International Journal of Mathematical, Engineering and Management Sciences

ISSN: 2455-7749

Evaluation of Transition Barriers to Circular Economy: A Case from the Tourism Industry

Kemal Vatansever
Department of Management and Business Administration, Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Antalya, Turkey.

Haris Akarsu
Department of Management and Business Administration, Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Antalya, Turkey.

Yiğit Kazançoğlu
Department of Logistics Management, Yasar University, Izmir, Turkey.


Received on February 21, 2021
Accepted on April 28, 2021


Current economic system exhibits a linear path by using resources to produce goods and disposing of waste after their consumption. Circular economy (CE) turns this linear pattern into a circular one by using waste as a resource for another process. It focuses on environmental responsibility, efficiency, renewable resources, preventing wastage, and, minimizing consumption. CE helps the sustainability of the economy by restructuring the production processes to use fewer resources and extending the lifetime of the products. Although there are powerful drivers for transition to CE firms often face significant barriers while implementing their plans. This study aims to evaluate the barriers that the tourism industry would face during the transition process and put them in order according to their importance. We used the Interval Type-2 Fuzzy Analytical Hierarchy Process (FAHP) method which is based on a pairwise comparison of relevant criteria to calculate the weights of importance of these barriers. We conducted semi-structured interviews with four experts from the tourism industry. According to our results, the most important barrier is organizational structure/infrastructure that creates inconvenience with the supply chain. The results are expected to be a guide for the firms in the tourism industry for their transition to CE applications.

Keywords- Circular economy, Interval type-2 fuzzy AHP, Sustainable tourism, Barriers to circular economy.


Vatansever, K., Akarsu, H., & Kazançoğlu, Y. (2021). Evaluation of Transition Barriers to Circular Economy: A Case from the Tourism Industry. International Journal of Mathematical, Engineering and Management Sciences, 6(3), 824-846.

Conflict of Interest

The authors confirm that there is no conflict of interest to declare for this publication.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. The authors would like to thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for their comments that help improve the quality of this work.


Adams, K.T., Osmani, M., Thorpe, T., & Thornback, J. (2017). Circular economy in construction: current awareness, challenges and enablers. Waste and Resource Management, 170(WR1), 15-24.

Agyemang, M., Kusi-Sarpong, S., Kahn, S.A., Mani, V., Rehman, S.T., & Kusi-Sarpong, H. (2019). Drivers and barriers to circular economy implementation: an explorative study in Pakistan’s automobile industry. Management Decision, 57(4), 971-994.

Andersen, M.S. (2007). An introductory note on the environmental economics of the circular economy. Sustainability Science, 2(1), 133-140.

Andrews, D. (2015). The circular economy, design thinking and education for sustainability. Local Economy, 30(3), 305-315.

Ayvaz, B., & Kusakci, A.O. (2017). A trapezoidal type-2 fuzzy multi-criteria decision making method based on TOPSIS for supplier selection: an application in textile sector. Pamukkale University Journal of Engineering Sciences, 23(1), 70-79.

Blomsma, F., & Tennant, M. (2020). Circular economy: preserving materials or products? Introducing the resource states framework. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 156(May 2020), 104698.

Buckley, J.J. (1985). Fuzzy hierarchical analysis. Fuzzy Sets and Systems, 17(3), 233-247.

Cebi, F., & Otay, I. (2015). Multi-criteria and multi-stage facility location selection under interval type-2 fuzzy environment: a case study for a cement factory. International Journal of Computational Intelligence Systems, 8(2), 330-344.

Chen, S.M., & Lee, L.W. (2010). Fuzzy multiple attributes group decision-making based on the ranking values and the arithmetic operations of interval type-2 fuzzy sets. Expert Systems with Applications, 37(1), 824-833.

De Angelis, R., Howard, M., & Miemczyk, J. (2018). Supply chain management and the circular economy: towards the circular supply chain. Production Planning & Control, 29(6), 425-437.

de Jesus, A., & Mendonca, S. (2018). Lost in transition? drivers and barriers in the eco-innovation road to the circular economy. Ecological Economics, 145(March 2018), 75-89.

Dereli, T., & Altun, K. (2013). Technology evaluation through the use of interval type-2 fuzzy sets and. systems. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 65(4), 624-633.

