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Über dieses Buch

What are Responsible Tourism and Corporate Social Responsibility? What is the industry's awareness regarding these concepts? What are the systems and tools currently available on the market that tourism SMEs can use to assess their engagement and the sustainability of their business?

This book is aimed at replying to these questions and offering an innovative contribution to the current debate in the field. After having defined Responsible Tourism and CSR and the environment in which these methodologies develop, the authors present and compare the main European assessment and certification systems, describe their characteristics and functionalities and discuss the relevant issues concerning their application.

Through the AHP model and the selection of a number of relevant case histories, the suitability and efficacy of these systems in monitoring the level of responsibility of tourism SMEs are analyzed and debated. The results obtained contribute to enhance the recognition and diffusion of CSR principles in tourism and to support tourism businesses in choosing the assessment tool that best fits with their characteristics and the nature of their activity. The study also enables students and researchers to build or enhance their knowledge about the main reporting initiatives available in Europe and to assess the potential of the mathematical model applied for this kind of study.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
The introduction presents the main objectives and themes that have been developed in the book. The manuscript aims at offering a contribution to the ongoing debate about sustainable development in tourism, in particular by studying two phenomena able to support it: responsible tourism and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). After having clarified the definitions of responsible tourism, of related forms of tourism and of CSR provided by the international community, the book concentrates on the analysis of reporting systems for assessing the responsibility of tourism companies. This research effort is based on the belief that reporting programmes represent an important tool for encouraging responsible behaviour by both tourism businesses and tourists. The study develops a qualitative and quantitative analysis of reporting systems available at European level, measures their effectiveness and discusses the main issues met by companies in implementing them.
Mara Manente, Valeria Minghetti, Erica Mingotto

Chapter 2. Responsible Tourism

Abstract
Since the 1980s, the international community has become aware of the negative effects produced by mass tourism and has started to introduce the concept of sustainable development in tourism too. Forms of tourism that are considered alternative to mass tourism, above all responsible tourism, have started to emerge and nowadays their development is considered an important contribution to the sustainability of tourism practices. Given the presence of several definitions and overlapping concepts, this chapter clarifies the meaning and implications of responsible tourism and its relationship with other forms of tourism, such as ecotourism, community-based tourism, fair-trade tourism, solidarity tourism. Although each form of tourism emphasises more one specific aspect than another (environmental preservation, fairness, support to local community, etc.), all of them can be considered as a responsible way of travelling. Therefore, responsible tourism includes all those forms of travelling that pay attention to the environmental (preservation and safeguard of natural resources), socio-cultural (central role of the host community in decisions regarding local tourism development and planning; understanding of local culture and promoting cultural exchange between tourists and local people, etc.) and economic issues (fair relationships with local providers, support to local development, etc.) produced by tourism.
Mara Manente, Valeria Minghetti, Erica Mingotto

Chapter 3. Corporate Social Responsibility in the Tourism Industry

Abstract
Since the mid-1990s, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) started to emerge and be applied in different industry sectors. CSR arises from several issues: for example the businesses’ need to gain and retain consumer trust and the awareness that companies should take their responsibility for the impacts their activities cause on environment and society. CSR is therefore based on the concept of “triple bottom line”, which replaces the financial bottom line and implies that businesses are responsible for the environmental, social and economic effects they produce. This chapter clarifies the meaning and implication of CSR; explains the role of CSR in building and retaining consumer trust and, finally, explores the state of the art of CSR diffusion in tourism, highlighting the main benefits it brings to the tourism industry and the issues met by tourism companies, in particular by small- and medium-sized enterprises. The analysis points out that although CSR has a positive influence on consumer trust, efficiency, tourism product quality and business competitiveness, its implementation in the tourism industry, and especially in tourism SMEs, is limited by lack of awareness and knowledge and by high investments needed to implement an appropriate action plan.
Mara Manente, Valeria Minghetti, Erica Mingotto

Chapter 4. Introduction to Reporting Systems

Abstract
This chapter introduces reporting systems. Firstly, it explains what reporting systems are and underlines the benefits they brought for companies and consumers. Secondly, it describes their main characteristics, paying particular attention to those programs that are specifically addressed to assess the responsibility of tourism companies. While quality systems have existed for decades, environmental and social programs have been developed starting from the end of the 1980s/1990s depending on the geographical region. Type of auditing (self-assessment, second-party or third-party audit) and type of standards (process-based, performance-based or product-based standards) are the main elements that distinguish reporting systems. In addition, for programs addressing the responsibility of tourism companies, another important aspect to take into account is whether the system focuses on the evaluation of the internal business process and the whole supply chain or of the product only, checking the standards a responsible tourism product should respect (“certification approach” vs. “responsible tourism approach”). Many of these systems are scarcely known by companies and consumers and this damages their credibility and application.
Mara Manente, Valeria Minghetti, Erica Mingotto

