Co-producing sustainable solutions in indigenous communities through scientific tourism

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23 Scopus citations


This conceptual paper explores theoretical linkages between scientific tourism and sustainability outcomes within indigenous communities. Drawing on sustainability science, boundary work theory, indigenous knowledge, and decolonial frameworks, we present a typology of scientific tourism situations mapped according to the degree in which they allow co-production of solutions that combine indigenous and scientific knowledge. This paper is based on the premise that co-produced solutions are essential for sustainability outcomes and they require effective boundary organizations capable of translating and coordinating across cultural paradigms. Two approaches to scientific tourism that can facilitate sustainability outcomes, particularly in indigenous communities, are proposed. The first approach is endogenous to the academy and requires cognition of knowledge plurality and researcher reflexivity. The second is exogenous to the academy and entails boundary organizations as well as tools and strategies necessary for horizontal co-production. Implications for future scholarship on scientific tourism in marginalized and/or global south communities are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1255-1271
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Sustainable Tourism
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • Ecuador
  • Sustainability
  • boundary organization
  • indigenous knowledge
  • knowledge co-production
  • scientific tourism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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