Resilience and sustainability: a complementary relationship? Towards a practical conceptual model for the sustainability–resilience nexus in tourism
Espiner, Stephen; Orchiston, Caroline; Higham, James
“Sustainability” has endured as an important concept for tourism scholars, and volumes have been written about how to achieve this holy grail of the tourism industry. Sustainable tourism destinations are often promoted as the ethical choice for discerning travellers, with some marketers taking full advantage of the widely acknowledged ambiguities implicit in the term. More recently, “resilience” has generated appeal in the academic tourism literature as a term that might capture core aspects of sustainability, while acknowledging the considerable influences that multiple contexts have on the capacity of communities to adapt and ultimately sustain their tourism enterprises. The resilience concept encompasses an inclusive and integrative “social ecological systems” approach, which gives it a firm interdisciplinary underpinning in its application in tourism. While in a tourism context sustainability and resilience are kindred terms, relatively little scholarly effort has been committed to a critical treatment of these concepts. Addressing this deficiency, we present a conceptual model to discuss the relationship between sustainability and resilience in tourism. Drawing on examples from New Zealand’s nature-based tourism sector, this conceptual paper explores the insights that a critical treatment of the sustainability–resilience nexus might offer both academics and practitioners in the field of tourism studies.
ISSN: 0966-9582 (Print); 1747-7646 (Online)
Keywords: Nature-based tourism; peripheral areas; sustainable tourism; resilience New Zealand
Research Type: Journal Article