Reviews

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.

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Trade in Ecosystem ServicesTrade in Ecosystem Services'Trade in Ecosystem Services – When 'payment for environmental services' delivers a permit to destroy'

by Jutta Kill, World Rainforest Movement, April 2014, 34 pages 

Albert Einstein, as this informative report reminds us, famously observed that "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." A fundamental (philosophical as well as practical) question when it comes to evaluating the commercial practice described as "Trade" or "Payment" for "Environmental" or "Ecosystem" "Services (PES), therefore is "Is Nature, which certainly counts (and is no longer an 'externality' even for the most unreformed-uninformed economists), countable?

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State of the World 2014 - Governing for SustainabilityState of the World 2014 - Governing for SustainabilityState of the World 2014 - Governing for Sustainability

The Worldwatch Institute 

Island Press, ISBN 978-1-61091541-0, April 2014 –  320 pages 

This annual report, which anyone even remotely interested in the future of this planet should read, marks the 30th anniversary of the series and the 40th anniversary of the Worldwatch Institute. This year the focus is on "Governance", or what and whom it will take to put on the break and steer the world to the opposite direction so as to avoid catastrophic climate change: warmer more acidic oceans, massive storms, rising seas thal disrupt food production, and force millions to relocate from sea coasts and arid regions.

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Managing Ethical Consumption in Tourism

Edited by Clare Weeden and Karla Boluk

Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-71676-5, January 2014 – 260 pages 

Managing Ethical Consumption in TourismManaging Ethical Consumption in TourismA path-breaking volume which succeeds in filling a void in the literature, largely avoids productivist, neoliberal, moralistic and neo-puritan pitfalls, discusses ethics mostly in relation to alternative forms of tourism and, despite its economistic-sounding title, and refreshingly for an academic book which has to meet 'neutrality' standards, it discusses ethics from a largely ecological and socially progressive angle.

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Peace Through Tourism - Promoting human security through international citizenship

Edited by Lynda-ann Blanchard and Freya Higgins-Desbiolles

Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-82463-7, April 2013 – 276 pages

Peace Through TourismPeace Through TourismThere are some fundamental contradictions in the definition and perception of Tourism (and consequently “Peace Tourism”) and this important book sets out to investigate them. Is it an industry or a phenomenon (or both)? Is it about personal recreation and satisfaction or about collectively reshaping the world (or both)? On the one hand the international community seems to treat it as a light topic along with recreation and on the other, perhaps as a reaction, international tourism bodies frequently use hyperbole and self-praise about the peace-building, job-creating, conservation-supporting and the other innumerable abilities of “Tourism”, their constituency. (All industries & sectors do that of course, not just the Tourism industry, they massage statistics and exaggerate their importance so as to receive priority in an era of diminishing funding).

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Transfrontier Conservation Areas -  People Living on the EdgeTransfrontier Conservation Areas - People Living on the EdgeTransfrontier Conservation Areas - People Living on the Edge

Edited by Jens A. Andersson, Michel de Garine-Wichatitsky, David H.M. Cumming, Vupenyu Dzingirai and Ken E. Giller.

Routledge, ISBN 978-1-84971-208-8, August 2012 – 216 pages

The book, a product of collaboration between Wageningen University (Netherlands), CIRAD (France) and the Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS) of the University of Zimbabwe, sets out to criticize the new and rapidly growing trend of Transfrontier conservation areas in Southern Africa by focusing on the ‘forgotten people displaced by, or living on the edge’ of Transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) mainly in South Africa and Zimbabwe, and dispute the “dream of eco-tourism-fuelled development supporting nature conservation” or the “development of rural communities through cross-border collaboration”.

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Tourism, Climate Change & SustainabilityTourism, Climate Change & SustainabilityTourism, Climate Change & Sustainability

Edited by Maharaj Vijay Reddy and Keith Wilkes.

Routledge, ISBN: 978-1-84971-422-8, September 2012 - 284 pages 

This volume, edited by Bournemouth University’s Maharaj Vijay Reddy and Keith Wilkes, was written in the run up to Rio +20 (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development - 20-22 June 2012) and almost a year later remains a valuable contribution. Its main strength, and at the same time a weakness, is that it inardventedly reflects and records the non-binding attitudes towards Climate Change (CC) in global and tourism governance as well as the indifferent (or perhaps hypocritical) stance of big tourism and the inertia of many small businesses.

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