Circular Economy: A Paradigm to Critically Rethink Sustainability in Tourism and Hospitality

Lucia Tommasini*, Elena Cavagnaro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The Circular Economy is at the centre of a growing debate and legislative initiatives both within Europe and globally. In 2015, the European Commission adopted the Circular Economy Action Plan as a policy to accelerate Europe’s transition towards a Circular Economy. The United Nations identified the Circular Economy Action Plan as a best practice to prompt the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is striking, therefore, that despite the increasing interest in the circularity paradigm, academics and professionals in the tourism and hospitality sector seem only partially involved in the discussion. As a consequence, the implications of the Circular Economy for tourism and hospitality have remained largely unexplored and under theorised. This book chapter aims to fill this gap by shedding light on how the circularity paradigm allows a rethinking of sustainability and its implementation, planning and management in the tourism and hospitality sector. In so doing, it reviews and discusses the characteristics, potentialities and challenges of the Circular Economy and the ‘circularity’ paradigm’ in light of the current theorisations on sustainability and explores the implications of circularity in a service-oriented sector like tourism and hospitality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlanning and Managing Sustainability in Tourism
Subtitle of host publicationEmpirical Studies, Best-practice Cases and Theoretical Insights
EditorsAnna Farmaki, Levent Altinay, Xavier Font
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-92208-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-92207-8
Publication statusPublished - 8-Apr-2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameTourism, Hospitality & Event Management
ISSN (Print)2510-4993
ISSN (Electronic)2510-5000


  • Circular economy
  • Tourism


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