Deveci, M., Cetin-Demirel, N., & Ahmetoglu, E. (2017). Airline new route selection based on interval type-2 fuzzy MCDM: a case study of new route between Turkey-North American region destinations. Journal of Air Transport Management, 59, 83-99.

Ezzat, A.M. (2016). Sustainable development of seaport cities through circular economy: a comparative study with implications to Suez canal corridor project. European Journal of Sustainable Development, 5(4), 509-522.

Farooque, M., Zhang, A., & Liu, Y. (2019). Barriers to circular food supply chains in China. Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, 24(5), 677-696.

Galvao, G.D.A., Nadae, J., Clemente, D.H., Chinen, G., & Carvalho, M.M. (2018, May). Circular economy: overview of barriers. In 10th CIRP Conference on Industrial Product-Service Systems, 73, (pp.79-85). Linköping, Sweden.

Geisendorf, S., & Pietrulla, F. (2018). The circular economy and circular economic concepts—a literature analysis and redefinition. Thunderbird International Business Review, 60(5), 771-782.

Geissdoerfer, M., Savaget, P., Bocken, N.M.P., & Hultink, E.J. (2017). The circular economy – a new sustainability paradigm?. Journal of Cleaner Production, 143, 757-768.

Girard, L.F., & Nocca, F. (2017). From linear to circular tourism. AESTIMUM, 70, 51-74.

Govindan, K., & Hasanagic, M. (2018). A systematic review on drivers, barriers, and practices towards circular economy: a supply chain perspective. International Journal of Production Research, 56(1-2), 278-311.

Govindan, K., Kaliyan, M., Kannan, D., & Haq, A.N. (2014). Barriers analysis for green supply chain management implementation in Indian industries using analytic hierarchy process. International Journal of Production Economics, 147, 555-568.

Goyal, S., Esposito, M., & Kapoor, A. (2018). Circular economy business models in developing economies: lessons from India on reduce, recycle, and reuse paradigms. Thunderbird International Business Review, 60(5), 729-740.

Gue, I.H.V., Promentilla, M.A.B., Tan, R.R., & Ubando, A.T. (2020). Sector perception of circular economy driver interrelationships. Journal of Cleaner Production, 276, 123204.

Jiang, Y., & Zhou, L. (2012, September). Study on green supply chain management based on circular economy. In International Conference on Solid State Devices and Materials Science, 25, (pp. 1682-1688). Macao, China.

John, R., & Coupland, S. (2009). Type-2 fuzzy logic and the modelling of uncertainty in applications. In: Bargiela, A., & Pedrycz, W. (eds), Human-Centric Information Processing Through Granular Modelling, pp.185-201. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Kahraman, C., Oztaysi, B., Ucal Sari, I., & Turanoglu, E. (2014). Fuzzy analytic hierarchy process with interval type-2 fuzzy sets. Knowledge-Based Systems, 59, 48-57.

Kazancoglu, I., Kazancoglu, Y., Kahraman, A., Yarımoglu, E., & Soni, G. (2020). Investigating barriers to circular supply chain in the textile industry from stakeholders’ perspective. International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, DOI: 10.1080/13675567.2020.1846694.

Kirchherr, J., Piscicelli, L., Bour, R., Kostense-Smit, E., Muller, J., Huibrechtse-Truijens, A., & Hekkert, M. (2018). Barriers to the circular economy: evidence from the European Union (EU). Ecological Economics, 150, 264-272.

Kirchherr, J., Reike, D., & Hekkert, M. (2017). Conceptualizing the circular economy: an analysis of 114 definitions. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 127 (December 2017), 221-232.

Korhonen, J., Honkasalo, A., & Seppala, J. (2018). Circular economy: the concept and its limitations. Ecological Economics, 143, 37-46.

Lebre, E., Corder, G., & Golev, A. (2017). The role of the mining industry in a circular economy: a framework for resource management at the mine site level. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 662-672.

Lee, L.W., & Chen, S.M. (2008, July). A new method for fuzzy multiple attributes group decision-making based on the arithmetic operations of interval type-2 fuzzy sets. In 2008 International Conference on Machine Learning and Cybernetics, 6, (pp. 3084-3089). Kunming, China.

Lieder, M., & Rashid, A. (2016). Towards circular economy implementation: a comprehensive review in context of manufacturing industry. Journal of Cleaner Production, 115(March 2016), 36-51.

