The Relationship between Tourism and Environmental Performance: The Case of Caspian Sea Nations

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, University of Mazandaran, Babolsar-Iran


Tourism is a multidimensional economic activity that has an interaction with the environment. On one hand, environmental resources provide the raw material for tourism, while on the other, tourism imposes a variety of negative and positive impacts (wanted or unwanted) on the environment through the creation of various by-products. The main purpose of the current study is to investigate the relationship between tourism and environmental performance in the Caspian Sea nations during 2002-2013. A panel data vector autoregressive (P-VAR) method has been employed to estimate the model. Findings from the impulse-response function analysis and variance decomposition show that the reactions of international tourism to environmental performance, human development index, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, and the degree of trade openness in the Caspian Sea nations are positive. Moreover, the reaction of environmental performance to tourism and GDP per capita shocks is negative. The results also show that the responses of environmental performance to human capital index, the degree of trade openness and the square of GDP per capita shocks are positive. According to the findings, it is suggested that countries in the Caspian Sea region should pay a special attention to environmental issues in the development of tourism.


Article Title [فارسی]

رابطه‏ گردشگری و عملکرد محیط زیست: مطالعه موردی کشورهای حاشیه دریای خزر

Authors [فارسی]

  • سعید راسخی
  • ثریا محمدی
استاد اقتصاد بین الملل، گروه اقتصاد، دانشکده علوم اقتصادی و اداری، دانشگاه مازندران، بابلسر- ایران
Abstract [فارسی]

گردشگری، فعالیت اقتصادی چند وجهی است که در چارچوب یک فرآیند دو طرفه، در تعامل با محیط زیست قرار دارد. این در حالی است که از یک سو، منابع زیست محیطی، مواد اولیه‎ی گردشگری را تأمین می‎کند و از سوی دیگر، گردشگری با تولید انواع مختلفی از محصولات جانبی، خواسته یا ناخواسته اثرات مثبت و منفی عمده‎ای را بر محیط زیست تحمیل می‎کند. هدف اصلی تحقیق حاضر، بررسی رابطه‎ی گردشگری و عملکرد محیط زیست در کشورهای حوزه دریای خزر طی دوره‏ی 2013-2002 است. برای این منظور، از الگوی خودرگرسیون برداری در قالب داده‏های تابلویی(P-VAR) استفاده گردیده است. نتایج تحقیق با تحلیل توابع عکس‎العمل آنی و تجزیه واریانس حاکی از آن است که واکنش گردشگری بین المللی نسبت به عملکرد محیط زیست، شاخص توسعه انسانی، تولید ناخالص داخلی سرانه و درجه بازبودن تجاری در مناطق حوزه دریای خزر مثبت است و واکنش عملکرد محیط زیست نسبت به تکانه‏های ناشی از گردشگری و GDP سرانه در این کشورها منفیاست. هم‎چنین، با توجه به سایر نتایج این مطالعه، واکنش عملکرد محیط زیست نسبت به شاخص توسعه انسانی، درجه باز بودن تجاری و مجذور GDP سرانه مثبت بدست آمده است. بر اساس نتایج حاصل از این تحقیق، پیشنهاد می‎شود دولت‎های حاشیه دریای خزر در توسعه گردشگری به مسائل زیست محیطی توجه ویژه‎ای داشته باشند.

Keywords [فارسی]

