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Sustainable tourism in the digital age: Institutional and economic implications

TERRA ECONOMICUS, , Vol. 19 (no. 4),

The term “sustainable tourism” has been in the core of the tourism industry since the last decades of the 20th century due to the globalization and digitalization of the world economy that have also led to many institutional changes. Sustainable development is now a part of tourism strategies and visions, especially when it comes to the possible links between tourism and its impact on sustainable development. In addition, the ubiquitous digitalization has also made a significant impact on both. In this paper, we analyze the role of the sustainable tourism in the digital age using the example of the Burning Man festival, an annual event held in Nevada desert each year around Labour Day weekend with nearly sixty thousand people gathering to build a temporary city full of art, music, and interactivity. Our study is based on a unique own survey questionnaire administered at Burning Man festival in 2017. We use the travel cost method for computing the non-market valuation of demand from visiting Burning Man and show how digitalization helped the event to survive amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, this paper outlines the impact that the relationship between tourism, digitalization, and sustainable development can have on the economic growth and the institutional change. We argue that sustainable tourism can meet the needs of the current tourism industry (both domestic and international), while protecting the environment, promoting future opportunities, as well as taking into account the long-term impact of tourism on local communities and the local and international economy.
Citation: Rausser G., Strielkowski W., Korneeva E. (2021). Sustainable tourism in the digital age: Institutional and economic implications. Terra Economicus 19(4): 141–159. DOI: 10.18522/2073- 6606-2021-19-4-141-159

Keywords: sustainable tourism; digitalization; institutional change; travel cost method; consumer surplus

JEL codes: Q21, Q26, Z10, Z30

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Publisher: Southern Federal University
Founder: Southern Federal University
ISSN: 2073-6606