Operationalising the principles in sustainability in tourism at the local level
By the 1990s a research base had developed articulating the principles of sustainability, but there remained a need for work which analysed the implementation process and the implementability of sustainability in particular policy areas. The Rio UNCED conference (1992) had articulated concerns that all levels of governance should operationalise the principles of sustainability into deliverable actions. Whilst critics (e. g. Galtung et al., 1995) have challenged the legitimacy of these global pronouncements, there was nevertheless an expectation that Local Agenda 21 (LA21) might facilitate transformational change within local governance, with local authorities and other key actors engaging in communityorientated policy making to establish priorities for sustainability. It is within the context of these considerations that this research formulated three main research aims: to establish the role of LA21 processes in operationalising the principles of sustainability at the local level in the UK; exploring the interaction between politicians, local government officers and community representatives. 2) to consider the capacity of the policy area of tourism to operationalise the principles of sustainability at the local level and thus provide evidence of the wider implementability of sustainability principles within local government. 3) to scrutinise the potential of the example area of cycle tourism to provide a model for sustainable tourism at the local level. Adopting a case study research strategy, three example local authority types were identified within the LJK sub-region of Humberside. The research project highlighted a spectrum of corporate responses to sustainability, ranging from non-participation in the LA21 process, to a 'Centralist' approach driven by a strong political commitment, and thirdly a community orientated approach with priorities for sustainability evolving within policy communities at the 'Periphery. Policy 'animateurs' were identified who were committed to the integration of sustainability principles within initiatives for tourism and cycling.