A longitudinal analysis of judgement approaches to sustainability paradoxes

Susann Power, Maria Laura Di Domenico, Graham Miller

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This research investigates how tourism executives heuristically navigate sustainable tourism paradoxes at a time of unprecedented global change. We do so longitudinally by applying a ‘then’ and ‘now’ perspective and structural narrative analysis to in-depth interview data collected in 2014 and again in 2022, posing the same questions to the same 12 world-wide renowned sustainable tourism executives. The research provides an original investigation of the paradox-mindset needed to grapple with complex challenges of carbon-creation in travel, competing stakeholder needs and how to manage growth with finite resources. Findings provide insight into sustainability paradoxes as mindsets vary between rejection, awareness and acceptance. Empathy ‘now’ replaces elitism ‘then’. Respondents reject the myth of sustainability sacrifice, instead acknowledging sustainability as a necessary driver for good business. Further, despite calls for greater ethical praxis, concrete action appears to fade in the face of self-interest and the ‘tourism saves’ mantra.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104877
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Ethical dilemmas
  • Judgement approaches
  • Longitudinal research
  • Paradox theory
  • Paradox-mindset
  • Sustainability paradoxes
  • Sustainable tourism


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