Chapter 5. The Analysis of European Reporting Systems for Responsible Tourism and CSR

Abstract
This chapter proposes a detailed overview of reporting systems for assessing tourism business responsibility, in terms of compliance with responsible tourism values or CSR principles. The analysis focuses, in particular, on programs that have been mainly developed and applied in Europe and addressed to tour operators. The analysis includes eight reporting systems: the Responsible Tourism Standards of the Italian AITR; the system of the French ATES; the Enterprise Indicator for Responsible Tourism of the Spanish QUIDAMTUR; the CSR Reporting Standards of the German KATE and TourCert; the ATR system of the French ATT; the Tour Operators’ Sector Supplement of the international initiatives TOI and GRI; the system of the English Responsibletravel.com and the Travelife Sustainability System of the European initiative Travelife. The main characteristics of every system have been described (objectives, approaches, standards and indicators, auditing procedure) and a final comparison has been developed in order to identify main commonalities and differences. In addition, the main issues related to these programs have been identified and discussed: the difficulties met by small- and medium-sized enterprises in implementing them; the different attention paid to the triple bottom line dimensions; the inactivity of some systems versus the great consensus reached by other programs.
Mara Manente, Valeria Minghetti, Erica Mingotto

Chapter 6. Business Case-studies

Abstract
This chapter proposes a set of business case-studies showing how reporting systems can be successfully adopted and awarded by tour operators. The experiences of three different tour operators have been summarised (the German a&e erlebnis:reisen, the French Atalante and the Dutch Natuurreizen), who have implemented one of the programs described in Chap. 5: the Reporting Standards of KATE-TourCert; the ATR system of ATT and the Travelife Sustainability System, respectively. Since these tour operators differ in terms of size, supply specialisation, target market, etc., the case studies allow readers to see how every company has developed its responsible path, the policies and actions they have implemented (in favour of the environment, the host community, the local economic growth, the employees) and their projects for the future.
Mara Manente, Valeria Minghetti, Erica Mingotto

Chapter 7. Assessing the Effectiveness of Reporting Systems: Why and How

Abstract
This chapter proposes and describes a methodology to assess the effectiveness of the reporting systems for responsible tourism and CSR available in Europe, the scope being to give tourism businesses a set of elements useful to choose the program that best responds to their characteristics and requirements. Through the application of a mathematical and multi-criteria decision model, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), the main characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of every program have been evaluated and compared, according to different criteria. Better than a qualitative analysis, AHP analyses the performance of every alternative with respect to each parameter and finally calculates a value that expresses the overall quality and effectiveness of each system in assessing business responsibility. In particular, the main criteria that have been selected are as follows: the degree of attention paid by every program to all triple bottom line dimensions; the opportunity for small and medium-sized enterprises to apply the system; the integration between the “certification approach” and the “responsible tourism approach”; the transparency given by the type of auditing. The method selects the best reporting system to apply, according to the importance given to each criterion taken into account.
Mara Manente, Valeria Minghetti, Erica Mingotto

Chapter 8. Discussion and Future Research

Abstract
This chapter firstly discusses the main implications of the analysis of reporting systems for responsible tourism and CSR. In particular, it provides tour operators with detailed information on every available scheme and its performance/benefits in order to stimulate their adoption and to support more informed decisions about the system that best responds to their specificities and requirements. The study also enables students and researchers to build or enhance their knowledge about the characteristics and development of the main reporting initiatives available in Europe and to assess the potential of the AHP model for this kind of study. In the second part, future research directions are debated: the opportunity to analyse other reporting systems, developed in other world regions or addressed to other tourism companies (not only to tour operators); the adoption of other criteria for comparing and evaluating systems; the integration of reporting programs with demand-side assessment tools, such as online user-generated contents.
Mara Manente, Valeria Minghetti, Erica Mingotto

Chapter 9. Conclusion

Abstract
In the last chapter, some conclusions are drawn by summarising the most significant findings of the study. The book represents an interesting contribution to the ongoing debate about the role of responsible tourism, CSR and related reporting programs to encourage tourism companies and travellers to do their part for sustainable development in tourism.
Mara Manente, Valeria Minghetti, Erica Mingotto
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