Sustainable Tourism: The New Engine for the Economic Development of the 21st Century in APEC.

Sustainable Tourism: The New Engine for the Economic Development of the 21st Century in APEC.

Cuauhtemoc Ramirez (University of Colima, Colima, Mexico) and José Ernesto Rangel (University of Colima, Colima, Mexico)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/IJSEM.2018100103
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Tourism has become a source of activities that generate income, employment, and economic growth for the countries belonging to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Mechanism (APEC). This article analyzes tourism as a regional economic activity that interacts with the environment, causing positive effects such as the improvement of economic competitiveness; and negative effects, such as tourism overcrowding and degradation of the sites where it is applied. Thus, poor management can destroy the tourism asset on which the activity depends and its future local, regional and global economic-tourist competitiveness.
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In a global and intra-national environment of social and economic inequality, international organizations and national governments have rested in the opening of economies and in improving their levels of competitiveness to advance their development processes. However, the growth model based on the mass production and commercialization of products and services has had negative effects on the natural base of the planet. Therefore, alternative models and growth strategies are proposed to solve what is already perceived as a planetary ecological crisis (Leff, 2004) and to achieve welfare for societies.

The concern about natural and social resources has generated a series of debates about tourism, this debate has its origins in its relationship with the environment.

Certainly tourism, as a productive activity, is beneficial insofar as it generates employment, regulates labor migration, improves the cultural level of the population, and sensitizes people to the environment (Vilches and Gil, 2003). But it is also considerably destructive if it is not handled properly, since it can end the wealth of the natural, social or cultural heritage of any country or region. This reality, and the imminent risk of deterioration in resources or economic activities that are not very friendly to the environment, have provoked a strong international, national and local movement interested in converting traditional practices into sustainable practices.

Other researchers in the field of tourism have classified it from an economic perspective, basing this activity on the benefits resulting from it. By its very nature, tourism has become a complex phenomenon of dimensions: political, economic, social, cultural, educational, biophysical, ecological and aesthetic. In the book Tourism, planning, administration and perspectives of McIntosh and Shaghikant (1987), numerous opportunities and possibilities can be discovered, as well as potential conflicts, aspirations and desires of the host or local communities.

Alday & Ara (2012) estimate tourism as an important economic activity, determined in part by its contribution to the generation of wealth and employment, and in part, by its important effect of drag on other sectors, which gives it a strategic nature of the first magnitude. In another perspective and period of time, Korstanje (2008), values that, due to the great voluntary human displacement, tourism must be studied by the human sciences and, for its impacts from the economy. In the same way, due to its impact on the environment, it must be analyzed by the geographical, biological and environmental sciences; because of its social impacts, it must be studied by sociology; and for its cultural impacts by anthropology. Likewise, questions of behavior and the visitor-visited relationship require studies from social psychology.

In addition, tourism today provides a positive effect in the development of infrastructure and public services. Similarly, their contribution to social convergence should not be overlooked; since the free circulation of tourists, brings with it the exchange of traditions and cultures and favors the rapprochement of peoples (Hall, 2013).

For the block of the Forum of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) tourism is one of the most important economic activities. That is why priority letters are taken in assessing their development and the durability that leads to said activity (Chávez, Zamora & Torres, 2015).

The term development in sustainability is relevant to preserve the environment to which visitation is applied and increase tourism competitiveness without jeopardizing the durability of the economic asset. Since its inception, each economy has set parameters to develop its tourism in a good way and increase its economic competitiveness, developing its own development schemes as a result of growth and the need for its preservation, where it is sought to strengthen its future development in Short, medium and long term.



The tourism sector generates multiple impacts on the economy, society and the environment. Under this context, the paper aims to assess how new trends of visitors prefer to incur in tourist areas that conjecture a natural and sociocultural appreciation of the site, this is how new models of development are glimpsed under these paradigms and with it their substantial economic growth; For just under four years, researchers and organizations that integrate the tourism sector, such as the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization), have conjectured sustainable tourism development linked to areas such as:

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