  • گردشگری
  • عملکرد محیط زیست
  • دریای خزر
  • P-VAR
Alam, S., Rehman, S., & Butt, M. S. (2011). Trade liberalization, environmental degradation and sustainable development in Pakistan. European Journal of Social Sciences, 19(1), 84-96.
Amelung, B., Nicholls, S., & Viner, D. (2007). Implications of global climate change for tourism flows and seasonality. Journal of Travel research, 45(3), 285-296. doi:10.1177/0047287506295937
Amzath, A., & Zhao, L. (2014). A study of the relationship between carbon emission and tourism development in Maldives. African Journal of Business Management, 8(20), 962.doi:10.5897/AJBM2014.7440.
Awan, A. G., & Awan, A. G. (2013). Relationship between environment and sustainable economic development: A theoretical approach to environmental problems. International Journal of Asian Social Science, 3(3), 741-761.
Baltagi, Badi; H. (2005). Econometric analysis of panel data, (3rd ed.). England: John Wily & Sons Ltd.
Başarir, Ç., & Çakir, Y. N. (2015). Causal interactions between Co2 emissions, financial development, energy and tourism. Asian Economic and Financial Review, 5(11),1227-1238. doi:10.18488/journal.aefr/2015.5.11/102.11.1227.1238
Beckerman, W. (1992). Economic growth and the environment: Whose growth? Whose environment?. World development, 20(4), 481-496.
Ben Jebli, M., Ben Youssef, S., & Apergis, N. (2014). The dynamic linkage between CO2 emissions, economic growth, renewable energy consumption, number of tourist arrivals and trade. Online at MPRA Paper No. 57261, 1-12.
Bouzahzah, M., & El Menyari, Y. (2013). The relationship between international tourism and economic growth: the case of Morocco and Tunisia. Retrieved from
Boyra, J. (2009). Looking for environmental excellence in tourist destinations. Tourismos: An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism, 4(2), 91-106.
Brida, J. G., & Pereyra, J. S. (2009). Tourism taxation and environmental quality: A model with vertical differentiation of the accommodation industry. Tourismos:  An International Multidisciplinary Journal of Tourism, 4(1), 45-62.
Campbell, S. J., Kartawijaya, T., Yulianto, I., Prasetia, R., & Clifton, J. (2013). Co-management approaches and incentives improve management effectiveness in the Karimunjawa National Park, Indonesia. Marine Policy, 41, 72-79. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2012.12.022.
Clewer, A., Pack, A., & Sinclair, M. T. (1992). Price competitiveness and inclusive tour holidays in European cities. Choice and Demand in Tourism, London: Mansell, 123-143.
Coad, L., Campbell, A., Miles, L., & Humphries, K. (2008). The costs and benefits of protected areas for local livelihoods: a review of the current literature. UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK. 1-42.
Cole, M. A. (2004). Trade, the pollution haven hypothesis and the environmental Kuznets curve: examining the linkages. Ecological economics, 48(1), 71-81. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2003.09.007.
Conrad, E., & Cassar, L. F. (2014). Decoupling economic growth and environmental degradation: Reviewing progress to date in the small Island State of Malta. Sustainability, 6(10), 6729-6750. doi:10.3390/su6106729.
Cooper, C., Fletcher, J., Gilbert, D. & Wanhill, S. (1998). Tourism principles and practice, (2nd ed.). England: Addison-Wesley, Longman.
Cortés-Jiménez, I., Nowak, J. J., & Sahli, M. (2011). Mass beach tourism and economic growth: lessons from Tunisia. Tourism Economics, 17(3), 531-547. doi: 10.5367/te.2011.0047.
Croes, R. (2012). Assessing tourism development from Sen’s capability approach. Journal of Travel Research, 51(5), 542-554. doi:10.1177/0047287511431323.
Cunha, S. K. D., & Cunha, J. C. D. (2005). Tourism cluster competitiveness and sustainability: proposal for a systemic model to measure the impact of tourism on local development. BAR-Brazilian Administration Review2(2), 47-62. doi:10.1590/S1807-76922005000200005.
Dodds, R., & Butler, R. (2009). Barriers to implementing sustainable tourism policy in mass tourism destinations. Tourismos, 5(1), 35-54.
Dwyer, L., Forsyth, P., & Rao, P. (2000). The price competitiveness of travel and tourism: a comparison of 19 destinations. Tourism Management, 21(1), 9-22. doi:10.1016/S0261-5177(99)00081-3.  
Farajirad, A., & Aghajani, S. (2010). The relationship between tourism and environment. Iranian Journal of Tourism & Hospitality, 1(1),37-48.
