Responsible Tourism: Integrating Social Sustainability through Women Empowerment
Research on sustainability in tourism has increasingly focused on environmental and economic – rather than social – sustainability, especially in its practical applications. This case study of responsible tourism in Kumarakom, India, contributes to the growing body of literature on social sustainability, following a qualitative research design adopting both method and data triangulation. This includes field visits, interviews, and document analysis. The findings demonstrate the exceptional level of community participation and satisfaction at Kumarakom. This has been achieved through the continuous support, coordination, and collaboration of various stakeholders and strong, efficient government support. Moreover, the results highlight the significance of gender equality and women's empowerment as integral elements of social sustainability. This study contributes to the development of tourism theory and governance by demonstrating how the substantive and procedural aspects of social sustainability intertwine with its broader potential as a channel for communication; furthermore, it aims to play a constructive role in the larger debate on sustainability following the establishment of a thriving market.
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