IMPLEMENTING SUSTAINABLE TOURISM: THE CASE OF FAIR TOURISM IN SOUTH KOREA
thesisposted on 2021-07-30, 01:35 authored by Seungah ChungSeungah Chung
While there is a concern that Sustainable Tourism has not been entirely adopted in practice (Graci, 2008), this thesis shows that Sustainable Tourism has been implemented by South Korean Tour Operators under the name of Fair Tourism. Fair Tourism is a rising trend as Sustainable Tourism in South Korea, and discussion on this new sector of the industry has increased in recent years (S. Gil Lee, 2016). This thesis adds to that discourse with three research objectives: 1) Define the concept of Fair Tourism. 2) What activities constitute Fair Tourism from practitioners’ viewpoint? 3) Examine how Fair Tour operators manage their sustainable supply chain based on the SCOR model.
To understand practitioners’ perception of Fair Tourism, this study has applied social constructionism, which recognized that human beings construct meanings through individual interaction (Walker, 2015). Semi-structured interviews with fifteen Fair Travel operators and thematic analysis have been applied for methodology (Elo & Kyngäs, 2008; McIntosh & Morse, 2015). This study has two significant findings. First, the findings have revealed a generally accepted definition of Fair Tourism by both researchers and operators. The definition includes Ensuring Economic Contribution to The Destination, Environmental and Social Sustainability, and Mutually Respectful Relationship. This generally acknowledged definition has helped Fair Tour operators develop the sector. Second, this thesis found that operators genuinely respect their suppliers. Operators regard their suppliers as partners who share responsibilities and benefits, leading to satisfactory outcomes for all partners (Macaulay et al., 1999). Their relationship with partners is long-term and deep rather than transactional.
Theoretically, this thesis contributed to the finding that Sustainable Tourism can be practicable under the name of Fair Tourism, demonstrating practitioners’ replies that are 100 percent consistent. This study applied a novel approach, focusing on the operators’ point of view, while previous studies on Fair Tourism focused on defining the term and the industry's demand (Byun, 2016; M.-K. Kim & Cho, 2019; Shin et al., 2018). Given that Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) model has been developed for the analysis of the manufacturing industry, this study has advanced this manufacturing performance measurement framework and applied it to the tourism industry.