, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, 17 Science Museum Road,
Hong Kong 999077, China; rob.law@polyu.edu.hk
*Correspondence: shenhuawen1980@hotmail.com; Tel.: +853-8590-2509
Received: 21 December 2017; Accepted: 15 January 2018; Published: 26 February 2018
Abstract:
The influence of tourism on the environment has led to research on the development
of sustainable tourism. Scholars from popular destinations and their governments are actively
conducting sustainable tourism research, and their contributions to the field have achieved global
renown. Without data from the natural sciences, knowledge from tourism dominates this area.
This work utilizes content analysis to systematically review these studies to present the current state
of existing research with the aid of visualization tools. The findings delineate the development of
research on sustainable tourism in terms of collaboration, impact, knowledge base, and thematic
coverage. Six major themes are selected to showcase recent trends in sustainable tourism research
and guide future studies. Accordingly, this study can contribute to the development of sustainable
tourism research and guide industry practices.
Keywords: sustainable tourism research; longitudinal study; Journal of Sustainable Tourism
1. Introduction
In recent years, tourism has boomed into an eye-catching industry across the world because of
the significant role it plays in stimulating consumption, promoting trade, and enhancing international
communication. Many countries in Asia, Latin America, and Sub-Saharan Africa place a huge weight
on the economic effects of tourism [
1
]; however, the industry’s influence on the environment should
not be overlooked. Recognizing this, Ceballos Lascurain of the International Union for Conservation of
Nature proposed the concept of sustainable tourism in 1983. The World Tourism Organization enriched
the concept in 1998 through its explanation towards sustainable tourism, and sustainable tourism is
defined as tourism development that can meet the demand of both tourists and host communities
whilst preserving and improving the opportunity for future development [
2
]. As a response to and
reflection of the damage mass tourism brings to the ecological environment, sustainable tourism has
aroused the attention of all tourism stakeholders. According to Beaumont, tourists with eco-awareness
tend to become the major tourism market because this type of tourist travels more frequently than
others [
3
]. Therefore, sustainable tourism has taken an increasingly prominent position in the
entire market [
4
]. Various government policies and multi-level conferences have been proposed,
and different associations have been organized to promote sustainable tourism. Tourism scholars have
fulfilled their roles as forerunners in the campaign by conducting studies to tackle sustainability from
different perspectives, and their findings have made significant contributions to the promotion of
sustainable tourism.
Sustainability 2018,10, 590; doi:10.3390/su10030590 www.mdpi.com/journal/sustainability
Sustainability 2018,10, 590 2 of 13
According to Buckley, over 5000 articles on sustainable tourism have been published around the
world between 1990 and 2012, establishing the prevalence of sustainable tourism as a research topic [
5
].
Nevertheless, a comprehensive and systematic analysis of this research area has been undertaken
rarely in the tourism academia [
6
], despite the importance of conducting a timely, state-of-the-art
review of academic work. Besides this, the increasing number of studies on sustainable tourism
and the accumulated importance from this area designate that a state-of-the-art examination of prior
studies in this area is important. Actually, this kind of research has the potential to provoke the
development of knowledge and the shifting of paradigms in a particular research area [
7
]. First-tier
tourism journals have also recognized the importance of such review studies and have published
more of these articles accordingly [
7
]. To determine the status quo of sustainable tourism research, the
present study attempts to identify the trends in research and scholarship through bibliometric and
thematic analyses. The findings can enlighten the academia and reveal more potential research ideas
in sustainable tourism, thus guiding other stakeholders to take the necessary actions in ensuring that
tourism development heads in a sustainable direction.
2. Materials and Methods
To show a panoramic view of sustainable tourism research, articles concerning sustainable tourism
were extracted from the online database, and content analysis was used to conduct bibliometric and
thematic analyses along with the detection of the knowledge base for the field.
The Journal of Sustainable Tourism (JST) was chosen as the source of the articles selected for
examination. Founded in 1993, JST now ranks among the first-tier tourism journals that aim to
promote critical and innovative thinking with regard to the relationship between sustainability
and tourism. According to its website, JST accepts articles from interdisciplinary studies to ensure
a multi-perspective examination of sustainable tourism that takes into account its social, economic,
cultural, and environmental aspects. The journal held an impact factor of 2.978 in 2016, ranking
in the first quartile of tourism journals. This ranking means JST has enjoyed immense popularity
among the academia and has cemented its standing as a high-quality journal. Moreover, JST is
the only journal in tourism that puts the promotion of sustainable tourism at the forefront of its
mission. Hence, JST is suitable to represent the status quo and the development of sustainable tourism
research. To better represent current conditions and trends, only articles published after JST became
a Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)-indexed journal in 2008 were downloaded, as most review
studies consider the SSCI as a symbol of journal quality and only articles published in SSCI-indexed
journals are examined for further analysis [
8
,
9
]. Only full-length research articles were selected because
they provide more information regarding research methods, theoretical concepts or frameworks,
and managerial guidance [
10
]. The study examined a total of 599 articles published by the journal
from 2008 to 2017. These 599 articles have been cited 1694 times in total, with each article receiving
2.83 citations on average. It should be noted that JST does not have a monopoly of publishing studies
concerning sustainable tourism, but JST really publishes the largest number of articles in this area and
can be regarded as an excellent platform for researches to present and exchange ideas in sustainable
tourism [
11
]. Meanwhile, JST is proven to be successful in setting up a distinct identity in tourism
academia, namely its ability in driving, enabling and shaping sustainable tourism development among
both the academic and business practitioners [11].
Content analysis was utilized to analyze the chosen articles because it can guarantee the
quality and completeness of extracted information and is widely used in review studies [
7
,
12
,
13
].
