Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

McNamara, K. E. & Gibson, C. R. (2008). Environmental sustainability in practice? A macro-scale profile of tourist accommodation facilities in Australia's coastal zone. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 16 (1), 85-100.


While methods have been developed to measure progress towards sustainability in a tourism setting, a shortage still exists of research that examines the integration of environmental sustainability into the existing built environment, particularly across a macro-scale. In an attempt to advance research in this area, this paper profiles the self-acknowledged implementation of environmental initiatives by managers of tourist accommodation facilities along Australia's east coast. An original and empirical approach, based on quantitative surveys, was undertaken for 536 accommodation facilities located within one kilometre of the coastline. Broad trends were that larger accommodation facilities were more likely to be in close proximity to coastlines, yet were also more likely to have formal mechanisms to implement environmental initiatives. Regional variation in implementation was apparent, and possible explanations included the role of local cultures and state regulation. Overall, however, results indicate poor uptake of environmental initiatives. We conclude by arguing that such results are a consequence of barriers including the inheritance of older built environments and the poor communication to the managers of facilities of the benefits of implementing environmental initiatives.