Sustainability, profitability and successful tourism pages:396-420
Success stories in tourism usually come from the industry and are eagerly used as marketing tools to promote destinations. This chapter reflects on what ‘successful tourism’ is, and why scholars are more cautious than practitioners are in using this kind of catchphrase terminology. The discussion takes into account the contemporary context of an increasingly powerful global tourism-industrial complex. By way of a case study, the second part of the chapter analyzes a remarkable transnational network that has organically grown and aims at creating sustainable small-scale tourism projects worldwide. Focusing on the network’s unique combination of for-profit and non-profit activities in Belgium, Indonesia, and Tanzania, I assess the degree to which they are examples of ‘successful tourism’. The examples show that sustainable tourism development takes vision, planning, and a lot of work and dedication to assure that projects that were successful at one stage remain so in the near future.