The European Union has indicated the transition to Circular Economy (CE) among its priorities [COM (2015) 614], with a view towards sustainability. Starting from the principles of Industrial Ecology (IE), this concept aims at favouring the maintenance of the value of products, as well as of materials and resources--as long as possible--within the economy along with the minimization of waste. CE can be applied in various economic sectors, including tourism. Nonetheless, the concept of Circular Tourism (CT) was introduced only recently. The rise in tourism arrivals and the need for the achievement of sustainability goals have caused, amongst others, an ever-growing attention towards sustainable tourism. During the last decades, online platforms and tour operators have become one of the most usual means of booking tourist services. In this way, the formers can be considered capable of playing an important role for the promotion of sustainable tourism. It may be argued that most of tourism-related sustainability challenges depend on human behaviour. Nonetheless, it is this behaviour that can be educated and guided in order to make the right choices. Furthermore, the supply-chain environmental performance of a tourist activity can by assessed by using the fundamentals of the Life Cycle Thinking concept, and more specifically its ISO-standardised methodology, namely Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Indeed, tourism is one of the increasingly studied sectors in terms of LCA applications. This paper builds upon previous work and has a twofold objective. First, to identify whether the concept of sustainability can be integrated within online booking platforms and whether this has already been done. Additionally, an attempt will be made in order for a set of life-cycled-based indicators to be identified or proposed for the selection of sustainable accommodation within these websites. Tourists would therefore be assisted when it comes to choosing the most sustainable option of accommodation, in the same way as they can already do today when selecting the most convenient fare or the most suitable location and features. Regarding the first objective, the preliminary results of a literature review demonstrated that it is an issue that has not been tackled with so far by the scientific community. Furthermore, a set of online booking platforms were selected and tested for their incorporation of or willingness to promote the concept of a sustainable accommodation. The analysis surprisingly enough showed that this concept has been hardly incorporated into the online booking platforms, with a few exceptions where some attempts have been made. As far as the second objective is concerned, this has been poorly tackled by the scientific community, as well. The preliminary results of the literature review showed that only general-use life-cycle indicators have been proposed so far. Therefore, the conclusions drawn until now suggest that the future developments of this ongoing project include the identification or proposal of a set of indicators that would be useful for users booking on the web to make more sustainable choices.

Circular Tourism: Towards the Inclusion of the Concept of Sustainabilty in Online Booking Platforms

Arzoumanidis I.
;
Petti L.;Raggi A.
2020

Abstract

The European Union has indicated the transition to Circular Economy (CE) among its priorities [COM (2015) 614], with a view towards sustainability. Starting from the principles of Industrial Ecology (IE), this concept aims at favouring the maintenance of the value of products, as well as of materials and resources--as long as possible--within the economy along with the minimization of waste. CE can be applied in various economic sectors, including tourism. Nonetheless, the concept of Circular Tourism (CT) was introduced only recently. The rise in tourism arrivals and the need for the achievement of sustainability goals have caused, amongst others, an ever-growing attention towards sustainable tourism. During the last decades, online platforms and tour operators have become one of the most usual means of booking tourist services. In this way, the formers can be considered capable of playing an important role for the promotion of sustainable tourism. It may be argued that most of tourism-related sustainability challenges depend on human behaviour. Nonetheless, it is this behaviour that can be educated and guided in order to make the right choices. Furthermore, the supply-chain environmental performance of a tourist activity can by assessed by using the fundamentals of the Life Cycle Thinking concept, and more specifically its ISO-standardised methodology, namely Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Indeed, tourism is one of the increasingly studied sectors in terms of LCA applications. This paper builds upon previous work and has a twofold objective. First, to identify whether the concept of sustainability can be integrated within online booking platforms and whether this has already been done. Additionally, an attempt will be made in order for a set of life-cycled-based indicators to be identified or proposed for the selection of sustainable accommodation within these websites. Tourists would therefore be assisted when it comes to choosing the most sustainable option of accommodation, in the same way as they can already do today when selecting the most convenient fare or the most suitable location and features. Regarding the first objective, the preliminary results of a literature review demonstrated that it is an issue that has not been tackled with so far by the scientific community. Furthermore, a set of online booking platforms were selected and tested for their incorporation of or willingness to promote the concept of a sustainable accommodation. The analysis surprisingly enough showed that this concept has been hardly incorporated into the online booking platforms, with a few exceptions where some attempts have been made. As far as the second objective is concerned, this has been poorly tackled by the scientific community, as well. The preliminary results of the literature review showed that only general-use life-cycle indicators have been proposed so far. Therefore, the conclusions drawn until now suggest that the future developments of this ongoing project include the identification or proposal of a set of indicators that would be useful for users booking on the web to make more sustainable choices.
978-960-598-338-3
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/724691
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