Content analysis can also assist a clearer categorization of examined phenomena or events in
terms of pre-defined concepts in order to better interpret these phenomena or events for research
purposes [
9
]. Xiao and Smith state that the use of content analysis to explore academic articles can
offer solid evidence of the progress of knowledge in a specific field together with the identification
of research methodologies [
14
]. Therefore, content analysis has been deployed in many tourism
review studies [
7
,
10
,
12
,
13
] and is suitable for the analysis in this study as well. Two scientometric
Sustainability 2018,10, 590 3 of 13
programs, VOSviewer and CiteSpace, were also utilized to help visualize some of the results. All in all,
the following aspects of the selected articles were analyzed: collaboration analysis, impact analysis,
knowledge base, and thematic coverage. These aspects were deemed sufficient to address the research
questions proposed in the Introduction.
3. Results
3.1. Collaboration
The collaboration analysis of JST articles was conducted from two dimensions: country
collaboration and institute collaboration. This process was completed with the assistance of VOSviewer.
Figure 1illustrates the countries where the authors and contributors of JST worked when the
articles were published and the collaboration network between countries. In total, authors from
45 countries participated in studies concerning sustainable tourism. The size of the node represents
the number of articles from the country, revealing that authors from the US and Australia published
the highest number of articles, followed by China and the UK. As illustrated by the thickness of the
links between the two countries, China and the US have formed a close collaboration network, as have
Australia and the UK. Moreover, Australia and China have a close relationship with the other top
countries, but there is no link between the US and the UK. Most popular tourist destinations contribute
to a large part of the sustainable development of tourism from an academic perspective. According
to the 2016 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Annual Report [
15
], the world’s
top tourist destinations in 2015 were France, USA, Spain, China, and Italy. However, France, the top
destination in 2015, does not have a presence in the figure. This outcome may be attributed to France
having done well to keep its tourism sustainable. Nevertheless, sustainability is a perpetual goal that
warrants continuous efforts, even from the French academia.
Sustainability 2018, 10, 239 10.3390/su10010239 3 of 13
knowledge base, and thematic coverage. These aspects were deemed sufficient to address the
research questions proposed in the Introduction.
3. Results
3.1. Collaboration
The collaboration analysis of JST articles was conducted from two dimensions: country
collaboration and institute collaboration. This process was completed with the assistance of
VOSviewer.
Figure 1 illustrates the countries where the authors and contributors of JST worked when the
articles were published and the collaboration network between countries. In total, authors from 45
countries participated in studies concerning sustainable tourism. The size of the node represents the
number of articles from the country, revealing that authors from the US and Australia published the
highest number of articles, followed by China and the UK. As illustrated by the thickness of the links
between the two countries, China and the US have formed a close collaboration network, as have
Australia and the UK. Moreover, Australia and China have a close relationship with the other top
countries, but there is no link between the US and the UK. Most popular tourist destinations
contribute to a large part of the sustainable development of tourism from an academic perspective.
According to the 2016 United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Annual Report [15],
the world’s top tourist destinations in 2015 were France, USA, Spain, China, and Italy. However,
France, the top destination in 2015, does not have a presence in the figure. This outcome may be
attributed to France having done well to keep its tourism sustainable. Nevertheless, sustainability is
a perpetual goal that warrants continuous efforts, even from the French academia.
Figure 1. Country Collaboration of Authors in JST.
Figure 2 depicts the institute collaboration, which reveals that the majority of institutes involved
in JST studies have established a close collaboration network, with most institutes located within a
larger network. The red color in the figure represents the proximity of the institutes in a cluster. Four
tight collaborations are identified, each containing between two and four institutes. The four major
institutes in the largest cluster are universities in Australia, indicating that Australian universities
Figure 1. Country Collaboration of Authors in JST.
Figure 2depicts the institute collaboration, which reveals that the majority of institutes involved in
JST studies have established a close collaboration network, with most institutes located within a larger
Sustainability 2018,10, 590 4 of 13
network. The red color in the figure represents the proximity of the institutes in a cluster. Four tight
collaborations are identified, each containing between two and four institutes. The four major institutes
in the largest cluster are universities in Australia, indicating that Australian universities have set up
their own research network in their country. The other two large clusters are mainly composed of
universities from Europe and the USA. This finding may describe how the collaboration of sustainable
tourism research has a distinctive geographical feature, and that universities with short geographical
distances tend to cooperate more in sustainable tourism research. This phenomenon, logically, should
arise from the fact that universities sharing similar geographical locations are more familiar with
their research environment and may generate more research insights. Similar collaboration patterns
can also be found in other tourism and hospitality research areas [
16
]. However, the University of
Oulu from Finland and Colorado State University from the USA have conducted sustainable tourism
studies unaided.
Sustainability 2018, 10, 239 10.3390/su10010239 4 of 13
have set up their own research network in their country. The other two large clusters are mainly
composed of universities from Europe and the USA. This finding may describe how the collaboration
of sustainable tourism research has a distinctive geographical feature, and that universities with short
geographical distances tend to cooperate more in sustainable tourism research. This phenomenon,
logically, should arise from the fact that universities sharing similar geographical locations are more
familiar with their research environment and may generate more research insights. Similar
collaboration patterns can also be found in other tourism and hospitality research areas [16].
However, the University of Oulu from Finland and Colorado State University from the USA have
conducted sustainable tourism studies unaided.
Figure 2. Institute Collaboration of Authors in JST.
3.2. Impact
Institute impact and author impact are examined to study sustainable tourism research from the
impact perspective. All the impact figures were taken from the Web of Science.
