On this page
- Research strategies
- Database indexes to journal articles, conference papers, chapters in books, reports, etc.
- Statistical sources
- Selected regulatory / policy bodies
- Public consultations
- Selected policy documents
- Research organizations and gateways
- Industry associations
- Certification programs
- Civil society organizations
Look for literature that discusses sustainability indicators, either as policy discussions or applied (case studies). Within these documents look for leads to other documents and organizations.
Whether using internet search engines, the library catalogue or article index databases, you can construct your search syntax for effective results, for example:
|(ecotourism OR eco-tourism OR sustainable tourism)||AND||(indicators OR measur* OR assessment OR stewardship)|
|touris*||AND||(environment* OR social OR cultur* OR economic)|
(environment* OR ecolog* OR biodivers*)
As well as the broad search, try looking for specific types of indicators and specific types of tourism, for example, skiing and economic sustainability or cultural aspects of kayaking in remote coastal regions.
Think about what type of documentation you're seeking::
- legislation / regulation?
- position papers?
- records of consultation?
- existing frameworks?
- case studies?
Consider the various interest groups and look for their views to be represented. For example, groups interested in sustainability of sports fishing may include commercial fishers, sports fishing camp owners, competing tourist industries (e.g. whale watching), aquaculture workers, commercial fishers, first nations, and local residents, all competing for or influenced within the same resource environment
Consider the following sources of documents when looking for all perspectives on a sustainable tourism issue:
|Interest group||Documents sources|
|Government||websites, reports & position papers, assessment programs, manuals for practitioners|
|Researchers (academic, industry, NGO)||Scholarly books & articles, conference papers, consultations with government|
|Tourism industry||Industry associations websites, government consultations, newspapers and trade magazines, case studies|
|Competing industries (resource-based and other)||Industry associations websites, government consultations, newspapers and trade magazines, case studies|
|Activists (conservationists, social issues, heritage)||Websites, government consultations, newspaper articles|
|Residents (aboriginal as well as settlers)||Newspaper articles, government consultations|
|Tourism consumers||Survey results, statistical sources, newspaper articles|
The following are subject headings in the Library Catalogue that may lead you to some useful books or reports:
- tourism - social aspects
- tourism - economic aspects
- tourism - environmental aspects
- tourism - government policy
- sustainable development
- economic development
- sports and tourism
- culture and tourism
- heritage tourism
- recreation areas
- wildlife watching
- marine ecotourism
- sports and tourism
- culture and tourism
- heritage tourism
- recreation areas
- wildlife watching
- marine ecotourism
- Sustainable tourism: theory and practice [print]
- Monitoring for a sustainable tourism transition: the challenge of developing and using indicators [online or print]
- Sustainable Tourism III. International Conference on Sustainable Tourism [print]
- The World Ecotourism Summit: Quebec City, Canada, 19 to 22 May 2002: final report [print]
- Sustainable development of tourism: a compilation of good practices. World Tourism Organization [print]
- Tourism and the environment: regional, economic, cultural, and policy issues [print]
- Tourism and sustainability: development, globalisation and new tourism in the Third World [print]
Database indexes to journal articles, conference papers, chapters in books, reports, etc.
|Human geography and development topics covered, as well as physical geography, geology and ecology.|
|Comprehensive coverage in environmental and many related disciplines|
|Indexes government publications (federal, provincial & territorial), including scientific and technical, social, economic, and political reports; Statistics Canada and other selected statistical publications|
|Useful for finding journal articles covering anthropology, geography, cultural practise, planning and public administration, international relations, policy and urban studies.|
|Good place for exploring social aspects of tourism.|
Business journals and trade publications covering the industry perspective on tourism and sustainable development. Good for marketing research and case studies.
|Alternative, radical, and left publications, which report and analyze the practices and theories of cultural, economic, political, and social change.|
|Intended to provide a search engine for scholarly materials on the web, including articles, conference proceedings, digital repositories, etc. Includes citations but basis for results ranking and scope of database are withheld from users. Not comprehensive - use with caution.|
|Indexes for specialized topics:|
|Biological and ecological aspects of marine, brackish and freshwater environments; wildlife management, recreation, and public health|
|Indexes to biological sciences and agricultural literature. Useful for finding bio-indicators (conservation of species and biodiversity)|
|Worldwide scientific and practical literature focused on the Arctic and cold regions, including land management, culture, social, economic and environmental aspects of tourism and travel|
Worldwide scientific and practical literature in the areas of sport science. Especially useful for recreational tourism
|Source||Description / details|
Selected regulatory / policy bodies
Public policy development is reflected in a variety of document types: legislation (bylaws, bills, statutes, regulation, treaties & conventions), position papers by government departments, industry and activists, records of public consultations, etc. The industry may also self-regulate or offer voluntary guidelines for practice. When researching policy issues, you need to identify the subject of the policy, how the issue is regulated, who has responsibility for regulating the issue (geopolitical parameters) and note names of documents that describe the development and implementation of the policy.
|Organization||Selected resources on site|
|Click on the Library tab for a listing of downloadable publications, such as:
North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation
|Natural Resources Canada||
|Ministry of Agriculture and Lands|
|Ministry of Environment||
NOTE: to identify government agencies with responsibilities for tourism in other countries, use leads in secondary sources (e.g. research articles) OR go to the homepage for the national government and search for your topic within the site. Responsibility for different aspects of specific types of tourism may be spread across several government bodies. Regional, as well as national, agencies may play a role in developing policy.
