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Issues of scale in the global accreditation of sustainable tourism: schemes toward harmonized re-embeddedness?

Author(s): Mikael Klintman

Journal: Sustainability : Science, Practice and Policy
ISSN 1548-7733

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: tourism | international standards | developing countries | geographical distribution | economic sectors | social conditions | environmental policy

In efforts to find synergies or, conversely, tradeoffs between the environmental and social pillars of sustainable development policies, geographical scale is often an important issue. This article critically analyzes issues of scale, such as local-global or North-South, to establish and improve international standards of ecologically sound products and processes. The article combines works on scale theory in geography with sociological work on disembeddedness and re-embeddedness. The approach is based on analyses of documents about standardization within the sustainable tourism sector. More specifically, the article analyzes efforts related to the Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council (STSC). It holds that reducing issues to inherent qualities of local versus global—or to North versus South—runs the risk of obscuring urgent social, economic, and environmental sustainability problems concerning water, sanitation, preservation of cultural heritage, and so forth within countries in the South. Finally, the article presents certain practical policy recommendations for addressing the struggles associated with movement toward harmonized re-embeddedness.
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