Tourism, Human rights, Social Responsibility and Sustainability

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2019) | Viewed by 627

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
1 Department of Social Sciences and Humanities of Estoril Higher Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies, Estoril, Portugal
2 Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences—CICS.NOVA (Lisboa, Portugal), Estoril Pole of CITUR-Centre for Research in Tourism Estoril, Portugal
Interests: sociology of tourism; human rights in tourism; globalization; ideology studies; leisure in contemporary society; organizational behavior and organizational culture in hospitality and tourism sector

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Guest Editor
1 Department of Estoril Higher, Institute for Tourism and Hotel Studies, Estoril, Portugal
2 Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco, and Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences – CICS.NOVA, Portugal
Interests: sociology of science; sociology of health; teaching sociology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Tourism is a contemporary total social fact and one of the main examples of globalization’s processes and logics [1]. With 1,232 million of international tourist arrivals and currently contributing to about 10% of global Gross Domestic Product, 7% of global trade and 10% of jobs, tourism follows a general trend of growth in tourists and revenue since the 1950s [2]. Its practices, organizational models and discourses are characterized by economic, political, social, cultural and psychological dimensions. The different actors involved (individual tourists or members of the local communities, organizations, communities, industry employees, investors, politicians, entrepreneurs, social activists, etc.) have different interests and perspectives. This cross-referencing of actors, logics, interests, and dimensions often brings conflicts, inequality, injustice and violence, as well as environmental, economic and socio-cultural impacts of difficult control and harmonization [3,4]. So, the debate on human rights, social responsibility of tourism and its stakeholders and on the complex relation between sustainability and morality and ethical dilemmas is a central issue for the understanding and the managing the phenomenon.

The discussion about human rights and dignity or ethics and social responsibility in the field of tourism is not new, although it has been in the last two decades that the subject gained greater visibility. Since the 1950s, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs) such as the United Nations (UN) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) have produced declarations related to human rights in general and their explicit or implicit connection with tourism, as well as the role of tourism for peace-building, mutual respect and economic development [5]. In 1999, the UNWTO adopted a Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, a document that was officially recognized by the UN General Assembly in December 2001. More recently, and in the continuity of such positions and on a par with sustainability issues, UNWTO affirmed its commitment with UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals [2]. Non-governmental organizations also have a tradition of social practice and discourse on the subject, such as Pro Poor Tourism or the Steering Committee Tourism Caucus. Concerning the scientific research and philosophical debate, we have also several examples: studying the conflicting diversity of human rights in tourism and hotel business activities [6]; discussing ethical issues and social responsibility in tourism [7]; debating the relationship between tourism and peace [8]; raising questions about the connections between morality, autonomy, justice and development [9].

However, just as the general debate on human rights or social responsibility and the prospects for development are neither closed nor static, changes in societies and tourism also require a permanent rethinking of the subjects. For example, reflecting on the issue of human rights, human dignity and social responsibility in tourism when we are facing a transition from a Fordist societal model to a post-Fordist model. Or, addressing the problems, changes and opportunities that could arise from the exponential increase of the physical, psychological, cultural and economic mobility of the tourist and tourism, and of the psychological, social, cultural, and economic effects of nomadism and existential mobility [10,11].

This Special Issue of Societies invites you to submit original manuscripts of diverse types: original research, systematic reviews, theoretical papers or even grounded personal comments, which addresses this relationship between tourism, human rights, social responsibility and sustainability.


  1. Ferraz, Jorge. Turismo e Globalização. In Planeamento e Desenvolvimento Turístico, Silva, F., Umbelino, J. (coord.). Lidel: Lisboa, Portugal, 2017; pp. 79–92.
  2. World Tourism Organization [WTO] (2018). UNWTO Annual Report 2017. UNWTO: Madrid, Spain; eISBN: 978-92-844-1980-7; ISBN: 978-92-844-1979-1. DOI:
  3. Burns, P.; Novell, M., Eds. Tourism Development. Growth, Myths and Inequalities. Cab International: Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK, 2008.
  4. Ferraz, Jorge. Turismo e Ideologia: As Sociedades Mediterrânicas e o Papel das Organizações Intergovernamentais. Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa: Lisboa, Portugal, 2008.
  5. Ferraz, Jorge. The Ideological Role of Intergovernmental Organizations in the Promotion of International Tourism. In Moufakkir, O and Burns, P. (eds.) (2012) Controversies in Tourism. Cab International: Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK, 2012; pp. 201–215
  6. George, Babu P.; Varghese, Vinitha. Human Rights in Tourism: Conceptualization and Stakeholder Perspectives in EJBO Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies 2007, 12, 40–48. Available online: Disponível em (Accessed on 15 March 2011).
  7. Fennel, David A. Tourism Ethics (Aspects of Tourism). 2nd edition. Channel View Publications: Clevedon, UK, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1845416348
  8. Moufakkir, Omar and Kelly, Ian, Eds.; Tourism, Progress and Peace. CABI: Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK, 2010.
  9. Sharpley, Richard; Telfer, David J., Eds.; Tourism and Development. Channel View Publications: Clevedon, UK, 2002.
  10. Sheller, Mimi; Urry, John, Eds.; Tourism Mobilities: Places to Play, Places in Play. Routlegde: Oxo, UK, 2004.
  11. Tribe, John, Ed.; Philosophical Issues in Tourism. Channel View Publications: Bristol, 2009.

Dr. Jorge Ferraz
Prof. Carlos Alberto Miguel Ferreira
Dr. Sandro Serpa
Guest Editors

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  • tourism
  • human rights
  • social responsibility
  • sustainability
  • development

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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