Tourism and cultural sustainability: Towards an eco-cultural justice for place and people

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While studies of tourism have progressed beyond older discourses of "negative" and "positive" impacts to more nuanced understandings of the interrelatedness, complexity, and local-global scale in which tourism plays out, cultural considerations continue to lag in sustainable tourism; the dynamism and intangible aspects of culture make it especially elusive and difficult to address "cultural sustainability" and ethical issues that arise in this context. This paper argues for the development of an eco-cultural justice framework for sustainable tourism development and marketing: justice, equity, and the well-being of diverse groups, their cultural heritage, and their places of habitation, work, and leisure are integral considerations for sustainable destination management and marketing. A preliminary case study of Cozumel, Mexico and fifteen in-depth interviews with local participants provide the context for an ethical discussion around resident experiences and concerns, particularly as related to cultural sustainability and eco-cultural heritage. Theoretical and practical suggestions are offered.




Jamal, T., Camargo, B., Sandlin, J., & Segrado, R. (2010). Tourism and cultural sustainability: Towards an eco-cultural justice for place and people. Tourism Recreation Research, 35(3), 269–279.

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