The ecological footprint as a key indicator of sustainable tourism

Colin John Hunter, Jonathan Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

159 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper argues for ecological footprint (EF) analysis to become widely adopted as a key environmental indicator of sustainable tourism (ST). It is suggested that EF analysis provides a unique, global perspective on sustainability that is absent with the use of locally derived and contextualised ST indicators. A simple methodology to estimate indicative, minimum EF values for international tourism activities involving air travel is presented. Critically, the methodology accounts for the EF that would have been used by a tourist at home during the tourist trip, providing an estimate of the net, as well as the gross, tourism-related EF. Illustrations of the application of the methodology are provided, including the evaluation and comparison of specific tourism products. It is suggested that some (eco)tourism products may, potentially, make a positive contribution to resource conservation at the global scale. Areas for further research in applying EF analysis to tourism are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-57
Number of pages12
JournalTourism Management
Volume28
Issue number1
Early online date19 Oct 2005
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2007

Keywords

  • sustainable tourism
  • indicator
  • ecological footprint
  • Costa-Rica

Cite this

The ecological footprint as a key indicator of sustainable tourism. / Hunter, Colin John; Shaw, Jonathan.

In: Tourism Management, Vol. 28, No. 1, 02.2007, p. 46-57.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hunter, Colin John ; Shaw, Jonathan. / The ecological footprint as a key indicator of sustainable tourism. In: Tourism Management. 2007 ; Vol. 28, No. 1. pp. 46-57.
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