Class Year




Document Type


Distinguished Thesis


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Department or Program

International Relations

Second Department or Program


First Advisor

James Marquardt

Second Advisor

Aleksandar Jankovski

Third Advisor

Gizella Meneses

Fourth Advisor

Lois Barr

Fifth Advisor

Lynn Westley


Tourism is of economic importance, but can be very damaging to the natural and human environments at destinations that tourists choose to visit. A solution for this issue is to guide touristic businesses towards more sustainable forms of operation. International organizations may promote sustainable tourism at small destinations via norm transfer, but is this process successful? What motivates it? This thesis examines how norms related to sustainable tourism are transferred from the international level to destination-level businesses in the tourism sector, and whether the transfer process is purely social or influenced by material gains. A case study, carried out in Monteverde, Costa Rica, supports the notion that, at least at this destination, sustainable tourism norms may be transferred due to the socialization of the actors involved, and that material motivators like certification programs do not affect whether or not businesses adopt norms related to sustainable tourism.


Bilingual thesis (English and Spanish)

Gora Final Thesis (bilingual).pdf (1433 kB)
Bilingual version