PhD, Professor and Associate Dean, School of Business, Christian Brothers University, Memphis, TN, USA
In the mainstream parlance, tourism is constructed as conspicuous consumption for the exclusively chosen few. Historically, the term “inclusive” in the tourism industry was exclusively used with all-inclusive tourism. All-inclusive tourism is often quite an unethical approach and is probably the antithesis of inclusive development. Likewise, traditional definitions of sustainable tourism, too, did not stress enough of inclusiveness. The focus of sustainable tourism has been to ensure the sustenance of nature and culture and inclusiveness was just one of the conditions that would support this. This paper attempts to blueprint the idea of inclusive, sustainable tourism – which brings inclusion to sustainable development. Inclusion in the cooperative governance framework activates social capital and thereby, tourism businesses can gain lasting competitive advantage. A special mention about the challenges being faced by the Caribbean tourism destinations is given during the discussion. Caribbean tourism is criticized for its powerful thrust for everything that is unsustainable. The “third way” is gaining traction, but it also excludes certain important voices and stakeholders. For the Caribbean region, ending the Sun-Sea-Sand-Sex model of tourism altogether, all of a sudden is not only impractical but also unsustainable. So, the solutions should reform it with more and more inclusivity and sustainability elements. There is still hope, with a new generation of entrepreneurs armed with a combination of idealism survival spirits. Tourism is now at the center of the inclusive economic development paradigm in the Caribbean, more than ever before. During the discussion, certain myths about inclusive, sustainable tourism are demolished, too: say, it is not who controls tourism but how it is controlled which determines inclusiveness and sustainability; also, there is evidence emerging which indicate that even large scale private enterprises could advance inclusiveness and sustainability provided these results in their competitive advantage and increased profitability; finally, inclusiveness does not necessarily mean sustainability or vice versa.
Keywords: Inclusive Sustainable Tourism, Ethics, Social Responsibility, Culture, Competitive Advantage, Cooperative Networks, Policy Framework.
JEL Classification: M14, Z32.
Cite as: George, B. (2020). Inclusive Sustainable Development in the Caribbean Region: Social Capital and the Creation of Competitive Advantage in Tourism Networks. Business Ethics and Leadership, 4(3), 119-126. https://doi.org/10.21272/bel.4(3).119-126.2020
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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