Social responsibility and the SDGs: vignettes of Caribbean tour operators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to better understand how Caribbean tourism micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) perceive their corporate sustainability and social responsibility (CSSR) practices during design and implementation of new innovations. This knowledge helps our understanding of how the uniquely tourist-dependent region of the Caribbean can, through the social innovation practices of MSMEs, maximize its contribution to attainment of the 2030 sustainable development goals. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a responsibility–sustainability framework premised on seven core subjects of the International Guidance (ISO 26000) for Social Responsibility and goals from the 2030 Agenda to analyze interview data from tour operators in five Caribbean Community (CARICOM) territories: Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Lucia. Findings: The results reveal that when designing new products and services, Caribbean tour operators contribute to sustainable development through social and economic change, responsible business model design, fair labor and operating practices, environmental sustainability and health and safety education. These behaviors do vary and are not consistent across the tour operators. Research limitations/implications: Social and business planners and policymakers should create deliberate and purposeful mechanisms designed for Caribbean tourism MSMEs to have a fulsome understanding of how they might maximize contributions to the 2030 Agenda. Originality/value: This work represents the first instance of use of the ISO 26000 Guidance in a Caribbean tourism context and provides insight into tour operators’ views toward corporate sustainability and CSSR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-292
Number of pages18
JournalWorldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 8 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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