As shown in Table 1, University of Waterloo occupies the first position in both the number of
total citations and the citations from first author articles, signifying the university’s importance in
sustainable tourism studies. Five of the top 10 institutes that received the largest number of total
citations are from Australia, namely, Monash University, James Cook University, Griffith University,
South Cross University, and University of Queensland. These universities rank from No. 2 to No. 7,
indicating their relatively high positions even among the top institutes and the leading role that
Australian universities play in the field of sustainable tourism research. Such a phenomenon may be
closely related with the attractions of Australia, which mainly involve natural landscapes that require
special protection to guarantee sustainability. Australian researchers have realized this demand and
conduct relevant studies accordingly. However, in terms of the average citation per first author
article, Australian universities fall behind the other five universities. Special attention should be paid
to Texas A&M University, which only has seven first authors but generates the highest number of
citations per first author article. University of Canterbury also has a great impact in this area, as
evidenced by its top ranking in the average number of citations per article and its second-place
ranking in average number of citations per first author article. This result may be due to the high
quality of studies from these two universities, but it may also be attributed to the fact that their
research foci are in line with the trends in sustainable tourism, and the proposed theoretical
frameworks are quite practical that can be widely applied in other sustainable tourism studies.
Figure 2. Institute Collaboration of Authors in JST.
3.2. Impact
Institute impact and author impact are examined to study sustainable tourism research from the
impact perspective. All the impact figures were taken from the Web of Science.
As shown in Table 1, University of Waterloo occupies the first position in both the number of
total citations and the citations from first author articles, signifying the university’s importance in
sustainable tourism studies. Five of the top 10 institutes that received the largest number of total
citations are from Australia, namely, Monash University, James Cook University, Griffith University,
South Cross University, and University of Queensland. These universities rank from No. 2 to No. 7,
indicating their relatively high positions even among the top institutes and the leading role that
Australian universities play in the field of sustainable tourism research. Such a phenomenon may be
closely related with the attractions of Australia, which mainly involve natural landscapes that require
special protection to guarantee sustainability. Australian researchers have realized this demand and
conduct relevant studies accordingly. However, in terms of the average citation per first author article,
Australian universities fall behind the other five universities. Special attention should be paid to Texas
A&M University, which only has seven first authors but generates the highest number of citations
per first author article. University of Canterbury also has a great impact in this area, as evidenced by
its top ranking in the average number of citations per article and its second-place ranking in average
number of citations per first author article. This result may be due to the high quality of studies from
these two universities, but it may also be attributed to the fact that their research foci are in line with
Sustainability 2018,10, 590 5 of 13
the trends in sustainable tourism, and the proposed theoretical frameworks are quite practical that can
be widely applied in other sustainable tourism studies.
Table 1. Institute Impact of Articles in JST.
Institute Number of
Total Citations
Average Citation
Per Article
Number of
Articles
Number of Citations from
First Author Articles
Average Citation Per
First Author Article
Number of
First Authors
U. of Waterloo 137 5.71 24 131 7.71 17
Monash U. 127 6.35 20 44 4.40 10
James Cook U. 117 4.50 26 40 3.64 11
Griffith U. 117 2.79 42 87 3.63 24
South Cross U. 95 4.75 20 56 4.67 12
Texas A&M U. 90 6.43 14 76 10.86 7
U. of Queensland 81 2.61 31 48 2.82 17
Hong Kong Poly U. 75 4.41 17 50 5.00 10
U. of Canterbury 74 6.73 11 36 9.00 4
Leeds Metropolitan U.
73 6.08 12 42 6.00 7
Note: U., University.
With regard to the most influential authors (Table 2), 10 leading authors are from nine universities,
with both Bob McKercher and Rob Law hailing from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.
Daniel Scott from University of Waterloo tops the list in terms of the number of total citations and the
number of citations from first author articles. His first article in JST, which examined the carbon cost of
polar bear viewing tourism, was published in 2010, and all his following publications have centered on
climate change and tourism. Although JST only published three articles by Bill Bramwell of Sheffield
Hallam University during the examined period, he received the highest number of average citations
per article and average citations per first author article. His research foci are tourism policy and
sustainable tourism. Amid the top authors, six are editorial board members of JST, and Bill Bramwell
is also the founding editor of the journal. The findings demonstrate the importance and vitality of
these researchers in sustainable tourism from another perspective. A total of nine out of the 10 authors
are western researchers, showing the strong influence of western academia on studies in sustainable
tourism studies from the perspective of JST. However, eastern scholars may have published related
studies in other tourism journals or non-English journals, hence this finding is only applicable to
studies on JST.
Table 2. Author Impact of Articles in JST.
Author Number of
Total Citations
Average Citation
Per Article
Number of
Articles
Number of Citations from
First Author Articles
Average Citation Per
First Author Article
Number of First
Author Articles
Scott, D. 97 13.86 7 87 17.40 5
Hall, C.M. 71 7.10 10 33 11.00 3
Gossling, S. 65 5.91 11 40 6.67 6
Bramwell, B. 59 19.67 3 59 29.50 2
Prideaux, B. 52 10.40 5 0 0.00 0
Jamal, T. 50 8.33 6 38 12.67 3
McKercher, B. 46 9.20 5 45 11.25 4
Dolnicar, S. 45 5.63 8 22 11.00 2
Ham, S.H. 31 15.50 2 0 0.00 0
Law, R. 29 14.50 2 0 0.00 0
3.3. Knowledge Base
According to the principle of Scientometrics, the knowledge base of a field can be identified by
investigating the major discipline publications that the field has been built upon [
17
]. The examination
of the most-cited journals tends to fulfill this function. There are 19,950 distinct references in the
JST articles. Table 3lists the top cited journals, along with the journal impact factor (JIF) in 2016,
the position of each journal in the journal quartile list, and the total number of cited references (CR)
from the journal.
