At EQUATIONS, research is the foundation for all our work. We study the relationship between tourism (and it’s development patterns) and the communities and ecosystems it most affects. We conduct our research through lenses of sustainability, social justice, governance, policy, economics, or ecology and the intersection of these.
We employ a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to support and substantiate our research. Much of our research draws on first-person interviews with individuals in the community, local governing bodies, state actors and the tourism industry, extensive studies on existing government policy and processes, on-the-ground documentation and observation, surveys, news tracking, and, more recently, GIS mapping.
We think local communities should have a decisive voice in the access, control and ownership over their livelihood, natural resources and common resources and policies governing them. We support advocacy and campaign efforts of local communities, movements, unions, and other organisations in their struggle against unjust, undemocratic, or unsustainable forms of tourism. On occasion, we work with local communities to help them organise movements and collectives and strengthen their dialogue with the state and the tourism industry.
We initiate campaigns and support people’s struggles, against unjust, undemocratic and unsustainable forms of tourism. We advocate people’s concerns with the local, regional and national government and lobby for change. Our advocacy aims for decentralised democracy and believe that communities should have a decisive voice in the access, control and ownership over their livelihood, natural resources and common resources. We try to ensure people’s experience influence changes in tourism policies.
We work with local communities and collaborating organisations to advocate for more inclusive, fair, and sustainable policies, equitable and socially and ecologically conscious development and tourism practices. We believe that democratic practices, an emphasis on local self-governance, and policies that reflect the experiences and aspirations of local communities are essential to building a more equitable tourism industry.
We track and critique government policies that intersect with tourism and government (and private) tourism projects, and work with state authorities and other organisations to help draft better, more inclusive, more equitable policies. At the same time, we work with the tourism industry to increase their awareness of the social and ecological impacts of tourism, advocating for more socially conscious and equitable industry policies and practices.
We believe in collaborating with people – grassroot organisations, activists, researchers, trade unions, legal and policy experts, and local communities -- those who share our desire for a more just, equitable, and people-centric governance, policy and industry. Many of our collaborators do not focus on tourism, often our collaborations help us learn more about the ground realities of specific locations, develop more nuanced views, and do work we could not do alone.
Our network of collaborators help us reach more communities and locations, learn from one another, and build more informed and grounded perspectives. We work together to share information and resources, build networks, quickly respond to new developments, conduct research and analyses, and support each others’ advocacy efforts.
Outreach is a key part of EQUATIONS’ work toward a more equitable, democratic, and just future for tourism. Our outreach efforts hope to build awareness of the impacts of tourism. We focus our efforts on students, researchers, other like-minded organisations, and the media. We want more nuanced and holistic perspectives on tourism to shape public discourse and create dialogue and engagement on issues.
Over the last 30 years EQUATIONS has produced and collected a wealth of knowledge and information around issues of tourism, development, communities, ecologies and evolving state policy. Our research, publications, papers and also library support academics and researchers examining a variety of subjects that intersect with tourism in some way.