Migration, tourism and social sustainability

Jaeyeon Choe, Peter Lugosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In practice, the distinctions between tourism and migration are blurred. Tourism often drives various forms of mobility, and an international workforce is central to maintaining functioning tourism economies. This piece sketches out some critical themes and issues concerning intersections of tourism and migration, considering their relationships with and impacts on social sustainability. It highlights the contradictory ways in which tourism and migration are approached as political, social and economic phenomena. Whereas tourism is often viewed more positively, migration is recurrently politicised, and seen to challenge social systems and cultural values, despite the reliance of tourism on migrant labour. The discussion outlines the relevance of social sustainability to studies of migration and tourism. These include the need to assess how tourism planning, development and governance of tourism impacts on the sustainability of communities, which consequently influences attitudes towards migrants and tourists. It also reflects on how migrant-local connections may evolve, creating opportunities for positive, symbiotic co-existence, alongside exploitative relationships. It concludes by inviting further studies examining new forms and interactions between migration and tourism, which considers how research can contribute to greater social sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalTourism Geographies
Issue number1
Early online date18 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Community
  • Host-guest
  • Impact
  • Liestyles
  • Migrant labour
  • Mobilities
  • Sustainability
  • Social sustainability


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