Sustainability 2018,10, 590 6 of 13
Table 3. Most Cited Journals by Articles in JST.
Rank Journal Impact Factor JIF Quartile CR
1 Journal of Sustainable Tourism 2.978 Q1 1033
2 Tourism Management 4.707 Q1 553
3 Annals of Tourism Research 3.194 Q1 479
4 Journal of Travel Research 4.564 Q1 336
5 Current Issues in Tourism 2.451 Q2 284
6 International Journal of Tourism Research 1.857 Q2 211
7 Tourism Geographies 1.663 Q2 173
8 Journal of Ecotourism / / 118
9 Tourism Recreation Research / / 116
10 Ecological Economics 2.965 Q1 111
Note: JIF, journal impact factor; CR, cited references.
Articles in JST prefer to cite other articles in JST, followed by the three other top tourism journals.
These four journals are the only journals that focus on tourism alone in the first quartile of Clarivate
Analytics’ ranking of journals on hospitality, leisure, sports and tourism. Moreover, eight of the top
cited journals are indexed in SSCI, proving that JST studies mainly draw upon other high-quality
research. A total of nine of the 10 journals in the list are tourism journals, indicating that the knowledge
base of JST studies largely derives from the field of tourism. The only exception is Ecological Economics,
which is an interdisciplinary journal covering both ecology and economics. No hospitality journal
enters the top, though hotels have also become a major source of pollution and are involved in
the pursuit of energy conservation. It is entirely possible that several studies in JST are concerned
with hospitality, but due to the importance of sustainability, top hospitality journals should also
shoulder their responsibility to disseminate sustainable awareness among the academia and the
industry. In addition, very limited journals from other fields, especially natural sciences, have become
the knowledge base of JST studies. However, knowledge of sustainability, including the criteria
of sustainability, measurement of environmental change, and approaches to develop sustainability,
is geared toward the natural sciences. Hence, future studies about sustainable tourism should also
take knowledge from other fields into consideration.
3.4. Thematic Coverage
Every article is written based on many references that form the basis of these articles. Therefore,
an examination of the cited references of JST articles could provide information regarding the research
themes of JST articles or what they are trying to accomplish. All the information from the references
is input into CiteSpace, and nine distinctive themes are identified in Figure 3. Some clusters have
overlaps because they share common elements within the cluster. Based on Chen [
18
], the value for
Modularity Q is 0.7965, which indicates a significant difference between each cluster. Meanwhile,
the value of the Mean Silhouette is 0.5196, which is larger than 0.5, meaning that the achieved clustering
result is reasonable.
In the result, #3 “protected area” is the place where sustainable tourism is conducted, and #6
“ecotourism” is synonymous with sustainable tourism. Both concepts are the key components of every
activity in sustainable tourism and are widely spread in JST articles. Meanwhile, sustainable tourism
development (#4) is the perpetual theme of sustainable tourism studies. Hence, these three clusters
are not discussed independently, whereas the other six clusters are explored one by one to completely
showcase the major themes of sustainable tourism research.
The theme for #0 is climate change, which shows the popularity of the topic in JST studies.
It has even been identified as the major reason tourists conduct last chance tourism [
19
], but tourism
businesses seldom mention this concept in their daily operations [
20
,
21
]. Hence, tourism has actually
become a major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide [
22
] despite the many forms
of tourism, such as coastal tourism [
23
], ski tourism [
24
,
25
], and animal watching tourism [
26
,
27
],
Sustainability 2018,10, 590 7 of 13
actually being vulnerable to climate change because of these emissions. In 2007, the UN organized the
Climate Change Conference and 196 countries signed the Paris Climate Change Agreement, verifying
the importance of climate change to the whole world. Thus, it is high time that tourism considers what
can be done in this campaign [28].
Figure 3. Visualization of the Major Themes in JST Articles.
Major studies have examined the climate change that tourism brings from the perspective
of tourists. For example, studies have been conducted on the difficulty of adopting low-carbon
vacations [
29
,
30
], the profile of travelers who have actually paid for the carbon emissions generated by
their air travel [
31
,
32
] and those who intend to pay [
33
], the role of values in influencing tourists to
reduce air travel [
34
], and the reasons behind their reluctance to change their behavior to better address
the issue of climate change [
35
]. However, climate change remains an overlooked phenomenon for
large quantities of tourists from developing countries [
36
]. Tourist air travel has clearly become the
major research subject under this theme, as air travel emits more carbon emissions and exerts a more
direct impact on climate change compared to other modes of transport.
Aside from the reasons that Scott proposes regarding why the tourism industry should address
climate change [
37
], other groups of studies are concerned about how the industry can promote
sustainable tourism, such as the key ways to do discourse promotion [
38
], the effectiveness of what
the industry has done to foster awareness among tourists [
39
], and the useful adoption of technical
developments [
40
]. Only one study relates to the hospitality area in which a conceptual model for
restaurants is developed to carry out energy conservation and carbon reduction [41].
The theme for #1 is behavioral studies. Research under this theme apparently focuses on
examining the sustainable behavior that tourists exhibit while traveling. Hence, various models have
been formed to fulfill this objective, such as the three-gear model used to investigate tourists’ choice of
sustainable modes of transportation [
42
], and a hypothesized conceptual model to examine tourist
behavior toward slow tourism [
43
]. The development of sustainable tourism is bound to gain support
Sustainability 2018,10, 590 8 of 13
from all stakeholders and influence the supportive behavior of residents [
44
], the policy-making
behavior of government officials [
45
], as well as the industry and academia’s behavioral change from
solely marketing to marketing sustainably [
46
]. Moreover, place attachment is affirmed to be crucial in
cultivating the eco-friendly behavior of tourists [47,48].
