Corporate social responsibility in the tourism industry

Since the 90s it has been accepted that the development of society is not only a matter for government but that business should also take a responsibility. Corporate Social Responsibility defines these responsibilities. Although one will encounter many different definitions and descriptions they all have some issues in common.


CSR is relevant for how a company deals with social, economic and ecological effects of its actions, how it relates to stakeholders, government, customers and owners and how it deals with regulations.

CSR is seen as a selfregulatory and voluntary activity of firms or corporations. It continues where the involvement of government ends, and it encompasses more than just economic responsibility: societal and, where relevant, environmental issues should also be addressed, an approach often labelled as Triple-P (People, Planet, Profit).

Although many tourism companies apply CSR policies, tourism still has a long way to go before it can call itself a sustainable sector. The Retour Foundation critically studies the question what can be done to assist companies in their CSR, in order to really improve the sustainability record of tourism.

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