Abstract

The Tlingit Aboriginal tourism enterprise named Icy Strait Point in Hoonah, Southeast Alaska is used as a case study to develop the new concept of Sustainable Social-Environmental Enterprise (SSEE). SSEE is defined as an innovative enterprise that has dynamic operational strategies while still maintaining its corporate core values and integrating social, environmental, cultural, economic and political (SECEP) sustainabilities in its operations. The SSEE framework assesses enterprises according to five domains of sustainability: social, environmental, cultural, economic, and political. Applying this framework, we find that while social, economic, and cultural sustainability goals have been achieved in a relatively short time by the Aboriginal tourism enterprise in Hoonah, the political and environmental spheres of sustainability are constrained by the dominant influence of the multinational cruise ship industry over tourism development. Thus, for an emerging tourism enterprise to be sustainable, we suggest each of these livelihood dimensions needs to achieve "a safe operating space" that is adaptable over time and to changing social and environmental circumstances.

Acknowledgments

This research was kindly supported by people from Southeast Alaska who welcomed us to learn more about their culture and aboriginal tourism. We are grateful for your encouragement and thoughtful contribution throughout our journey.

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