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Sustainability Criteria for Tourism Attractions: A Case Study of Germany

Sustainability Criteria for Tourism Attractions: A Case Study of Germany
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Author(s): Michael C. Ottenbacher (Heilbronn University, Germany), Sina Schwebler (Heilbronn University, Germany), Daniel Metzler (Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany) and Robert J. Harrington (University of Arkansas, USA)
Copyright: 2018
Pages: 23
Source title: Sustainable Development: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools, and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3817-2.ch067

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Abstract

With the start of mass tourism in the 1980s, comprehensive concepts were developed not only to optimize these positive effects but also to minimize the negative impacts of tourism on the environment (). Problematic with the development of these concepts is the variety of approaches, each with different emphases, as well as the diverse interpretations of the term ‘sustainability' (). However, the topic of sustainability will be one of the drivers of future tourism development and will further increase in significance (). In response to the growing importance of sustainability, the government of the federal state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany, intends to implement and facilitate a sustainability check for tourism attractions. The aim of this study is to provide insight into the perception of sustainable tourism, to examine the ways how to implement it in tourism attractions in Baden-Württemberg and to determine specific sustainability criteria. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 18 experts of the tourism industry in Germany to better understand the requirements and expectations of such a sustainability check. The results of the interviews revealed that, in general, there is strong support for the government to implement a sustainability check for the highly diverse tourism attractions within the entire state. In this context, the interviews indicated the difficulties and individual particularities which would have to be considered when implementing a comprehensive sustainability check for different types of tourism attractions. The operationalization of the sustainability concept, such as ecolabels and guidelines, builds the foundation for the implementation of sustainable development.

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