By Dr Anna Spenceley (Editor)
Why was it written?
The Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners emerged from the sustainable tourism research and consulting work I’ve undertaken over the past 20 years, across more than 30 countries. During this time, I have had the good fortune to collaborate with many highly skilled consultants and foresighted clients. This period has taught me a great deal about approaches that work, those that do not, and a daunting array of potential ‘landmines’ to be avoided along the way.
Work on sustainable tourism is demanding whether you’re the one doing the work, or the one asking for it to be done.There are ambitious and complex tasks, where clients and destination stakeholders have high expectations that practitioners can respond to a wide range of multifaceted challenges. However, there is often limited time which to undertake assignments and deliver meaningful answers; and also budgets that are not always expandable if the task changes during the process. Clients and destinations expect – and should get – value for money and high-quality deliverables.
What would have been helpful for me – particularly in the early years of my work – would have been access to a suite of good practices that address different approaches and techniques in sustainable tourism. And I realized that this type of resource was not only needed by consultants – but also needed by the governments, destinations, and tourism companies that needed information – and also by agencies commissioning sustainable tourism assignments – so as to develop a common understanding of what good work should look like during the process, and what should be delivered at the end. To me it seemed there was a gap in the information available to everyone involved.
Hence, the idea for the Handbook was born, and Edward Elgar generously agreed to publish the work.
Who’s it for?
I believe that the Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners will be valuable for all those working on sustainable tourism, whether practitioner consultant, researcher, government, tourism destination, company or financing agency. All of these players need to know what to ask for – what is entailed in the process – and what a good output looks like.
What’s in the Handbook?
The Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners is divided into four main parts that address different elements of sustainable tourism planning, operation and evaluation. It combines practical advice from 50 leading international practitioners, many of whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with in the past, and all of whom I respect immensely.
The toolbox contains 27 chapters providing insightful detail into key sustainable tourism issues, and with a forward by Professor Xavier Font. The authors share step-by-step approaches to practical problems – such as how to write bankable financial proposals – how to consult with stakeholders – and how to manage visitors. The book transfers knowledge from the academic realm, and from extensive practitioner experience, into one essential 550 page volume.
Notably the authors have developed and finalized their papers in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I don’t take their efforts lightly – the past year has been incredibly challenging for people across the word – so that the authors were able to complete their contributions in this unique period of our lives – is a testament to their resolve and professionalism.
Furthermore, the volume was peer reviewed by Professor Marina Novelli, Dr Susan Snyman and Dr Louise Twining-Ward, who I thank immensely.
Can I take a closer look?
Watch the two launch events on YouTube, with presentations by lead authors and discussion of how the tools can be used to build-back-better from COVID-19 here.
Get a snapshot of each chapter, and read the first chapter and foreword free here.
How do I get the Handbook?
The Handbook for Sustainable Tourism Practitioners is currently available in Hardback, and e-book versions, via the Edward Elgar website: https://www.e-elgar.com/shop/gbp/handbook-for-sustainable-tourism-practitioners-9781839100888.html
35% hardback discounts are available for:
- Members: IUCN WCPA Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group, Global Sustainable Tourism Council, The Tourism Society, Skal
- Signatories: Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency and Future of Tourism
- Editors: Journal of Sustainable Tourism