Sustainability approaches and nature tourism development

Flemming Sørensen*, Thomas Skou Grindsted

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article shows how combinations of different sustainability approaches of tourism entrepreneurs and other actors restrict nature tourism development in a nature park context. Drawing on the literature on nature tourism and sustainable entrepreneurship and a case study of a Danish nature park, we show how different actors' sustainability orientations cannot clearly be assigned specific theoretical sustainability approaches. Instead, they express different degrees of focus on various parameters of sustainability, thereby shaping the actors' ‘sustainability DNA’. The analysis shows how different DNAs are incommensurable and that this limits nature tourism development. The incommensurability arises from underlying ontological beliefs about sustainability, including the reasons for which sustainability is included in organisational strategies. We suggest a root-cause model to help solve conflicts arising from the incommensurability.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103307
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Case study
  • Nature parks
  • Nature tourism
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainable entrepreneurship

Cite this