AbstractWhile considering the need to reassess the concept of sustainability under a sociological perspective, this article represents an attempt to reflect on the theoretical framework linking local social development to sustainable tourism. These are considered as two key categories with which to rethink the concept of sustainability in its concrete applications. Within this frame, it is useful to consider sustainability under five different principles of equity (inter-generational, intra-generational, geographical, procedural and inter-species equity). In order to better adapt this model to the field of tourism a sixth principle based on cultural equity has been added. This perspective allows us to consider sustainable tourism in its proximal, relational and site-situated nature, an approach particularly suitable for both translating into real practice the paradigm of sustainability and for reducing its ambiguity with respect to the idea of development. At the same time, it focuses on the sociological aspects of the debate, eventually giving a new life to a discourse often restricted to economic and environmental aspects.
Keywords: Sustainability, tourism, development, localness, equity.