Public consultations about proposed policy changes often take place with stakeholder groups that represent a range of positions, as well as interested individuals. Industry, civil society organizations, indigenous peoples, tourists, residents. government officials and other interest groups may submit policy briefs describing their position and/or make presentations to the consulting body.
Calls for public consultation are documented in government publications, such as the Canada Gazette, advertisements in newspapers and other publications, via listservs to interest groups, etc. The results of consultations with stakeholders may be documented in minutes and evidence for federal and provincial legislative bodies (e.g. parliamentary committees), ministry websites (e.g. part of environmental assessment for development projects), as well as regional/municipal government websites (e.g.expansion to the Vancouver Aquarium ). Public consultations may be contracted out to companies and final reports may list the groups consulted, without including details of each group's position.
Public consultations with government agencies are often reported in media sources as well, providing the names of interested groups and summaries of their views. Interest group websites are another good source for information about public consultations (e.g. Cathedral Grove parking issues). For municipally based tourism initiatives, the Board of Trade website is often a good source of information, as well as websites for individual businesses in the region.
As you find documents that describe sustainable tourism policy and indicators, see if you can find descriptions of the consultation process as the documents are developed, in order to assess whether the indicators are representative of all stakeholders.
Selected policy documents
- United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (1992: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Agenda 21 [print]
- Convention on Biological Diversity includes a section on Biological Diversity and Tourism
- International Conference of Environment Ministers on Biodiversity and Tourism (Berlin, March 6-8, 1997). The Berlin Declaration on Biological Diversity and Sustainable Tourism
- Workshop on Biological Diversity and Tourism (Santo Domingo, June 4-7, 2001). Compilation and analysis of existing codes, guidelines and position papers on sustainable tourism includes a list of the international primary documents consulted
- EarthSummit 2002. Sustainable Tourism: Turning the Tide
- Quebec Declaration on Ecotourism
- EUROPARC. European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. (2002) See also additional information
Research organizations and gateways
- Centre for Tourism Policy and Research at SFU - includes a collection of links focused on different types of tourism
- World Tourism Forum for Peace and Sustainable Development
- International Ecotourism Society (TIES) Search TIES library links to full text publications
- Centre on Ecotourism and Sustainable Development (Stanford)
- International Centre for Ecotourism Research (Griffiths University)
- International Centre for Responsible Tourism
- Conservation International: Ecotourism
- ECOTRANS: "A European network of experts and organisations in Tourism, Environment and regional development, who are seeking to promote good practice in the field of sustainable Tourism"
- Sustainable Tourism: Includes key indicators and examples of best practices
- International Institute for Sustainable Development
- International Sustainability Indicators Network
- World Conservation Union (IUCN): search their publications for anything on tourism
- DestiNet: Sustainable Tourism Information Portal - a joint initiative of the European Environmental Agency (EEA) and ECOTRANS European network of experts and NGOs
- ERTR: E-Review of Tourism Research
- Sustainable Tourism: Gateway site created by the Global Development Research Centre
- Tourism Research Links: Gateway created by ReneWaksberg, includes sustainable tourism and resource management link categories
- World Travel and Tourism Council: "Forum for global business leaders comprising the presidents, chairs and CEOs of 100 of the world's foremost companies"
- Tour Operators Initiative
- Travel and Tourism Research Association: Database of research publications but full text only available to members
- Pacific Asia Travel Association: (PATA), includes PATA Traveller’s Code -- Sustaining Indigenous Cultures
- Travel Industry Association of America
- Tourism Industry Association of Canada
- Council of Tourism Associations of British Columbia
- Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance
- Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC
- BC Wilderness Tourism Association
- ECOTIP: "Leading information service for eco-labels and best practices in European tourism"
- Rainforest Alliance links to certification programs for sustainable tourism
Civil society organizations
- Tourist Concern: "Work with communities in destination countries to reduce social and environmental problems connected to tourism and with the out-going tourism industry in the UK to find ways of improving tourism so that local benefits are increased"
- Pro-Poor tourism
- Planeta.com: "An informative news source and discussion site on ecotourism, focused on (but not limited to) Latin American issues"
- Rainforest Alliance Sustainable Tourism Activities: Publish the Sustainable Tourism Certification Network of the Americas Newsletter
- Ecotourism Guidelines (1999): Developed for the Canadian Environmental Network International Program
- Third World Network: Tourism Section