INTEGRATING SUSTAINABILITY INTO TOUR OPERATOR BUSINESS: AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH IN SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
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Supply Management, CSR, Sustainable Tourism, Tour Operator
Tour operators are the key elements in the tourism system; they are the link between the tourist and the destination. As a result, tour operators are in many ways the key to achieving more sustainable forms of tourism. This study aims at examining the actual experience of tour operators who adopted sustainability practices in their business with the purposes of: 1) Identifying the priority implementation areas; 2) Determining the most important motivators which encourage tour operators to adopt more responsible strategies; 3) Exploring the outcomes and benefits as well as the major obstacles and barriers that deter the integration of sustainability strategies in the tour operator business. For this study 32 tour operators have been investigated. In addition, in-depth interviews with destination stakeholders have been conducted to reflect their experience.