Starting Project SUS Island Mauritius Creates Positive Impact Through Tourism by Addressing Sustainability Challenges

Billions of people travel domestically and internationally every year. The value created by these travellers makes up 10.4% of global GDP and accounts for 313 million jobs – 1 in every 10 jobs worldwide. 1 in 5 of all jobs created in 2017* were created in the tourism sector. As the same time, however, tourism contributes to 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions**.

As the tourism sector grows, more concerns are raised on its negative impacts (e.g. over-tourism and alienated local residents). It is also credited for its potential to bring innovative solutions to societal-economic challenges (e.g. economic opportunities in places that have few others, improving cultural understanding and reducing prejudice). Our goal is not to balance the negative impacts with positive impact in tourism, but to improve its handprint while reducing its footprint. Sustainable tourism should drive value creation for the company and customers by addressing sustainability challenges.

The CSCP aims to make sustainable tourism mainstream for the mass market. Sustainable tourism should address the needs of the key market segments to the destination, appealing to the majority of the travellers. Towards this end, the CSCP has been working on the Pro-handprint Innovation (PHI) Framework. It is a tool guiding businesses to target, manage, measure and communicate the positive impacts of tourism.

As tourism relies on local resources (e.g. local work force, natural resource etc.), the PHI Framework provides an inspirational tool that supports the creation and implementation of innovative ideas, guiding business on creating value by addressing the local challenges. This brings sustaining solutions to the local communities while also future-proofing their business.

The PHI Framework will be applied by the CSCP in partnership with Mauritius Tourism Authority (MTA) in the newly launched Switch Africa project “Improving Sustainable Tourism In Mauritius Through Greening The Value Chain Of Tour Operators (SUS-ISLAND)”. SUS-ISLAND aims to promote sustainable tourism in Mauritius by demonstrating and scaling up a self-sustaining mechanism for improving sustainable added value along the value chain. Another goal is to  improve awareness and the marketing of sustainable tourism products.

The CSCP also contributes to SUS-ISLAND by guiding tour operators, hotels and other suppliers to improve the handprint and reduce the footprint in 4 stages:

  • Identify PHI targets
  • Generate PHI ideas
  • Implement PHI actions
  • Measure and communicate MauPHI impacts

SUS-ISLAND contributes to Mauritius’ vision of becoming a green destination to visit and a sustainable island to live on, where:

  • Tour operators, suppliers and stakeholders are mobilized and empowered to develop, promote and deliver sustainable tourism products for the mainstream market
  • Sustainability becomes a key innovation ingredient for tourism products
  • Mainstream tourists are attracted by and enjoying tourism products that generate positive economic, societal, environmental and cultural impacts for Mauritius
  • Tourism generates sustainable solutions to the local challenges

The PHI framework is based on the handprint methodolgy, which was created in the Handprint project. The project jointly developed with Centre for Sustainability Management der Leuphana-Universität Lüneburg, Universität Kassel and Zentrum für Nachhaltige Unternehmensführung at Witten/Herdecke University.

For further questions, please contact Yang Deng.


*WTTC. “Evaluation of Job Creation in G20 Countries Through Maximising Infrastructure Capacity Through Technology That Facilitates Travel and Integrates Security,” 2018.–g20-jobs-creation-white-paper-en.pdf.

**“FAQ – Climate Change and Tourism | Sustainable Development of Tourism.” Accessed July 4, 2018.

Picture by Shutterstock / Ohrim