Beyond Certification: An Empirically Expanded Quality Control Tool 'Multiverse' for Sustainable Tourism

Laura Lesar, David Weaver, Sarah Gardiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainable tourism quality control tools (ST-QCTs) are voluntary mechanisms essential for translating sustainable tourism concepts into practice. Recent scholarship, synthesizing the extant literature, revealed a complex ‘multiverse’ of 15 ST-QCT types and seven critical variability parameters. Our empirical investigation of this multiverse in the diversified, year-round destination of Park City, USA, involving 27 semi-structured interviews with business informants representing three sectors, revealed another 11 ST-QCT types and the two additional critical variability parameters of formality (formal-to-informal) and dependence (dependent-to-independent). The results, indicating multiple alternative ST-QCT pathways with idiosyncratic merit at the operational scale, provide incipient evidence of a transition from conventional, standardized ‘Fordist’ modes of sustainable tourism practice to ‘post-Fordist’ modes conferring greater flexibility and customization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1625-1645
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • certification
  • ecolabels
  • Fordism
  • quality control tools (ST-QCTs)
  • ST-QCT multiverse
  • sustainable tourism


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