Rethinking sustainability in the tour-operating industry: Worldwide survey of current attitudes and behaviors

Gianluca Goffi, Lorenzo Masiero, Tonino Pencarelli

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to assess tour operators’ sustainability orientation and engagement and to determine whether variations among different tour operators exist, that is, from different continents, with different targets and dimensions. A survey among tour operators worldwide was conducted. A total of 204 answers were obtained with a worldwide coverage. Results affirm relatively high sustainability orientation and engagement and that the more sustainability-oriented the tour operators are, the more sustainability-engaged they are. Moreover, results show that smaller tour operators, specializing in nature and cultural tourism, and owning accommodation facilities are also highly engaged in sustainability. Significant differences are observed among regions, with higher engagement for African and Asian tour operators compared with European ones. This study proposes the development of a new approach to sustainability in this sector: by introducing corporate sustainability strategies, tour operators can maintain their economic capital while preserving natural and social capital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-182
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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