Corporate Social Responsibility in Tourism and Hospitality: Relationships and Applications

Corporate Social Responsibility in Tourism and Hospitality: Relationships and Applications

Vikrant Kaushal (Central University of Himachal Pradesh, India) and Suman Sharma (Central University of Himachal Pradesh, India)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-9902-1.ch012
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Abstract

The chapter integrates the concept of corporate social responsibility and its applications in the field of tourism. At the outset appropriate introductory information followed by a brief outline of historical evolution of CSR is presented, followed by the reflections on various practices carried out by several organisations across the globe intended to leave positive impacts on society and environment, substantiates the chapter structure. The flow of chapter is systematic and language simple for general comprehension. The target audience of the chapter include academicians and industry managers. Various examples from tourism and non-tourism sectors are being used. Selected books for further reading are listed in the end.
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Introduction

Retrospective glance at human evolution would bring conflicts and agreements to sight, portraying the eventual realisation of mutual agreements and collective strides toward progress. Speaking of present, the human civilisation attempts to find its right place and constantly searches for reasons and right ways of existence, the pace may vary yet advancement continues. In the light of the said development corporate social responsibility gains repeated mention. Corporate social responsibility is profoundly realised and researched area on numerous fronts in various industries. Its application to tourism industry is considerably recent owing to its evolutionary phase in disparate countries contexts. The chapter takes the readers from the conceptual understanding of corporate social responsibility, right from initial growth to the present standing. Corporate social responsibility on one hand is compassionate gesture of the profit oriented businesses, on the other it gives them essential edge by creating an emotional space in ordinary people’s minds that become indicator of corporate benevolence. Ergo, CSR has actually become a worthy investment niche for enterprises. CSR has now in fact taken shape of an essential component of modern day differentiation strategy of corporates that constantly yearn to become more and more credible to the social man. With over six billion people on this planet the onus of survival and prosperity has been distributed on many shoulders. The accountability of organisations have seen substantial shift from the initial unidimensional approach of focusing on its own people to much wider environment of their existence.

Tourism is unquestionably a complex phenomenon leading to disorientation in finding the nodes and links for its better comprehension. However many firms have recognised the core business opportunities and have built themselves stronger empires; just like any major corporate, enterprise that rely on tourism owe their share to the social environment. Tourism takes its raw material and dwells on history, culture, natural endowment of society so it becomes all the way more relevant to give back some share for the betterment of the same. Alike other corporations tourism companies should engage in corporate social responsibility for sustainable development and design their operations to make space for CSR activities in various forms. Studies in sustainable tourism deliberate on practices in tourism and hospitality that impact the society and environment. A probing look at tourism practices essentially uncover the much oblique side of hedonism. Carrying capacity of the destinations, interaction with the cultures, mass tourism, ethics, conservation, resource exploitation, and even emissions resulting from tourist movement are few picks out of the gamut of tourism impressions. The complexity of tourism and multiplicity of players involved thus swell the implications. Conditions even exacerbate further when hospitality tourism is viewed as utilitarian process by misinformed entities and absence of models of tourism development that attend to social responsibility lead to lopsided development, which are detrimental in longer course. Tourism phenomenon involves several industries for its functioning. It also implies that multiple stakeholders are expected to deliver toward their share to society, besides the companies in tourism businesses that have resisted from integrating CSR in their operational approach need to seriously reassess their value system. In a nutshell, tourism and hospitality industries have a significant role to play in environmental and social development.

With global environmental and social challenges looming ahead, tourism’s part becomes all the way more critical. Tourism in wilderness, beaches, tribal areas, fragile ecosystems have increased the stakes even more. While encouragement in tourism cannot be ceased, its way of functioning should exhibit sensitivity. Tourist arrivals have crossed the mark of a billion globally depicting the epic movement of tourists for pleasure and other purposes. This signals at opportunities and also the multiplier effect that impact millions of people around the world. Many voices support tourism and consider it to be the driver of international peace, economic progress and uplifting human societies. Number of countries would cease to exist in their usual appeal sans tourism. Barely a couple of decades ago corporate social responsibility extended from the regular commercial enterprises to tourism. It has a long way to go, however perpetual review and research would keep the directionality of CSR practices in tourism under constant check.

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