Lindgreen, A., & Swaen, V. (2010). Corporate social responsibility. International Journal of Management Reviews, 12(1), 1-7.

Manniche, J., Topsø Larsen, K., Brandt Broegaard, R., & Holland, E. (2017). Destination: A circular tourism economy: A handbook for transitioning toward a circular economy within the tourism and hospitality sectors in the South Baltic Region.

Masi, D., Kumar, V., Garza-Reyes, J.A., & Godsell, J. (2018). Towards a more circular economy: exploring the awareness, practices, and barriers from a focal firm perspective. Production Planning & Control, 29(6), 539-550.

Moreau, V., Sahakian, M., Griethuysen, P.V., & Vuille, F. (2017). Coming full circle: why social and institutional dimensions matter for the circular economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 497-506.

Morseletto, P. (2020). Restorative and regenerative: exploring the concepts in the circular economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 24(4), 763-773.

Pamfilie, R., Firoiu, D., Croitoru, A.G., & Ionescu, G.H. (2018). Circular economy – a new direction for the sustainability of the hotel industry in Romania?. Amfiteatru Economic, 20(48), 388-404.

Pan, S.Y., Gao, M., Kim, H., Shah, K.J., Pei, S.L., & Chiang, P.C. (2018). Advances and challenges in sustainable tourism toward a green economy. Science of the Total Environment, 635, 452-469.

Prieto-Sandoval, V., Jaca, C., & Ormazabal, M. (2018). Towards a consensus on the circular economy. Journal of Cleaner Production, 179, 605-615.

Ritzén, S., & Sandström, G.Ö. (2017). Barriers to the Circular Economy—Integration of perspectives and domains. Procedia CIRP, 64, 7–12. DOI:10.1016/j.procir.2017.03.005.

Rizos, V., Behrens, A., Van der Gaast, W., Hofman, E., Ioannou, A., Kafyeke, T., Flamos, A., Rinaldi, R., Papadelis, S., Garbers, M.H., Topi, C. (2016). Implementation of circular economy business models by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): barriers and enablers. Sustainability, 8(11), 1212.

Rodriguez, C., Florido, C., & Jacob, M. (2020). Circular economy contributions to the tourism sector: a critical literature review. Sustainability, 12(11), 4338.

Saaty, T.L., & Vargas, L.G. (2012). The seven pillars of the analytic hierarchy process. In: Models, Methods, Concepts & Applications of the Analytic Hierarchy Process. International Series in Operations Research & Management Science, vol 175, 23-40. Springer, Boston, MA. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4614-3597-6_2.

Schoggl, J.P., Stumpf, L., & Baumgartner, R.J. (2020). The narrative of sustainability and circular economy - a longitudinal review of two decades of research. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 163, 105073.

Smol, M., Adam, C., & Preisner, M. (2020). Circular economy model framework in the european water and wastewater sector. Journal of Material Cycles and Waste Management, 22, 682-697.

Sorensen, F., & Baerenholdt, J.O. (2020). Tourist practices in the circular economy. Annals of Tourism Research, 85, 103027.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation. (2013). Towards a Circular Economy - Economic and Business Rationale for an Accelerated Transition. Cowes, UK: Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Vargas-Sanchez, A. (2018). The unavoidable disruption of the circular economy in tourism. Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, 10(6), 652-661.

Wu, H.Q., Shi, Y., Xia, Q., & Zhu, W.D. (2014). Effectiveness of the policy of circular economy in china: a DEA-based analysis for the period of 11th five-year-plan. Resources, Conservation and Recycling, 83(February 2014), 163-175.

Yadav, G., Luthra, S., Jakhar, S.K., Mangla, S.K., & Rai, D.P. (2020). A framework to overcome sustainable supply chain challenges through solution measures of industry 4.0 and circular economy: an automotive case. Journal of Cleaner Production, 254(2020), 120112

Zadeh, L.A. (1975). The concept of a linguistic variable and its application to approximate reasoning-I. Information Sciences, 8(3), 199-249.

Zadeh, L.A. (1965). Fuzzy sets. Information and Control, 8(3), 338-353.

Zink, T., & Geyer, R. (2017). Circular economy rebound. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 593-602.

Privacy Policy| Terms & Conditions