Gooroochurn, N., & Sugiyarto, G. (2004). Measuring competitiveness in the travel and tourism industry. University of Nottingham, Christel DeHaan Tourism and Travel Research Institute.
Gössling, S. (2002). Global environmental consequences of tourism. Global environmental change, 12(4), 283-302. doi: 10.1016/S0959-3780(02)00044-4.
Gössling, S., Hall, M., Lane, B., & Weaver, D. (2008). The Helsingborg statement on sustainable tourism.Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 16(1), 122-124. doi: 10.2167/09669580809411813.
Goudie, A. S., & Viles, H. A. (1997). The earth transformed: an introduction to human impacts on the environment. Oxford, United Kingdom: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
Grossmann, A., Love, I., & Orlov, A. G. (2014). The dynamics of exchange rate volatility: A panel VAR approach. Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, 33(1), 1-27. doi:10.1016/j.intfin.2014.07.008.
Gürlük, S. (2009). Economic growth, industrial pollution and human development in the Mediterranean Region. Ecological Economics, 68(8), 2327-2335. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2009.03.001.
Halicioglu, F. (2009). An econometric study of CO2 emissions, energy consumption, income and foreign trade in Turkey. Energy Policy, 37(3), 1156-1164. doi: 10.1016/j.enpol.2008.11.012.
Hall, D. R. (1998). Tourism development and sustainability issues in Central and South-eastern Europe. Tourism Management, 19(5), 423-431. doi: 10.1016/S0261-5177(98)00039-9.
Holden,  A. (2007). Environment and tourism, (2nd ed.). London and New York: Routledge Introductions in Environment Series.
Huybers, T., & Bennett, J. (2000). Impact of the environment on holiday destination choices of prospective UK tourists: implications for Tropical North Queensland. Tourism Economics, 6(1), 21-46. doi:10.5367/000000000101297451.
Imran, S., Alam, K., & Beaumont, N. (2014). Environmental orientations and environmental behavior: Perceptions of protected area tourism stakeholders. Tourism management, 40, 290-299. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2013.07.003.
Jatuporn, C., & Chien, L. H. (2011). Tourism Development Vs CO2 Emissions in Thailand. In proceeding of the 1st Environment Asia International Conference on “Environmental Supporting in Food and Energy Security: Crisis and Opportunity, 22-25. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.1165.0167.
Jawadi, F., Mallick, S. K., & Sousa, R. M. (2016). Fiscal and monetary policies in the BRICS: A panel VAR approach. Economic Modelling, 58, 535-542. doi: 10.1016/j.econmod.2015.06.001.
Katircioglu, S. (2009). Tourism, trade and growth: The case of Cyprus. Applied Economics, 41(21), 2741-2750. doi:10.1080/00036840701335512.
Katircioglu, S. T. (2014). International tourism, energy consumption, and environmental pollution: The case of Turkey. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 36, 180-187. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2014.04.058.
Katircioglu, S. T., Feridun, M., & Kilinc, C. (2014). Estimating tourism-induced energy consumption and CO2 emissions: the case of Cyprus. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 29, 634-640. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2013.09.004.
Keintz, R. M. (1968). A Study of the Demand for International Travel to and from the United States. Journal of Travel Research, 7(1), 6-10.
Kort, P. M., Greiner, A., Feichtinger, G., Haunschmied, J. L., Novak, A., & Hartl, R. F. (2002). Environmental effects of tourism industry investments: an inter‐temporal trade‐off. Optimal control applications and methods, 23(1), 1-19. doi: 10.1002/oca.692.
Laws, E. (1991). Tourism marketing: service and quality management perspectives. United Kingdom (Cheltenham): Nelson Thornes Ltd.
Lee, J. W., & Brahmasrene, T. (2013). Investigating the influence of tourism on economic growth and carbon emissions: Evidence from panel analysis of the European Union. Tourism Management, 38, 69-76. doi: 10.1016/j.tourman.2013.02.016.
Lise, W., & Tol, R. S. (2002). Impact of climate on tourist demand. Climatic change, 55(4), 429-449. doi:10.1023/A:1020728021446.
Love, I., & Zicchino, L. (2006). Financial development and dynamic investment behavior: Evidence from panel VAR. The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 46(2), 190-210. doi:10.1016/j.qref.2005.11.007.
