Title: Tourism and the Environment in Small Island Developing States: Development of a New Framework for Assessing Sustainability Author: Katie L.K. Kimmel Thesis Summary: Purpose. The purpose of this thesis is to develop an analytical framework that can be used to better understand the impacts of tourism on small island developing states (SIDS). In particular, the framework will address tourism in light of sustainability goals(environmental, economic, social, and political). Because tourism is both a major economic driver for many SIDS, as well as a primary cause of environmental degradation within these states, a framework is needed that allows for systemic, value tradeoff evaluation. Currently there are multiple frameworks and plans for sustainability and development in SIDS; but few frameworks take into account how tourism can further stress resources within these nations. With the framework developed herein, analysts will have a tool for evaluating policies and programs aimed at integrating tourism within a sustainability context. Approach. The approach for this thesis was to develop a new framework to evaluate how tourism contributes to stresses of water resources, energy, environmental degradation, and wastes during sustainable development. Previous reports provide a framework for the issues at hand. Through meta-analysis, current practices and methods for evaluation will be examined. Methods that are being used worldwide will be considered as well as methods that are used and/or proposed in the Bahamas. The Bahamas serve as the main focus of this study. The findings from the meta-analysis and “snap-shots” of practices in other countries will provide information as to strengths and weaknesses of current sustainable frameworks. A new framework for sustainable development was then formulated and applied in the Bahamas. Conclusion. Many SIDS and other developing countries do not have alternatives to tourism to fund programs and needed projects. Without having apparent alternatives to tourism the governments have little other choice then to continue operations as is, even though it does not support sustainable development. Essentially, without other means of foreign investment developing countries will likely support any industry regardless if they are sustainable or not. In retrospect it is interesting to look at the attempt to make one framework work for sustainable development and be applicable to all nations. The efforts should be applied towards identifying the different social, political, economical, cultural, and environmental dynamics of each nation, then determining the path towards sustainability. It seems that a significant change, potentially a significant social change may have to take place for SIDS to become ‘Sustainable’.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Tourism--Developing countries--Case studies; Tourism--Social aspects; Tourism--Bahamas; Sustainable development
Kimmel, Katie, "Tourism and the environment in small island developing states: Development of a new framework for assessing sustainability" (2007). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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