Susanne Becken, Professor of Tourism at Griffith University in Australia, in this interview tells us how her view on sustainability and tourism has changed over the years, how climate change will affect tourism and what her most recent book, Tourism and Oil, is all about.
- How Susanne’s view of sustainability and tourism changed over the years;
- The main challenges for implementing sustainable tourism;
- Why climate change is a threat to some but not all destinations;
- Her thoughts on the current state of sustainable tourism in Australia and New Zealand;
- The future of sustainable tourism research;
- Which books she recommends;
- Her favorite sustainable tourism success story.
Susanne, what was your view of sustainability and tourism when you first started your academic career – and how has it changed?
When I started, I was intrigued by the question whether tourism is ultimately only adding to environmental impacts, or whether it can be a vehicle to – in a net sense – reduce them.
In other words, is tourism a more sustainable form of development than other forms of land use.
I am still intrigued by the same question, but have come to the conclusion that a lot depends on how well tourism is planned for and managed. In some destinations, tourism can have a hugely detrimental effect, but I have also seen excellent examples where tourism has led to an overall improvement of sustainability, along all dimensions of the triple bottom line.