Within behavioral studies, the hotel industry is another important target to examine. The proactive
green marketing behavior of hotel managers has been associated more with the hotels’ profile rather
than the managers’ own attitudes toward sustainable tourism [
49
]. A positive relationship is found
between a hotel’s green image and the customers’ favorable behavioral intentions [
50
], and customers
are happier staying in a hotel because of its pro-environment image [51]. Bohdanowicz et al. analyze
the performance of Hilton hotels in terms of environmental protection, highlighting the importance
of corporate social responsibility and human resource management in guiding hotels to conduct
sustainable management practices [52].
Studies in cluster 2 focus on poverty reduction. Tourism has long been regarded as a way to
alleviate poverty in economically less developed countries. Snyman confirms that ecotourism has
contributed to the economic development and environmental protection of many African countries [
53
].
Owing to the freedom they enjoy, tour operators are said to be more effective in reducing poverty in
Ecuador than some development organizations [
54
]. Tucker and Boonabaana argue that women can
also contribute to tourism development and help reduce poverty, but the approach to motivate women
should be different from men [
55
]. The Netherlands is the only developed country examined in this
cluster, in which a five-stage tourism development plan to help alleviate poverty exists [56].
However, several problems emerge with the development of tourism. Nelson points out that
tourism development in Tanzania was launched by the government or other elite groups to enhance
their control of natural resources rather than as a way to help the poor [
57
]. Truong, Hall, and Garry
verify that the tourism sector in Vietnam mainly benefits the non-poor citizens and tour operators,
while the poor achieve very little because of the lack of capital and the language barrier [
58
]. The use
of community-based tourism to develop the economy of rural-peasant areas is affirmed to have several
major limitations that influence its actual effects [
59
]. Two review studies have been conducted.
Spenceley and Meyer analyzed and contrasted the effectiveness of theory and practice in tourism and
poverty alleviation [
60
]. By contrast, Medina-Munoz, Medina-Munoz, and Gutierrez-Perez examined
studies about the influence of tourism on poverty reduction in terms of bibliometric and thematic
analyses and proposed a conceptual framework for guiding future empirical research in this area [
61
].
Sustainable tourism is not limited to the proper utilization of the environment but also linked
to cultural, social, and economic sustainability. Volunteer tourism is an increasingly popular travel
mode proven to enhance cross-cultural understanding [
62
64
] and further promote the economy
of the host region [
65
]. Hence, volunteer tourism becomes the theme of cluster 5 in sustainable
tourism studies. To fully present the power of volunteer tourism, several key factors have been
identified, including the participation of community stakeholders [
66
], the proper design of volunteer
activities by organizations [
67
,
68
], and different positioning strategies for international and in-country
volunteer activities [
69
]. Distance and time are also validated to be major barriers that keep tourists
from participating in volunteer tourism [
70
]. Lupoli et al. develop a low-cost and rapid appraisal
tool for evaluating the impact of volunteer tourism and confirm the applicability of the tool in host
communities of volunteer tourism [
71
]. Although volunteer tourism is mainly beneficial to the society,
it is sometimes misused by the industry to simply promote tourism activities without any cultivation
of responsibility among tourists [72].
Sustainable tourism development is not possible without proper management from the
government; hence, #7 is about policy instrument. From the name of this cluster, the articles involved
are mainly concerned with the proposition of various policy instruments, such as the subsidiarity of
tourism governance [
73
] and pro-poor tourism policy [
74
]. Policy has also been validated as important
for the development of indigenous tourism [
75
,
76
] and the industry’s response to environmental
change [
77
]. Hall establishes a typology of governance in tourism that helps analyze tourism policy [
78
],
Sustainability 2018,10, 590 9 of 13
while Yuksel et al. believe that the statement of ministers is a useful instrument for presenting
sustainability in tourism from the policy perspective [79].
Indigenous tourism forms the last cluster. Indigenous tourism has become an important form to
develop tourism in many countries where sustainability needs to be addressed [
80
]. Weaver proposes
a six-stage model to explain the evolution of indigenous tourism [
81
]. However, despite the
popularity of indigenous tourism, operators in Australia still consider what they are doing to
be for economic purposes and not related to sustainable tourism [
82
]. Moreover, various issues
arise in communities where indigenous tourism is developing quickly, such as the protection of
heritages [
83
], the upholding of the rights of indigenous populations [
84
], and the preservation of
indigenous culture [
85
]. Empowering the residents in indigenous areas with knowledge, economic
resources, and communication skills has been suggested to help sustain the development of indigenous
tourism [
86
]. Integrating indigenous values with capitalism through tourism is demonstrated to be
another way to realize indigenous sustainable development [87].
4. Discussion and Conclusions
Research on sustainable tourism is gaining more attention from the tourism academia. Scholars
from major destinations worldwide have made due efforts to address issues emerging in their
respective continents, and the findings from these studies have generated both theoretical contributions
and managerial implications for sustainable tourism. Tourism is an integrative reflection of economic,
societal, and cultural phenomena, which indicate that sustainable tourism research should be
comprehensive and multi-dimensional. The present study explores the current condition of sustainable
tourism research in terms of bibliometric and thematic analyses.
