Thesis Statement On Sustainable Development


As the global tourism industry grows at an ever-faster pace, traditional vacation destinations become less important and oversaturated; more and more people are looking for exotic, unique and unspoiled destinations, offering pristine nature and a culturally rich experience. At the same time, however, this mass tourism is threatening exactly that through severe, negative impacts it has on the host community. The following research will concentrate on sustainable tourism development and environmental preservation. First, the issue on hand will be identified through pointing out the need, stating both the problem and the benefits, and giving a methodology. The next step then is the literature review, which will concentrate on conceptual/theoretical and research studies literature to gain a deeper understanding of the issue, and ultimately on cases literature to point out the importance of the issue. The next step is a deeper analysis of the insights the literature delivered by highlighting approaches/options and implementations for the client. Also, a conclusion and recommendation will be provided, which draw on the findings, as well as a bibliography.

Identification of the Issue

The Need

Over the last few decades, the tourism industry has changed dramatically. While in the past only few people could afford a dream vacation in an exotic destination, today such tourism has become a mass phenomenon. And as the industry continues to grow at such a fast pace, traditional destinations become a given; people rather are looking more and more for isolated, pristine, and unspoiled destinations and cultures to visit. But, as this trend is continuing to grow and masses of tourists are visiting those unique destinations, the danger emerges of harming not only the environment but also the local culture, habits, and values. While on the one hand, tourism has the potential to raise the local population’s income, economy and standards of living, on the other hand, it can bring along undesirable consequences like severe environmental damages, prostitution, drug abuse, or social and cultural breakdown (Albieri and Agrusa, 2005). Or, as so eloquently put by Robin Fox: “tourism is like fire; it can cook your food or burn your house down” (Fox, 1991). Thus, there is an increasing need for sustainable environmental preservation.

Statement of the Problem

The tourism industry is experiencing annual growth rates like never before with people spending millions of dollars on experiencing their dream vacation. Subsequently, as the global tourism industry is growing at an increasing pace, traditional vacation spots are becoming oversaturated, and people more and more are looking for innovative or exotic alternatives to visit and brag about. Tourists today want to experience unique and unspoiled destinations and cultures. This, however, also poses a serious problem in that mass tourism threatens exactly those unique and unspoiled destinations and cultures and eventually even could obliterate them.

Benefits of the Research

The following research will highlight the need for sustainable environmental preservation and its relationship with tourism development. Considering the ever-increasing growth rate of the tourism industry to date consumers – i.e. tourists – are more and more looking for alternatives to traditional vacation spots and experiences. Hence, this executive report will not only benefit the respective tourism organizations but also their customers, stockholders, and – most importantly – stakeholders, i.e. the village chiefs and people of Kona.


The research will concentrate on finding relevant cases in order to highlight the importance of the issue. However, in order to get a better understanding of sustainable tourism and its importance, conceptual and theoretical findings as well as research studies findings will precede the cases, which are then used for further and deeper analysis. The research will be conducted on both online sources and literature such as journals and books.

At this point it also needs to be mentioned that the data was retrieved from secondary sources; thus there is a possibility that it could be biased and limited to the nature of secondary data. However, the benefit is that this type of data is cheaper and faster to gather than primary data.

Literature Review

Conceptual and Theoretical Literature Related to the Issue

Tourism today is one of the world's largest industries and one of its fastest growing economic sectors. It has a multitude of impacts, both positive and negative, on people's lives and on the environment. As the WTO (2004) defines it:

Sustainable tourism development guidelines and management practices are applicable to all forms of tourism in all types of destinations, including mass tourism and the various niche tourism segments. Sustainability principles refer to the environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects of tourism development, and a suitable balance must be established between these three dimensions to guarantee its long-term sustainability. (WTO, 2004).

Sustainability, in this regard, consists of three interconnected aspects, i.e. environmental, socio-cultural, and economic. While sustainability implies permanence, any sustainable tourism should make optimal use of resources, minimize ecological, cultural and social impacts, and maximize benefits to conservation and local communities. Moreover, it includes also management structures needed for achieving just that (UNEP, 2006).

