The Potential Role of Large Tour Operators for the Implementation of Sustainable Supply Chain Management in the Tourism Industry

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Table of contents
Table of figures .......................................................................................................................... 2 List of abbreviations ................................................................................................................... 2 Introduction and purpose statement ........................................................................................... 3 The potential role of large tour operators for the implementation of sustainable supply chain management in the tourism industry .......................................................................................... 3 Conclusion .................................................................................................................................. 5 Bibliography ............................................................................................................................... 7

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Table of figures
Fig. 1: Exemplary tourism supply chain………………………………………………………...5

List of abbreviations
NGO Non-governmental organization SC supply chain

SSCM sustainable supply chain management

TOI

Tour Operators Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development

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Introduction and purpose statement
With an exponentially growing population, the travel industry is expected to grow significantly in the near future. At the same time, different stakeholder groups pose a lot of pressure on this industry. Tourist are gaining awareness of the negative impacts of mass tourism on the environment as well as socio-economically speaking. As a result the demand for „green tourism“-solutions is increasing. Furthermore, the financial market, governments as well as NGOs increasingly exert leverage on the industry to practice more sustainable tourism by means of legislation. Moreover, an intact environment is the invaluable asset for the tourism industry, preserving it means serving the self-preservation of the tourism industry.1 Indisputably, tourism has to transform into a more environmentally friendly and sustainable business. The implementation of environmental management systems as well as the alignment of the whole supply chain are important tools to support this transformation. In this paper I chose the tour operator stage of the supply chain as the focal point, because it acts as a link between the supply and demand side of tourism. Hereafter, I present how the structural properties of large tour operators provide them with special responsibility to promote the implementation of sustainable supply chain management (SSCM) systems in the tourism industry.

The potential role of large tour operators for the implementation of sustainable supply chain management in the tourism industry Tourism, no different from other industries, is organized in supply chain (SC) structures since its products/services are composed of multiple elements as e.g. transportation, entertainment, travel agencies and accommodation.2 Aiming for sustainability therefore means to strive for a long-term improvement of the economic, social and environmental performance, not only of an isolated company or product but its whole SC. This concept is also known to literature as the “triple bottom line”-approach. 3 Suring and Müller define SSCM as “the management of material, information and capital flows as well as cooperation among companies along the supply chain while taking goals from all three dimensions of sustainable development, i.e., economic, environmental and social, into account which are derived from customer and stakeholder requirements“.4 Large tour operators resemble a key role in this constellation because they have the means to  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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