Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainable Tourism – Literature review

Sustainable development has been defined as development that meets the needs of present and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunities for the future. Sustainable tourism, in addition to the criteria of sustainable development requires a holistic, integrated perspective that takes into account all the industries and resources upon which tourism relies. The set of criteria or principles that define the conditions for its achievement comprises:
•    Protect and conserve sustainable resources
•    Be a multi-stakeholder approach
•    Be environmentally responsible
•    Maintain the well-being and involvement of the local population or host
•    Provide meaningful and fairly remunerated employment for the host population
•    Have economic benefit
•    Have a long-term view
•    Have a triple-bottom line approach (environmental, social and economic)
•    Be equitable
•    Government must play a leadership role (e.g., impose a ‘greater good’ approach)
•    Obtain optimum guest satisfaction and educate tourists about environmental and social concerns
Simion, Mazilu, Patrutescu, and Ispas (2010) summarized the fundamental indicators of sustainable tourism as displayed in Table 1. The definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has many similar elements to sustainable tourism in that both focus on how stakeholders should be identified and engaged and that initiatives should be measured to determine their impact on others. Whereas CSR relates to a company’s obligation to be accountable to all of its stakeholders in all its operations and activities with the aim of achieving sustainable development not only in the economical dimension but also in the social and environmental dimensions, sustainable tourism was first seen mainly from an environmental perspective and has only recently incorporated social and community aspects. Today, it is commonly recognised that sustainable tourism is more than just environmental conservation of a natural area, but that is must also address the quality of life of those visiting it and those being visited. Sustainable tourism development is about making all tourism more compatible with the needs and resources of a destination area. Tourism needs to take into account a holistic and comprehensive approach that balances tourism development with other activities yet tourism is made up of many sectors and is very fragmented, therefore effects and monitoring processes through one company or mechanism has been difficult. The supply chain of product to end user is not often controlled by solely one party or individual and different elements are often operated by multiple stakeholders. This therefore has led to difficulties in controlling elements of corporate social responsibility.

Table 1. The fundamental indicators of sustainable tourism

1. Site Protection The category of the site’s protection after the index of the International Union for the Preservation of Nature (IUCN)
2. Pressure The number of tourists who visit the site (year/month with maximum influx)
3. Intensity of use The intensity of use during peak periods (the number of people and per hectare)
4. Social impact The report tourists/residents (during the peak period, but also during the rest of the period)
5. Development Control The existence of a method of study of the environment or specific controls on the planning method of the area and the density of use
6. Waste management Ratio of treated wastewater of the site (additional indicators may lead to structural limitations of other site infrastructure capacity, such as the water supply)
7. Planning process The existence of a methodical plan for the tourist destination in question (with a component “tourism”)
8. Fragile ecosystems The number of rare species or endangered ones
9. Customer satisfaction Visitor satisfaction (using a questionnaire)
10. Satisfaction of the local population Satisfaction of the local population (using a questionnaire)
11. Contribution of tourism to local economy How much tourism represents (%) in all the economic activity