Thus, sustainable tourism should (a) make optimal use of environmental resources which are key to tourism development, thereby maintaining ecological processes and helping conserving natural heritage and diversity; (b) respect the socio-cultural authenticity of the local community, in order to preserve its cultural heritage and traditional values and to contribute to inter-cultural understanding and tolerance; and (c) ensure viable, long-term economic operations, in order to provide socio-economic benefits and their fair distribution to all stakeholders, including employment and income opportunities as well as social services to the local community (UNEP, 2006).

Moreover, sustainable tourism development requires the informed participation of all relevant stakeholders, as well as strong political leadership, to ensure participation and consensus building. Hence, sustainable tourism is a continuous process that requires a constant monitoring of its impacts, as well as making use of preventive and/or corrective measures whenever necessary (UNEP, 2006). Least to mention, sustainable tourism should also maintain a high level of customer (tourist) satisfaction while ensuring a meaningful experience and awareness (WTO, 2004).

Research Studies Literature Related to the Issue

When it comes to sustainable tourism development and environmental preservation, a promising model is called the bottom-up approach (Agrusa, Coats, and Donlon, 2003). Sustainable tourism – or cultural tourism management – seems to be most effective when the needs of the respective host community, and thus its cultural heritage and history, are put first, rather than being imposed by outsiders (Agrusa, Coats, and Donlon, 2003). Here the local population is actively involved in any decisions about tourism activities affecting it, e.g. the planning and decision making processes, thereby providing ownership and governance over its development and future. Ultimately, empowerment and encouragement of this sort will lead to the local community’s engagement in the tourism field while simultaneously preserving the cultural and environmental uniqueness, as opposed to possible negative influences of outside involvement.


Better Thesis Statements

What is a thesis statement?  

A thesis statement is the central claim that the author promises to defend in his or her paper.


Why do I need a thesis statement?  

A thesis statement tells the reader where the paper is headed and why s/he should bother going there. It serves to engage the reader’s interest and motivate her or him  to read on. From the writer’s perspective, a thesis statement brings her central claim into focus so that it becomes obvious how to build the rest of the paper. A thesis statement, if it is a good one, helps  the writer decide what arguments and evidence are necessary to make her point.  In a sense, the thesis statement functions as the conscience of a paper; it helps the writer recognize what belongs in the paper and what does not, depending upon the specific promise it makes to the reader.



How do I come up with a thesis statement?  

All formal papers and essays have a point. You can have some ideas on a topic, or about an issue, but until you distill what you have drawn a conclusion from your research and reflection and captured in it your thesis statement, your formal writing will lack direction and focus. To arrive at a working thesis statement, try to state out loud or write in a single sentence the most important  conclusion you have come to from your research. Here are some examples of simple claims you could make after reading and reflecting in preparation for writing your paper:


  • Politicians should use language responsibly if they wish to govern after the campaign.
  • The face plays an important role in human communication.
  • Migrating Atlantic seabirds need more protection along their migration paths.


Sentences like these, each of which makes a claim, are adequate as “working thesis statements”. As you write, research, arrange, and think through other supporting ideas in your paper, you should be moved to refine your working thesis statement to 1) narrow it, 2) make it more consequential or controversial, or 3) put it in a specific context. With more research and thought, we might revise A.-C. above as follows:


  • The speed, reach, and permanence of mass media today can threaten a candidate’s ability to govern once elected.
  • Although poets have always noted the role of the face in human communication, facial expression has lately become the subject of intense scientific scrutiny, with the potential for profound social consequences. 
  • Offshore wind farms, chemical pollution from industrialized livestock facilities, new coastal housing developments pose a triple threat to millions of migrating seabirds who have made their way along the Eastern seaboard of the U.S. for millennia. 


These revised thesis statements make specific promises to the reader. Can you predict what kinds of evidence or support a writer might include in his or her essay based on one of these thesis statements?

A good thesis statement gives you room to develop your ideas as you wish, but within the boundaries imposed by your knowledge, time, and page limits. We use the word “narrow” to describe a good thesis statement but we don’t mean “narrow-minded” or “stingy”. Instead, a narrow thesis statement is focused and fits the size and scope of your paper.  When everything in your paper is selected to support or explore your thesis statement, then you are enjoying the benefits of a good thesis statement.

Here is a worksheet to help you come up with and refine a good thesis statement.


Thesis Statement Worksheet


What is your topic (the area of study for this paper)?

What background information does the reader need to know before you state your thesis?

What is your working thesis statement?


