Saluting while the ship sinks: the necessity for tourism paradigm change

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Journal Article
Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 2018, 26 (1), pp. 29 - 48
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© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The established mindset underpinning tourism planning, development and research is under attack from many quarters on the grounds that “business as usual” seems impossible to reconcile with sustainability. The paper first highlights key characteristics of the prevailing paradigm associated with tourism industry expansion globally. It then identifies common elements of an alternative “sustainable futures” paradigm, contrasting its features with those of the established paradigm in relation to seven fundamental elements: neo-liberalism, anthropocentrism, shareholder orientation, growth, price, space and promotion. Next, the paper identifies the implications of the alternative paradigm in terms of the underpinning mindset (attitudes and behaviours) of major tourism stakeholders. Pathways to facilitate the transition to the new sustainable futures’ paradigm are identified. The paper concludes with reflections on the power of the new paradigm, and its implications for a global sustainable tourism research and action agenda.
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