Evaluating the role of CSR and SLO in ecotourism: Collaboration for economic and environmental sustainability of arctic resources

Nathaniel A Bickford, Lindsey Smith, Sonja Bickford, Matthew R Bice, Dustin H. Ranglack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Major biophysical, economic, and political changes in the Arctic regions during the past two decades has grown business opportunities in the Arctic countries, such as tourism. More specifically, with a focus on sustainability of resources, the industry of ecotourism has emerged and become the fastest growing area within tourism. Ecotourism is a travel experience that embraces environmental conservation and the sustainability of local resources and culture. Ecotourism and related businesses must practice ethical behavior to obtain both government and social permission to conduct and carry out their operations. Government and community acceptance, or gaining a social license to operate (SLO) is key. Being accepted as a part of the community is not a formal agreement or document, but ongoing negotiations, practices, and acts of corporate social responsibility (CSR). For example, in many Arctic regions where tourism occurs, the land and resources have other designated uses such as agriculture, forestry, or fisheries. Added infrastructure grows a smaller community, as revenue generating opportunities bring an influx of people and use the resources and infrastructure, as well as have an impact on the local culture and traditions. Sustaining the local and traditional resources and lands, especially in the Arctic where damage can be unrepairable, becomes a key factor in decisions regarding tourism developments. Thus, the need for responsible businesses with a sustainability focus. The need for practices of CSR and SLO in ecotourism is undeniable. Understanding that businesses hold responsibility and play a role in society, the environment, and the life of the locals is very important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number21
JournalResources
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2017

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Keywords

  • Arctic
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • Ecotourism
  • Social license to operate (SLO)
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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