Collaboration analysis affirms the scholarly participation of global destinations and identifies that
the geographical factor enables greater cooperation among scholars from short distances. Universities
in Australia, the US, and Europe have established three large collaboration networks to carry out
sustainable tourism research. Meanwhile, bibliometric data prove that scholars based in Australia and
the US have been found to be the most influential writers in this field because of the high citation rate.
Scholars from the University of Waterloo (Canada), The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (China),
and Leeds Metropolitan University (UK) make great contributions to this area because most highly
cited papers are from these universities. The key scholars are quite active in this area because they
both contribute to most of the research articles and citations and act as editorial board members for
JST. It may indicate that these key scholars concentrate on doing sustainable tourism studies and are
familiar with the style of JST; hence, they can become editorial board members of the journal and
contribute to the journal’s long-term development. With regard to the knowledge base, knowledge
from tourism, especially articles from top tourism journals, forms the basics of sustainable tourism
research, whereas knowledge from natural sciences does not take the central position. Moreover, hotel
literature has been shown to generate less influence on sustainable tourism research.
The six major themes of sustainable tourism research are generated based on the references
of JST articles: climate change, behavioral studies, poverty reduction, volunteer tourism, policy
instrument, and indigenous tourism. These themes are prevalent in the examined period, and this
study determines what scholars are scrutinizing within each theme. The result reveals both the current
situation and the possibilities for future research. For example, both the tourism sector and hotel sector
have been examined frequently, but another growing sector, conventions and events (C&E), remains
under-researched, despite C&E having brought much revenue to a destination. The insufficient
understanding and lack of knowledge on C&E’s ecological role in the current industry have been
identified [
88
]. Thus, future studies can explore issues in C&E, ranging from climate change to
policy instruments.
Several limitations exist in the current study. First, only articles from JST are examined for the
research, while in reality, a majority of tourism journals examine sustainable tourism. To a certain
extent, this limitation leads to the incompleteness of this review study. Hence, future studies must
Sustainability 2018,10, 590 10 of 13
extend the literature to all first-tier journals from both tourism and non-tourism areas in order to
determine a more comprehensive view of the status quo of sustainable tourism research. Furthermore,
because of the nature of JST, only English journal articles are analyzed, and an overt ignorance is
exhibited with regard to conference articles, research notes, and the like in other languages. Therefore,
the inclusion of literature from other sources is highly suggested. Finally, various methods utilized in
current sustainable tourism studies are worth investigating, as these methods are the tools to realize
the research objective and are quite important to an article.
Acknowledgments:
This study is supported by The National Social Science Fund of China (Grants
No. 17XMZ028).
Author Contributions:
Jianwei Qian is the lead author on the publication, having done most of the writing for
the paper. Huawen Shen contributed to the literature analysis as well as to the writing. Rob Law provided many
suggestions and revised the whole paper.
Conflicts of Interest:
The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funding sponsors had no role in the design of
the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript and in the decision
to publish the results.
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article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
... Meanwhile, the network analysis method, which is part of the Social Network Analysis, is used to visualize the relationships (edges) between words (nodes) using graphical software. The output of the engine analysis (in this case, the AntConc, RStudio, and Gephi software) is then interpreted using content analysis, which can dissect data statistics in great detail [19]. ...
... A critical analyzing method is then used in dissecting the topic of financial distress through various bibliographies [20][21][22]. This approach is quite popular and has been used in various fields [19,[23][24][25][26]. ...
... Furthermore, AntConc software is used to generate an output in the form of term frequency, clusters/N-grams, and word cloud through RStudio software [34,35]. Data output is then used as nodes and edges for network analysis purposes [36][37][38] using Gephi software and qualitative content analysis [19]. While the source of the case study data comes from the IDX, with the purposive sampling method [39,40] on the financial statements of the textile and garment sub-sector companies in 2019 and the first quarter of 2020. ...
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Aims: The purpose of this study is to examine the conceptualization of financial distress research in the textile and apparel industries, particularly in terms of research scope and methodology. Furthermore, this article attempts to systematically analyze the network formed by these literatures. Methodology: In this study, a qualitative approach was used through the literature review method, with 41 specific articles about financial distress in the textile and garment sector serving as the research corpus and drawn from the Litmaps database. To interpret and describe the frequency patterns and relationships visualized using RStudio and Gephi devices, text mining, network analysis, and content analysis were used. Results: This study discovers that a frequently discussed issue is the influence of financial variables, both dependent and independent, on the prediction of financial distress or vice versa, using various quantitative approaches and models of financial distress. This claim is supported by the findings of a systematic analysis, which reveals a positive correlation between global cloud output and network analysis. Implication/Applications: The corpus aspect of this research is limited, and the research scope is limited to the Indonesian context. Future research with broader literature sources and different types Review Article Muhani et al.; JEMT, 28(7): 7-18, 2022; Article no.JEMT.87301 8 of company sectors is highly anticipated. This literature review can provide a comprehensive framework for researchers and practitioners who are interested in cases of financial distress. The Originality of the Study: Furthermore, this is a recent study that conducts a systematic review of the literature on financial distress in Indonesian textile and garment companies.
... In such a scenario, it is essential to understand the dynamics of this construct since sustainable tourism constitutes a central element in many of the recent reflections of other fields associated with hospitality and tourism (Qian et al., 2018). From this perspective, the study of the behavior of scientific production on the construct provides researchers with a panoramic view of it, while facilitating the understanding of its current state through the visualization of trends and thematic axes. ...