Test your thesis statement. Does your thesis statement:


  • Make a claim that a reader can agree or disagree with?
  • Reflect knowledge of the source material?
  • Pick out an idea that can be defended in the space allowed?
  • Limit the kinds of evidence you can use to defend it?


What evidence, examples, or arguments will you use to support the working thesis?

Now that you have thought ahead about your evidence, can you refine your thesis statement to focus on a particular problem and context? (This is where the originality of your claim comes in.)


Strong and Weak Thesis Statements Illustrated

Shakespeare was the world’s greatest playwright.

trite, not defensible

The last scene in “Midsummer Night’s Dream” showcases Shakespeare’s ability to manipulate subtle linguistic differences among his characters for comic effect.

intriguing, has an edge


This essay will show that the North American Free Trade agreement was a disaster.

emotional, vague

Neither neo-protectionism nor post-industrial theory explains the downswing of the Canadian furniture industry in 1988-1994. Data on productivity and profits, however, can be closely correlated with provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement that took effect in the same period.

gives context, reflects research, shows intent


In the Netherlands, euthanasia is legal. This paper will describe the history of  euthanasia and give case studies.

doesn’t reveal a central claim or focus

Recent cases show that Dutch law on euthanasia has encountered difficulty  with issues involving technological interventions and unconscious patients.

focused, promisesfacts and analysis

The occurrence of measles in medical settings is higher than nosocomial infections, rubella, pertussis, influenza, and nosocomial hepatitis B according to a survey of hospital records.

distracting detail, hard to follow, no context


In recent years, transmission of measles in hospitals has been described only rarely. New data suggest that the spread of measles in hospitals is more frequent than previously recognized.                                        

shows purpose andcontext, promises new information of consequence




Myths about thesis statements
  •  A thesis statement is the topic of a paper or what the paper is ‘about.’

 If a reader knows that your paper is about migrating birds, she still doesn’t know what your point is. Only a thesis statement can tell the reader that. A topic merely names the field or subject area of your paper; it doesn’t propose anything. Topics are identified in other sentences that give background information that usually lead up to the thesis statement. Compare the topic sentence below with the thesis statement that follows it:

Topic sentenceThere are few people totally unfamiliar with bingo—that game of chance in which numbers, called at random, are plotted on cards to form patterns and to win prizes.

Thesis statement: In order to understand bingo as a cultural phenomenon it should be studied not as a cultural ‘thing’ but as behavior compatible with a patterned way of life.


  •  Some writers put their thesis statement at the end of their paper. 

This myth confuses the concluding section of a paper with the intellectual conclusion a writer must reach in order to begin writing a paper in earnest. Since a good thesis statement is the result of research, reflection, and, sometimes, a draft or two of the entire paper, it might seem that it ought to come at the end of one’s essay. But, in academic writing, what is the outcome of thinking and writing for the writer is best presented as the starting point for the reader. Many writers restate their thesis statement/hypothesis in the concluding section of their papers but few choose to delay revealing their central claim until after they have argued in favor of it


  • There are strict rules about the form of a thesis statement. 

You can learn to write better thesis statements by practicing with specific forms, e.g. one where a premise (“If term limits were adopted in today…”) precedes a conclusion (“we would lose valuable legislative experience.”). Yet if you grasp the function of a thesis statement, many forms are possible. It may take the form of a supported assertion as in “I agree with the author because…” or it can direct the reader’s attention to a scientific or philosophical issue as in “Gardner’s theory of Multiple Intelligences has applications in the kindergarten classroom for..” or “The relationship between body and soul remains a central issue in…” Short pithy thesis statements are also possible as in “Television kills”—a claim, to be sure, but one which needs elaboration in nearby sentences to correctly direct the reader’s focus.  


  • A thesis statement is just your opinion. 

While a thesis statement does present the reader with a claim, it should go well beyond a simple assertion that anyone can make without detailed information about the topic. Statements such as People are too lazy to solve the environmental crisis we face or Today’s educators need to know how to deal with students who don’t speak English don’t convey that the writer has researched his topic and come away with something new or non-obvious to say. A thesis statement offers an informed opinion that the writer is prepared to support with facts, arguments, analysis, and research-based evidence. It might be helpful to remember that a thesis statement takes a ‘point of view’ which the paper develops so that the reader can decide for himself on the issue.

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