A Diffusion Perspective on the Discontinuance of Sustainable Tourism Quality Control Tools

Laura Lesar, David Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Quality control tools such as certification are the critical infrastructure of sustainable tourism that facilitate triple bottom- line outcomes. Prior scholarship investigates tool adoption, but examination of discontinuance is absent. Using Diffusion of Innovations Theory, we investigate the diversity of discontinuance among practitioners in a destination by tool type, discontinuance manifestations, and influential attributes. Semistructured interviews revealed selective tool discontinuance and salient influence of relative advantage, compatibility, complexity, and observability attributes. Conventional replacement and disenchantment discontinuance manifestations were augmented by emergent induced, episodic, and recalibration forms and organized along an original typology from pure discontinuance to retention. Findings suggest practitioner alignment with “post-Fordist” sustainable tourism. Implications for tool counterdiffusion are assimilated into ongoing discourses of sustainable tourism theory and practice. Prospects for tool-specific attributes also emerge, for the first time, and when paired with those theoretical can inform an entirely novel realm of supply-side tool design; practical applications are illustrated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1060
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number5
Early online date7 Jun 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


  • Diffusion of Innovations Theory
  • certification
  • discontinuance
  • post-Fordism
  • sustainable tourism
  • sustainable tourism quality control tools


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