... The usefulness of bibliometric studies is widely recognized in various disciplines so it is not surprising that sustainable tourism has not been skeptical of the emersion of this methodology, which is expressed in the growing number of research on the subject that use bibliometric analysis as a fundamental method of study (Bramwell et al., 2017;Costa y Lima, 2021;Cruz-Sintes et al., 2020;Garrigos-Simon et al., 2018;Moyle et al., 2020;Niñerola et al., 2019;Qian et al., 2018;Ruhanen et al., 2018;Ruhanen et al., 2015;Serrano et al., 2019). ...
... These investigations differ in their approach, objectives, databases used, time frame and key terms in the search for relevant literature, as well as the software used and the types of analysis developed. For example, some of the studies seek through a series of bibliometric indicators, both of production and of visibility or impact, to describe the state of the art of the construct (Costa y Lima, 2021;Cruz-Sintes et al., 2020;Niñerola et al., 2019;Qian et al., 2018); while others focus on the study of the theoretical, methodological and empirical approaches to sustainable tourism (Ruhanen et al., 2015) including analyzing its evolution by periods as is the case of the research conducted by Moyle et al. (2020). ...
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Tourism has become one of the main sectors in promoting the economic development of localities and job creation. Given the magnitude and projection of tourism activity, it represents a high risk for the geographic space where it is developed and sustainability in the sector is an increasingly perceptible global challenge. In this sense, the academic community has paid special interest in recent years to research associated with sustainability in tourism. The present study seeks to describe the state of the construct based on the analysis of bibliometric indicators of productivity, dispersion and visibility or impact, as well as a visualization of the networks of authorial and institutional collaboration and a temporal analysis of the lines of research or fundamental thematic axes. The main results show a progressive increase in the number of research studies, a high dispersion of scientific production, as well as a collaborative network dominated almost entirely by the most notable authors. The research allows us to characterize the state of the art of the construct and provides researchers with important bibliometric information to guide future studies.
... There are also several bibliometric studies focusing on the engagement of tourism research with environmental issues. However, some researchers have suggested that these types of investigations are rare (Garrigos-Simon et al., 2018;Ruhanen et al., 2015a), although the latest bibliometric studies on sustainable tourism found that this research technique is becoming more popular (Niñerola et al., 2019;Qian et al., 2018). The research topics on sustainable tourism focus not only on the environment, but also on issues like cultural heritage and tourists' behaviour, motivation and activities (Ruhanen et al., 2015a) or economic growth (León-Gómez et al., 2021). ...
... It is also worth mentioning that we noticed that quite a high number of bibliometric studies have recently been published on topics related to the impact of tourism on nature (Della Corte et al., 2019;Ruhanen et al., 2019b), yet usually they analyse only a limited sample of all publications. Some of them focus on the topic of sustainable tourism in a single journal (Bramwell et al., 2017;Qian et al., 2018) or in the highest ranked journals (Ruhanen et al., 2015b). Other papers examine only those articles that use selected keywords (Della Corte et al., 2019;Niñerola et al., 2019). ...
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Bibliometric analytics has recently been gaining in importance. Specifically, mapping knowledge and inter-relations among studied subjects is bringing new insights to science, education, and practice. Such bibliometric analysis is applicable to tourist research and we offer an examination of such application to a bioculturally delimited cluster within the field. The main objective of this paper is to analyse author keywords (AK) in the Hospitality, Leisure, Sport and Tourism (HLST) category of the Web of Science (WOS) to establish the importance of nature related topics for tourist researchers. As a background and a starting point, it was necessary to identify the principal research topics studied within the whole HLST category. To achieve these objectives all the registers in the Core Collection of the WOS database of the category were downloaded. A co-word analysis was performed for subsequent clustering purposes and centrality parameters were calculated for the whole keyword network within the timeframe 1991 to 2020. The most frequently used words in the category were directly related to tourism and sport, while those referring to the natural environment occurred with a lesser frequency. Eight topics were identified during the analysis, with the tourism cluster having the largest number of components. A cluster dealing with the natural environment and sustainable development was identified and labelled the ECO-CLUSTER for which the principal keywords were: SUSTAINABLE TOURISM, CLIMATE CHANGE, ECOTOURISM and SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. It was found that though the ECO-CLUSTER was relatively homogenous it remained relatively isolated from the rest of the HLST category. This study presents a unique attempt to perform a global analysis of the whole AKs network within the HLST category. It allows the identification of research gaps and improvement in the understanding of tourism research directions.
... Tourism is a multi-dimensional activity that affects the social, cultural, economic and ecology of a particular place. The tourism industry links several sectors of the economy such as transportation, accommodation, entertainment, recreation, hospitality, infrastructure and shopping (Dileep & Chandrasekar, 2019;Khan, Bibi, Ardito, et al., 2020;Qian et al., 2018;Sharpley, 2021). Substantial literature documents several dichotomies of tourism, but this section examines a few of those studies relating tourism to ICT and financial development. ...
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... In recent decades, sustainable tourism has become one of the critical research areas of tourism (Qian, Shen, & Law, 2018). Extensive literature has been dedicated to the subject in academic and public forums. ...
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... Sustainability in the tourism sector has been studied from different perspectives [21] and measured in terms of both the tourism destination [22,23] and the hospitality sector [24,25]. ...
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Within the tourism sector, sustainability has been studied widely at different levels and with different lenses. In the last few years, many research activities have been carried out to assess the social dimension of tourism. Under this perspective, scholars have focused on the accessibility of the tourism and hospitality sectors. This study represents the first-ever attempt to assess how tourists’ physical handicaps or special needs are considered in a very specific kind of accommodation facility: the mountain hut. To do so, semi-structured interviews were conducted with mountain hut managers about four mountain huts—29% of all the mountain huts located in Gran Paradiso National Park, the first established Italian protected area. The results underline both strong and critical points. Considering that many mountain huts are located in severe environments (e.g., medium-high altitudes and reachable only on foot), they have limitations in hosting visitors with physical constraints, who, on the other hand, normally do not attend this kind of facility. By contrast, all of the mountain hut managers were able to satisfy visitors with special food needs, for example, vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, showing their capability to cope with new forms of tourism demands and expectations.
