Call for Papers


Special Issue of Sustainability: Sustainable Tourism Management under Challenge from Climate Change and Economic Transformation



The aim of this special issue is to explore issues related to how transitioning to carbon-neutrality will affect the sustainable management of the global tourism system.



Rapid climate change is challenging contemporary understandings of sustainability and how sustainability principles may be used to manage natural and built ecosystems. Successfully confronting the challenge posed by climate change will require rethinking of many of the approaches currently employed. One area in particular that will require significant change is the use of resources. Our current linear system of economic production based on the take, make, use and dispose use of resources is no longer sustainable and will require transitioning to a new carbon-neutral production system based on reuse.

While the ultimate objective is transition to a carbon- neutrality the pathways to achieving this goal are uncertain. Transition can be described as fundamental change within a relatively short period of time, often within the space of a generation or 25 years (Rotmans et al 2001).  Hall (2016) describes four types of transitions, evolutionary, endogenous (incremental), emergent transformation (unplanned) and purposive (planned).  While the EU and an increasing number of national governments have recognised the need to transition to a carbon-neutral economy implementation has been slow and the impacts uncertain. Rather than purposive, the emergent form of transition appears to be evolutionary.

Whatever form transition takes it will generate numerous changes in the tourism system offering rewards for innovators but pose an existential threat to tourism businesses and destinations that fail to adapt. The mechanisms that will enable transition are not at all clear, but theorists have suggested a number of approaches including degrowth, steady-state, green growth and adoption of the circular economy approach.

Against this background, there is the need to investigate how the tourism sector can further enhance sustainable management practices; identity and manage risks; and how policymakers can support the design and adoption of carbon-neutral business models at industry, company, and societal levels.



We are open to all methods including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed‐methods and also seek conceptual, theoretical, and literature review papers if they advance the field in significant ways.


Suggested topics

Topics of interest in this special issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • How will a future transition to a carbon neutral economy affect the global tourism industry?
  • Case studies on the potential impact of transition to a carbon neutral economy at enterprise, destination, regional and national scales
  • Impacts of transition on specific tourism sectors such as hospitality, aviation, and transport
  • How can sustainable tourism management contribute to the transition away from the take-make-waste linear economy to one that designs out waste and pollution, keeps products and materials in use, and regenerates natural systems?
  • How are traditional tourism products and supply chains being affected by the transition?
  • The role of ecotourism in the transition to carbon-neutrality
  • Sustainable tourism management in emerging economies
  • Environmental and social contributions of sustainable tourism management
  • Business models for addressing different sustainable, low-carbon and circular strategies (maintenance, repair, remanufacturing, recycling)
  • The role of use‐oriented (e.g., rental, leasing) and performance‐oriented (e.g., pay‐per‐use) product–service systems in tourism
  • Case studies of initiatives that incorporate large-scale conservation with strong management plans and/or support at a government level
  • Sustainable management plans aimed at social and ecological resilience
  • Energy-efficiency and renewable energy initiatives
  • Circular business models for industrial ecosystems and supply chains
  • The role of the public sector in supporting the transition to carbon-neutrality
  • Consumer demand and acceptance
  • Methods, metrics, and performance measures for assessing sustainable tourism management
  • Offsets, carbon credits and other instruments


Key Dates

  • Submission of abstracta (250 words): 14th February 2021
  • Acceptance/rejection of proposals: 22nd February 2021
  • Submission of manuscripts: 5th July 2021
  • Reviewer’s comments: 28th July 2021
  • Final submissions after incorporating reviewer’s comments: 23rd August 2021


Submission details

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Special Issue Editors

Professor Bruce Prideaux (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Central Queensland University, Australia


Dr Anja Pabel (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Central Queensland University, Australia


Dr Anna Phelan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

University of Queensland


Author Benefits

Open Access: free for readers, with article processing charges (APC) paid by authors or their institutions.

High Visibility: indexed by the Science Citation Index Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index (Web of Science), as well as Scopus and other databases.

Rapid Publication: manuscripts are peer-reviewed and a first decision provided to authors approximately 14.5 days after submission; acceptance to publication is undertaken in 2.9 days (median values for papers published in this journal in the first half of 2020).