Applying Jesuit Values by Exploring Sustainable Tourism in Latin America
Anne H. Reilly and Naznin Larya
July 1, 2015
Latin & South America
Ethics & Social Justice
Jesuit, Jesuit Values, Latin America, Sustainability
Journal of Jesuit Business Education (JJBE)
Incorporating sustainability topics in the Jesuit business school classroom highlights stewardship of the earth’s nite resources, a key application of Jesuit values. Exploring the sustainability triple bottom line in the responsible tourism context provides a learning opportu- nity about the intersection of Jesuit principles with sustainability and business. While tourism is a global industry that generates important economic bene ts such as increased foreign direct investment and job creation, its corresponding development costs may include environmental degradation, cultural heritage destruction, and local community exploitation. These intertwined outcomes thus position sustainable tourism squarely in the Jesuit business education domain. This exploratory empirical study evolved from a class discussion into an independent student research project. We examine sustainable tourism development in n = 20 demograph- ically and economically diverse countries of Latin America. Using archival data from tourism industry statistics, government publications, and IGO documents, we review this growing industry and its environmental, economic, and social impacts. Central to the analysis is the Jesuit perspective that considers a business enterprise’s obligation to serve the common good. We seek to identify important differences and common challenges in responsible tourism outcomes across these twenty Latin American countries, to raise questions about whether inter- national tourism may be developed in a mindful, sustainable way, and to consider whether it is appropriate for every nation, regardless of development level. The project ndings have been used in an undergraduate research practicum seminar to demonstrate con icting data results, unanticipated outcomes, and links between research and business practice.