McKercher, B. (1993). Some fundamental truths about tourism: Understanding tourism's social and environmental impacts. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 1(1), 6-16. doi: 10.1080/09669589309450697
Mehregan, N., Kordbacheh, H., & Akbari, A. (2012). Foreign tourism and human development in Iran. International Proceedings of Economics Development & Research, 50, 15-18. doi:10.7763/IPEDR
Mola, F., Shafaei, F., & Mohamed, B. (2012). Tourism and the environment: issues of concern and sustainability of southern part of the Caspian Sea Coastal Areas. Journal of Sustainable Development, 5(3), 2-15. doi:10.5539/jsd.v5n3p2.
Munasinghe, M. (1993). Environmental economics and sustainable development (Vol. 3). Publisher: The World Bank, Wash. DC, USA. doi:10.1596/0-8213-2352-0.
Musai, M., Mehrara, M., Nemati, S. F., & Tak, M. N. (2011). Demand for travel to Iran and human development index. European Journal of Social Sciences, 25(1), 14-20.
Nademi, Y. (2011). Co2 emissions and international tourism in some developed countries. Advances in Environmental Biology, 5(9), 2620-2622.
Novelli, M., & Scarth, A. (2007). Tourism in protected areas: Integrating conservation and community development in Liwonde National Park (Malawi). Tourism and Hospitality Planning & Development, 4(1), 47-73. doi:10.1080/14790530701289697.
Osman, Z., & Sentosa, I. (2013). Mediating effect of customer satisfaction on service quality and customer loyalty relationship in Malaysian rural tourism. International Journal of Economics Business and Management Studies2(1), 25-37.
Payne, J. E., & Mervar, A. (2010). Research note: The tourism–growth nexus in Croatia. Tourism Economics, 16(4), 1089-1094. doi:10.5367/te.2010.0014.
Peng, S. J., & Bao, Q. (2006). Economic growth and environmental pollution: An empirical test for the environmental Kuznets curve hypothesis in China [J]. Research on Financial and Economic Issues, 8(273), 3-17.
Rasekhi, S., Karimi, S., & Mohammadi, S. (2016). Environmental impacts of tourism, A case study of selected developing and developed countries. The Journal of Tourism Planning and Development, 5(16): 71-94.
Ryan, C. (2003). Recreational tourism: Demand and impacts, (2nd ed.). (Vol. 11), England: Channel View Publications.
Salahuddin, M., Gow, J., & Ozturk, I. (2015). Is the long-run relationship between economic growth, electricity consumption, carbon dioxide emissions and financial development in Gulf Cooperation Council Countries robust?. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 51, 317-326. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.06.005.
Samimi, A. J., Kashefi, A., Salatin, P., & Lashkarizadeh, M. (2011). Environmental performance and HDI: evidence from countries around the world. Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research, 10(3), 294-301.
Sekhar, N. U. (2003). Local people's attitudes towards conservation and wildlife tourism around Sariska Tiger Reserve, India. Journal of environmental Management, 69(4), 339-347. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2003.09.002.
Shahbaz, M., Hye, Q. M. A., Tiwari, A. K., & Leitão, N. C. (2013). Economic growth, energy consumption, financial development, international trade and CO 2 emissions in Indonesia. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 25, 109-121. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2013.04.009.
Sharpley, R. (2009). Tourism development and the environment: Beyond sustainability?. London, Earthscan.
Sherafatian-Jahromi, R., Othman, M. S., Law, S. H., & Ismail, N. W. (2016). Tourism and CO2 emissions nexus in Southeast Asia: new evidence from panel estimation. Environment, Development and Sustainability,19(86), 1-17. doi:10.1007/s10668-016-9811-x.
Sinclair, M. & Stabler, M. (1997). The economics of tourism. London: Routledge.
Sirivongs, K., & Tsuchiya, T. (2012). Relationship between local residents' perceptions, attitudes and participation towards national protected areas: A case study of Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, central Lao PDR. Forest Policy and Economics, 21, 92-100. doi:10.1016/j.forpol.2012.04.003.
Solarin, S. A. (2014). Tourist arrivals and macroeconomic determinants of CO2 emissions in Malaysia. Anatolia, 25(2), 228-241. doi:10.1080/13032917.2013.868364.
Sompholkrang, M. (2014). Tourism expenditures and environment in Thailand. Eurasian Journal of Economics and Finance, 2(2), 63-69. doi:10.15604/ejef.2014.02.02.005.
