From aspirations to applications: The SDGs and the role of indicators in the measurement of sustainable tourism

Kyriaki Glyptou, Alberto Amore, Bailey Ashton Adie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In an era of a perceived need for certain levels of standardization within the supply and management of tourism products and destinations, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have brought sustainability to the forefront as a primary management objective. In general, the literature notes that sustainable tourism models or frameworks remain rather sparse which is particularly noteworthy given that Target 12.b of the SDGs acknowledges the importance of monitoring in the pursuit of sustainable development. The disconnect between aspirations and applications of sustainable development indicators is reflected in the way key international tourism organizations address the issue of monitoring. This chapter argues that the first step to redefine sustainable tourism development indicators relies on the ideology, norms, and beliefs of decision-makers. Building from the theory of Le Gales and Lascoumes on the governance of indicators, this chapter sheds light on the ideology and the mechanisms behind established sustainable tourism indicators. Moreover, it questions how indicators can actually support in the fulfilment of the ambitious SDGs agenda. Finally, the chapter discusses the transition from ideologies to indicators by suggesting a third order change to support the aspirations of the SDGs and its application to tourism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlanning and Managing Sustainability in Tourism, Hospitality and Events
EditorsAnna Farmaki, Levent Altinay, Xavier Font
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-92208-5
ISBN (Print)9783030922078
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Publication series

NameTourism, Hospitality & Event Management
ISSN (Print)2510-4993


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