Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Law (SJD)



First Advisor

Dr. Professor Sompong Sucharitkul

Second Advisor

Professor Jon H. Sylvester

Third Advisor

Dr. Professor Christian Nwachukwu Okeke


Tourism is about travel, cultural exchanges, and job creation. Responsible tourism seeks to meet these goals in a way that will ensure protection of the tourist sites as well as sustainable growth for today's hosts and for future generations of both tourists and hosts. The objective of my research is to illustrate positive and negative impact the law of tourism and travel has on sustainable development. My methodology analyzes developing trends in international law, as well as centuries old traditions of travel law. Then I provide solutions that utilize successful legal regimes to enable sustainable development through tourism.

From my research at numerous universities all over the world, talking with industry professionals, government officials, and experts while attending conferences in many countries, and through work in the largest travel law office in the world, I have not found significant writings devoted to the impact of the law on tourism and sustainable development.

This doctorate examines the evolving legal definitions of tourism, sustainable development, cultural heritage, and common heritage of humankind; then distinguishes the types of tourist destinations, services and products along with the corresponding legal duties of the host state, other states, international law, and tourists. Case examples and problems related to specific states and tourism and sustainable development issues are illustrated throughout the essay. This doctorate examines how the United Nations along with other governments and nongovernmental organizations have sought ways in which regular and continuous economic development can lead to the betterment of mankind. A great deal of attention is paid to the travel law development of the United States of America, and even California travel law, as these are two of the most developed legal regimes around, as well as being the systems of the author's law practice. The codes of ethics for the traveler as developed by international organizations and scholars are also examined.

I show how the greater impact of tourism has been a positive influence on an economy and society as felt in 2005 following the economic and touristic devastation resulting from the tsunami of southeast Asia, the flooding in Europe, hurricane Katrina, and the earthquakes of Pakistan. As the Republic of Iraq, has stated, "It is now recognized that tourism has great potential to create and indirectly support job creation in several segments of the economy: airlines; hotels; restaurants; transportation; travel agencies; and telecommunications. . . . The tourism industry has also played an important transformational role as a vocal constituency for improvements to airports, immigration and visa procedures, security, road, rail and telecommunication networks."

I argue that sustainable development can be achieved through tourism by increasing employment opportunities, developing infrastructure, and by creating standards for individual, corporate and social activities related to tourism. This doctorate also emphasizes that the significance of maintaining cultural heritage is important both for the common heritage of humanity but also for the daily lives of people that make a living from the income created by tourism and as such I feel will be a useful contribution to sustainable development literature.

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