Stern, D. I., Common, M. S., & Barbier, E. B. (1996). Economic growth and environmental degradation: the environmental Kuznets curve and sustainable development. World development, 24(7), 1151-1160. doi:10.1016/0305-750X(96)00032-0.
Summers, R., & Heston, A. (1991). The Penn World Table (Mark 5): an expanded set of international comparisons, 1950–1988. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 106(2), 327-368. doi:10.2307/2937941.
Talberth, J., & Bohara, A. K. (2006). Economic openness and green GDP. Ecological Economics, 58(4), 743-758. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2005.09.002.
Tamazian, A., & Rao, B. B. (2010). Do economic, financial and institutional developments matter for environmental degradation? Evidence from transitional economies. Energy Economics, 32(1), 137-145. doi:10.1016/j.eneco.2009.04.004.
Tang, Z. (2015). An integrated approach to evaluating the coupling coordination between tourism and the environment. Tourism Management, 46, 11-19. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2014.06.001.
Tugcu, C. T. (2014). Tourism and economic growth nexus revisited: A panel causality analysis for the case of the Mediterranean Region. Tourism Management, 42, 207-212. doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2013.12.007.
Turner, L. W., & Witt, S. F. (2001). Factors influencing demand for international tourism: Tourism demand analysis using structural equation modelling, revisited. Tourism Economics, 7(1), 21-38. doi:10.5367/000000001101297711.
UNCTAD (2015). United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UNCTAD Statistics.
United Nations Development Program (1980-2013) Human Development Report 2013-1980 (New York UNDP).
Urry, J. (1995). Consuming places. Psychology Press.
Wolde, E. T. (2015). Economic growth and environmental degradation in Ethiopia: An environmental Kuznets curve analysis approach. Journal of Economics and International Finance, 7(4), 72-79. doi:10.5897/JEIF2015.0660.
World  Bank,  2015.  World  Development  Indicators.  Accessed  at :
WTO (2015). Yearbook of Tourism Statistics. Madrid: World Tourism Organization.
WTTC (2015). World Travel & Tourism Council, WTTC Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2015.
Yale  Center  for  Environmental  Law  &  Policy  (2015),  “Pilot  2014 Environmental Performance  Index  (EPI)  Report”  ,  is  available  online  at.
Yang, L., Yuan, S., & Sun, L. (2012). The relationships between economic growth and environmental pollution based on time series data: An empirical study of Zhejiang province. J Cambridge Stud, 7(1), 33-42. doi:10.17863/CAM.1411.
Yazdanpanah, H., Barghi, H., & Esmaili, A. (2016). Effect of climate change impact on tourism: A study on climate comfort of Zayandehroud River route from 2014 to 2039. Tourism Management Perspectives, 17, 82-89. doi:10.1016/j.tmp.2015.12.002
Zaman, K., Khan, M. M., & Ahmad, M. (2011). Exploring the relationship between tourism development indicators and carbon emissions:A case study of Pakistan. World Appl Sci J, 15(5), 690-701.
Zaman, K., Shahbaz, M., Loganathan, N., & Raza, S. A. (2016). Tourism development, energy consumption and Environmental Kuznets Curve: Trivariate analysis in the panel of developed and developing countries. Tourism Management, 54, 275-283.  doi:10.1016/j.tourman.2015.12.001.
Zeinolabedin, Y., Yahyapour, M. S., & Shirzad, Z. (2009). Geopolitics and Environmental Issues in the Caspian Sea. Caspian J Environ Sci, 7(2), 113-21.
Zhang, B., Bi, J., Yuan, Z., Ge, J., Liu, B., & Bu, M. (2008). Why do firms engage in environmental management? An empirical study in China. Journal of Cleaner Production, 16(10), 1036-1045. doi:10.1016/j.jclepro.2007.06.016.
Zhang, L., & Gao, J. (2016). Exploring the effects of international tourism on China's economic growth, energy consumption and environmental pollution: Evidence from a regional panel analysis. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 53, 225-234. doi:10.1016/j.rser.2015.08.040.
Zhang, Z. X. (2007). China is moving away the pattern of “develop first and then treat the pollution”. Energy Policy, 35(7), 3547-3549. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2007.02.002.
Zhong, L., Deng, J., Song, Z., & Ding, P. (2011). Research on environmental impacts of tourism in China: Progress and prospect. Journal of Environmental Management, 92(11), 2972-2983. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.07.011.