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The Oxford School of Hospitality Management
Oxford Brookes Business School
+44 (0) 1865 483823
F117, Headington Campus
Rebecca's research interests focus on:
• Theoretical and practical implementation of sustainability, particularly in the hospitality and tourism sectors
• Environmental management in hospitality and tourism
• Sustainability indicators and ecolabelling
• Sustainability benchmarking
The significance of involving stakeholders in sustainable tourism (ST) initiatives is increasingly acknowledged and recommended within both academia and practice. This appreciation stems from the nature of tourism destinations as networks of interdependent stakeholders (Cooper et al., 2009 and d'Angella and Go, 2009) and emerging ST practices that rely on stakeholder partnerships (Gossling, Hall, & Weaver, 2009). However, there are reports of failures of ST strategies associated with ineffective stakeholder involvement (e.g. Dodds and Butler, 2010, Getz and Timur, 2005 and Ryan, 2002) and of scepticism in the capability of some stakeholders to contribute meaningfully to tourism processes ( Hamilton & Alexander, 2013). Through the Traffic Light Routes Framework (TLRF), this research note shows how stakeholders can be better involved in ST. The TLRF emerged from case study data on the Cornwall Sustainable (CoaST) Project, located in South West England, UK.
Within the extensive body of literature on sustainable tourism (ST), its successful implementation is anemerging and important theme. The lack of or ineffective stakeholder participation is a major obstacle toST realisation and there is little clarity as to how best to resolve this problem. This paper presents thefindings of a purposive UK-based case study that evaluated stakeholder involvement in the implementationof ST. Using over fifty stakeholders' accounts drawn from eight primary stakeholder groups,a ‘multi-stakeholder involvement management' (MSIM) framework was developed. The MSIM frameworkconsists of three strategic levels: attraction, integration and management of stakeholder involvement.Six stages are embedded within the three levels: scene-setting, recognition of stakeholderinvolvement capacity, stakeholder relationship management, pursuit of achievable objectives, influencingimplementation capacity and monitoring stakeholder involvement. These are supported by theoverarching notion of ‘hand-holding' and key actions [e.g. managing stakeholder adaptability] thatenhance stakeholder involvement in ST.
In the last decade, hotel companies have become increasingly interested in the application of environmental management systems (EMSs). However, research on the effectiveness of EMSs in the hotel industry has been sparse. This study aims to address this research gap by exploring and evaluating the application of EMSs in a hotel context. Various approaches to EMSs are identified in the literature on environmental management and EMSs, including six core EMS elements specific to the hotel industry context. To develop a rich and deep understanding of the application of EMSs in the hotel industry, a qualitative case study was conducted in which data were collected from three levels of employees, executive, supervisory and general, from an international hotel. A series of in-depth, semi-structured interviews were conducted and relevant documents were collected for analysis. Four influential factors were identified in the formation stage of the hotel's EMS: (1)Corporate governance, (2)Piloting activities, (3)Initial gap analysisand (4)Partnership with external consultancy. It was also found that the six elements identified in the environmental management literature play important roles in the implementation of EMS in this case. In addition, although EMSs can help promote a bottom-up approach to change, a top-down approach to implementing EMSs was more suitable for a hotel with a predominantly Chinese workforce, due to cultural issues. This study identified a number of factors specifically related to EMSs to complement mainstream environmental management research.
Rebecca has focused throughout her career on the development of strategies and policies for sustainable tourism. As well as identifying the steps required to make the practices and programmes of the tourism industry more sustainable, she has been involved in the theoretical and practical implementation of sustainability in other industrial sectors. She has contributed to a number of major projects which include the development of a voluntary energy efficiency agreement and a voluntary waste agreement between Government and the hospitality sector, the development of an on-line sustainability benchmarking tool for hotels, a major review of tourism ecolabelling programmes (for the Worldwide Fund for Nature), guidelines on mainstreaming biodiversity protection for tourism (for UNDP) and delivered a significant resource saving programme for an international tour operator (for TUI). She is also a sustainable tourism expert on selected EU projects.
Alongside her role as Research and Consultancy Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, Rebecca is the Managing Director of RHP Ltd, a specialist tourism consulting company in Thame that manages contracts for a range of global organisations.