Ethics of Modern Tourism (A Critical Approach to the Aspects, Principals and Effects of the Ethics of Modern Tourism)

Document Type : Research Article


1 Faculty of Geography, University of Tehran

2 MA Student of Geography and Tourism Planning, University of Tehran


Modern tourism has formed and burgeoned within the paradigm of modernity. Therefore many of the problems of modernity apply to this type of tourism too. Modern tourism is in favor of maximum profit with maximum proficiency in minimum time, though many hidden expenses may be overlooked in this process. Modern tourism poses many ethical issues which can be traced and studied in two main categories: nature and society. If we see the ethics from Kant’s standpoint, many of the notions and actions taking place in the modern tourism do not enjoy enough rationality, so they can be considered even immoral. Modern tourism still has an exploratory and triumphal soul, something that led to the discovery of new lands and then access to more resources during the colonial era over the past centuries. This approach emanates from the concept of “other” and distinguishes the tourists and their home lands from their tourist destination whose nature and society are believed to be different essentially from that of the tourists and pursue a different destiny. Nevertheless it seems that one can re-define the modern tourism in the context of ethics in order to come up with a new version of tourism which would be more sustainable and responsible. In the course of social history, agriculture with the labor of slaves has turned into an immoral activity, and accordingly hope remains high that modern tourism with its social and environmental backlashes would go down the same path.
In the Persian literature of tourism ethics, the philosophical depth of this issue has not been examined, but most of the articles ever published have been focused on the ethical codes from the viewpoint of a particular ideology. Therefore this article in a nutshell tries to examine some philosophical challenges and key questions revolving around the ethics of modern tourism. In this article, the research method is hermeneutic and interpretive through studying some books, articles and documents on tourism and its impact on the environment and social norms of the destination communities. To facilitate our research, the ethics of tourism has been investigated in two conceptual fields of nature and society.  


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