University of Westminster

Project Description

Can the tourism industry regulate itself so that it acts in a sustainable fashion?

Project Abstract

This project concerns the relationship between self-regulation and the sustainability of the tourism industry. In the quest for more sustainable forms of tourism, many commentators have identified a key role for the industry, particularly in a political context where the trend is for government regulation to be reduced rather than made more stringent. Codes of conduct and accreditation schemes are already being employed as a form of self-regulation by some tourism industry sectors. The aim of this research is to establish whether the tourism industry is an industry where more extensive self-regulation could work (and more specifically whether it could help achieve sustainability goals). To make the research more manageable, the tour operating sector will be selected as the main focus for the project. The aim is to use existing research to establish in what circumstances self-regulation works, and then to apply this criteria to the characteristics of the UK outbound tour operating sector. Suveys will be conducted with tour operating firms to assess whether they consider that their industry matches the characteristics of sectors where self-regulation is appropriate/has worked. More general views on self-regulation and its alternatives will also be revaled by these industry figures. Although there is a growing body of work on self-regulation (including a recent special edition of the journal �Law and Policy�), there have been few attempts to assess this mode of regulation with reference to tourism. Therefore, this simple paper should make a significant contribution to the field.

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