Skip main navigation

New offer! Get 30% off your first 2 months of Unlimited Monthly. Start your subscription for just £35.99 £24.99. New subscribers only T&Cs apply

Find out more

An academic perspective

Here an academic sumarises his thoughts on the topics we've looked at this week.
My name is Fabio Carbone, I am an academic, practitioner, and an activist. I work at Coventry University in the School of Marketing and Management, as a lecturer and as a researcher at the Centre for Trust Peace and Social Relations. My work is about the relationship that exists between tourism, cultural heritage management, and intercultural dialogue for peace. Well, when we talk about sustainable tourism or sustainability in tourism, it’s actually not so much about the form of tourism we are talking about, but rather about the political choices and managerial choices, that means that is all about the quality of planning, developing, and managing the destination, or the place, in order to respect exactly what the very meaning of sustainability is.
If we go back to the Brundtland report in the end of the 80s that define what sustainability is, the pre launch this concept, the idea is to use the resources, but at the same time, preserve the same resources for the future generations, and this applies to tourism. In order to preserve these resources, we need to be able to manage well the use of these resources, independently from the form of tourism we are talking about. The dependency of the destination from tourism, this is something that the experience tell us has to be avoided. An example is the legacy of Thomas Cook.
When Thomas Cook failed and collapse, it was not only about travellers, that could not go back home, but was also about all the jobs, that basically, from one moment to another they disappear. What happened in terms of destination, all these people that were there? So, the idea is not to be completely dependent on tourism economically socially etc. The economic impacts of tourism, they can be very good but, they can never replace the cultural and social resources, that are present in a destination.
When, in terms of environment for example, you can immediately define what is the damage that tourism do to the environment, the coastline for example, but in terms of social and cultural damages, this is more difficult to define and is very difficult to replace. We can say it’s impossible to replace the uniqueness of a place, so about this there is no money that can overweight this kind of loss. The economic benefit of tourism, in my opinion, is never worth the loss of cultural identity, even if in this case there is, to some extent that ideal meaning of sustainability. Ideal why?
Because every time you introduce a new element in a context, you cannot avoid some change, and this happened both at cultural level and also natural level. We have the empirical example in Africa, the presence of tourists with Safari etc, is changing, or already changed the habits of the animals, and we are talking about something that is elaborate as sustainable tourism, because there are few people, etc, etc, etc, but still, there is an impact. There is always an impact, now a huge impact, a huge loss in terms of culture, the economic benefit is not worth this kind of loss. The creation of all these different labels,
for destination and for tourist products, example: a hotel a green hotel where, to some extent yes they can mitigate the negative impact of tourism, in environmental terms in particular, nevertheless, sometimes happen that because the society is now so much aware certain discussion and topics like the climate change for example, the marketing can eventually use this to promote something that is not that helpful in reality. Generally speaking yes, there is an attempt to mitigate the negative effects of tourism, also because people are aware about the fact that once the resource is destroyed, cannot be replaced. So if there is no resource, there will be no tourism.
So we need to protect also, what create the tourist activity, what motivates the tourist activity.

In the video Fabio Carbone, a lecturer in International Tourism Management, discusses his thoughts on the topics we’ve looked at this week.

Your task

As you watch, compare your impressions and thoughts to his.
Are you mostly in agreement? Disagreement? Why do you think that is?
This article is from the free online

The Impacts of Tourism

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now