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Sustainable Development and Global Responsibility in Corporate Governance

This paper has examined the theme of sustainable tourism with a focus on the crucial elements that characterize the behavior of businesses, and which present the key challenges. Several crucial issues have emerged from our paper, both in terms of the research on sustainable tourism, and from a management perspective. Firstly, it is only through the active participation of tourists in the improvement initiatives that tourism operators can attain the established objectives, and thus, gradually move towards sustainability. The tourist is responsible for the choice of services, and, thus, should be the first target in relation to awareness raising and increasing the demand for sustainability. Amongst all the possible stakeholders, it is the tourist’s awareness that ultimately reflects the success of sustainable tourism on the end market. The tourist needs to be able to easily identify the added value of the sustainable offer (which is never separate from the overall quality), thus contributing to reduce the ‘niche’ status of sustainable tourism. The success of sustainable tourism strongly depends on reconciling the needs of sustainability with the competitive capacity of the operators who commit to this cause. However, even with a more “sustainable” behavior, tourists are far from exhausting their ability to contribute to the sustainability of the sector. They need to continue to contribute with actions that are coherent with their initial choices: by saving on electricity or water and separating waste collection, choosing specific typologies of food, showing respect for the local culture and the socio-cultural heritage, etc. Education and information for tourists provided by the private operators are essential in in terms of achieving a reduction in the socio-environmental impacts. A second decisive factor for the promotion of sustainable tourism is the close connection between touristic activities and the local context, with relationships between business and various local stakeholders. The logics of proximity do not only influence the material but also the relational sphere