... Meanwhile, the network analysis method which is part of the Social Network Analysis is used to analyze the relationships (edges) between words (nodes) through graphical software visualization. The engine analysis output (in this case, the AntConc, RStudio, and Gephi software) is then interpreted through content analysis, which is able to comprehensively dissect data statistics (47). ...
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The objective of this research is to compare movement of stock return literature on companies in the tourism sector and other businesses. This study also analyzed comprehensively the relationship between contexts built on the literature. The mix method approach is adopted by combining text mining methods, which are analyzed using network and content analysis methods. The scientific literature was collected using the web scraping method on Litmaps and selected 200 articles and only used 195 articles (between 2000-2021) related to the topic of stock returns and 23 (between 2013-2020) related to the tourism company sector. In the process of data analysis and visualization, this study uses AntConc, RStudio, and Gephi software. This review discovered that in terms of topic and context, stock return studies discuss issues related to the influence of fundamental factors on stock returns, and vice versa, while the approach used is mostly quantitative based on the financial performance reports. Regarding the frequency of appearance, this result revealed that the effects of fundamental factors on stock returns in tourism companies can be translated into a number of strategic issues, including Current Ratio, TATO, ROE, FATO, and Systematic Risk, which provide a significant and positive effect on Direct Share Prices. Furthermore, the Current Ratio, TATO, ROE, and FATO are thought to have a significant and positive effect on stock returns via Systematic Risk. The scope of this research is limited to the national journal (Indonesia) on the Litmaps search engine. In theory, the results of this research can be used as a comparison and considerations related to previous studies, as well as what investigation requires to be done immediately, in the context of tourism companies' stock returns. The literature study on the tourism companies' stock returns issue is perhaps the first systematic literature review in Indonesia.
... In tourism and hospitality, a few studies have validated the effectiveness of longitudinal data. For instance, Qian et al. [55] conducted a longitudinal study to explore the pattern of research in sustainable tourism. Some other applications include identifying the attributes of innovation and productivity in tourism enterprises [56]; in social media management [57]; in tourism demand patterns and segmentation of tourism markets [58]; or in tourists' behavior patterns [59]. ...
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Service failure is inevitable. Although empirical studies on the outcomes and processes of service failures have been conducted in the hotel industry, the findings need more exploration to understand how different segments perceive service failures and the associated emotions differently. This approach enables hotel managers to develop more effective strategies to prevent service failures and implement more specific service-recovery actions. For analysis, we obtained a nine-year (2010–2018) longitudinal dataset containing 1224 valid respondents with 73,622 words of textual content from a property affiliated with an international hotel brand in Canada. A series of text-mining and natural language processing (NLP) analyses, including frequency analysis and word cloud, sentiment analysis, word correlation, and TF–IDF analysis, were conducted to explore the information hidden in the massive amount of unstructured text data. The results revealed the similarities and differences between groups (i.e., men vs. women and leisure vs. business) in reporting service failures. We also carefully examined different meanings of words that emerged from the text-mining results to ensure a more comprehensive understanding of the guest experience.
... Combined with relevant studies [63][64][65][66], since the vegetation in the university town is arranged by each university according to the campus pattern and the needs of science popularization, the normalized vegetation index (NDVI), a method of calculating the vegetation coverage degree by combining the red and near-infrared bands according to the spectral characteristics of vegetation, was used to calculate the vegetation distribution of Guangzhou University Town and to assess the greening degree of each science popularization tourist site. ...
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With the advent of the knowledge economy, universities have increasingly important roles in cities. However, some universities and cities are still fragmented, and popular science tourism is one way to solve this. The purposes and destinations of popular science tourism differ from those of traditional tourism. Consequently, their resources have a high development value for ecological and human resources. However, research on popular science tourism in China is still in its infancy. Here, we studied popular science tourism from a geographical perspective, selecting scale capacity, environmental level, resource level, location, and service conditions as factors to construct a judgment matrix to calculate the weights of indicators at various levels. Analytic hierarchy was used to build a popular science tourism evaluation system for Guangzhou University Town as a case study and the suitability of each tourist destination in the university town was evaluated. The results show that west Guangzhou University Town is more suitable for popular science tourism than the east, which possesses more value for popular science tourism development. Finally, we give recommendations for developing popular science tourism in Guangzhou University Town.
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This dissertation is concentrated in the intersection between the commercial and the spiritual to understand how spiritual experiences are lived by consumers. We are aligned with the recently constituted field of Consumer Spirituality (Husemann & Eckhardt, 2019a, p. 393) that considers the "practices and processes engaged in when consuming market offerings (products, services, places) that yield 'spiritual utility'". Through an interpretive ethnographic approach in four Catholic pilgrimage sites in Latin America and Europe, this research reveals the patterns and differences of the spiritual consumption between and across each case studied. The findings highlight 12 themes emerged from the analysis that are related to the tensions andagreements between the spiritual and the commercial, the collective and individualized experience of pilgrims, the consumption of the spiritual as coping strategy do deal with mundane problems, the embodied and material consumption of the pilgrimage, and also issues related to accessibility,sustainability and over consumption in pilgrimage settings. This doctoral research therefore contributes to the literature on the marketization of the sacred, coping mechanisms, embodiment, materiality and other societal issues.
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