Call for Papers

ASEAS 13(1) Focus: Tourism and the SDGs 

The upcoming issue of the Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies (ASEAS) focuses on tourism’s contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Southeast Asia. Significantly shaping the current development agenda until 2030, the SDGs are a set of 17 goals and constitute an extension of the previous MDGs, which moved the development debate beyond an economic focus. Each goal has specific targets to be achieved over the next 15 years, to which tourism is regarded to make a substantial contribution. While the UNWTO explicitly links tourism to goals number 8, 12 and 14, it has the power to contribute to the targets of the entire set of the 17 goals, moving beyond economic empowerment towards health, environmental conservation, climate change efforts, education, gender equality and more. At the same time, however, tourism can be regarded as double-edged sword, an industry that, in addition to its most obvious benefits, comes with a range of problems and impacts, particularly of environmental and socio-cultural nature.

Emerging countries in the Global South increasingly regard tourism as the key industry for livelihood diversification, economic development and as a foreign exchange earner.  Tourism, however, also bears often underused potential to reach beyond the economic dimension of development into the social, environmental and political spheres. Tourism can be seen as a power for peace, driver for environmental protection, social equity, gender equality and cultural respect. Its relationship with sustainable development is often regarded as precarious though since its negative impacts and conflicts between different actors and stakeholders cannot be overlooked. Particularly in regards to the SDGs, little research exists to date that investigates how tourism can contribute to reaching the targets set out in the goals in order to achieve a more sustainable development in the future.

This special issue therefore discusses the role that tourism plays in shaping, implementing and achieving Agenda 2030. Given the current research gap on linking tourism to the SDGs, this special issue responds to a need to create a better understanding of the role this industry plays in achieving the set targets of all SDGs, moving beyond the most obvious goal for tourism, number 8 (i.e. decent work and economic growth). It invites contributions that focus on one or several of the SDGs, demonstrating best practices as much as challenges. It seeks to understand the links between different goals, while also portraying the multiple perspectives and cooperations that exist in pursuing the SDGs. It therefore welcomes critical papers on tourism’s contribution to the SDGs from a variety of disciplines, such as geography, tourism studies, development studies, anthropology, political science, or environmental studies. It welcomes empirical and/or theoretical/conceptual papers on the following topics (and beyond):

  • understanding of the SDGs by different tourism stakeholders;
  • potential gaps in the understanding and implementation of the SDGs between supranational, national and local levels involved in tourism;
  • deconstructing power relations between the actors involved in implementing the SDGs through tourism;
  • realities of the SDGs on the ground and how tourism impacts communities;
  • the role of the third sector in achieving the SDGs;
  • critical questining of the Agenda 2030 ethos and challenging its discourse.

Important Dates

EXTENDED submission deadline (full manuscripts!): 15 September 2019
Issue publication: 30 June 2020 

Managing Editors

Claudia Dolezal (University of Westminster) & Alexander Trupp (The University of the South Pacific)

Further Details

For online submission, please refer to our AUTHOR GUIDELINES.

For further information, please contact the issue editors: c.dolezal@westminster.ac.uk and alexander.trupp@usp.ac.fj, or the editorial board: aseas@seas.at

Download this call for papers here.