Ecotourism Books

Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet

Sustainable Tourism on a Finite Planet. Environmental, Business and Policy Solutions.

Author: Megan Epler Wood

Routledge, ISBN 978-1-138-21761-4, January 2017, Hardback/Paperback/E-book, 327 pages.

If you were elected to public office and suddenly installed as head of the tourism ministry without previous professional experience of the travel sector (it does happen) and only a vague idea of sustainability, then this densely written book can be your crash course on how the tourism sector works and what exactly it would take – and how difficult it really is - to make it sustainable. But it is an equally useful and thought-provoking work for seasoned and aspiring tourism sustainability professionals, as it includes detailed praise and criticism of a wide range of stakeholders trying, some harder than others, to make tourism greener.

Encyclopaedia of Sustainable TourismEncyclopaedia of Sustainable TourismThe Encyclopedia of Sustainable Tourism

Edited by Carl Cater, Brian Garrod and Tiffany Low
CABI International, ISBN 9781780641430, October 2015, Hardback, 662 pages.

This, like many quality encyclopaedias, is a fine example of "crowdwriting", in this case a collaborative effort by 163 Contributors from 28 countries in 5 continents. This reference work was originally meant for publication in 2013, to follow the release of the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria in 2012 but there were delays as at least two members of the editorial board, we are told, had to peer-review each entry. But it paid off as the style is on the one hand largely consistent and on the other hand you can refreshingly still detect subjective opinions e.g. “the world's largest concentration of tourist traps is Las Vegas”.

Volunteer Tourism - Popular Humanitarianism in Neoliberal Times

Author: Mary Mostafaneszhad
Ashgate, ISBN 978-1-4094-6953-7, August 2014

There are still a few academic books, about a dozen, on Volunteer Tourism (VT), despite its rapid growth, so this monograph is a welcome as well as useful, if over-critical, addition. Right from the start, the reader may get the impression that the authors' disposition is rather polemic with VT being portrayed as a form of “neoliberal activism”, an aspirin / weak substitute offered by “Neoliberal Capitalism” and the global north to a global south debilitated by “structural adjustment programs, state pullbacks and privatization schemes” (p.3). Other controversial introductory statements include that “Tourism is first and foremost a commodity, albeit an intangible one” (p.25) and may reinforce an impression of hostility towards tourism as a whole.