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Sustainable Tourism: Society & Environmental Aspects

Wageningen University and Research invites you to this integral introduction of the exciting and complex phenomenon that is tourism. Ranked top 10 best online courses by Class Central, join us to gain an understanding of the scope next to the social and environmental implications of tourism. Take on the challenge of a more critical reflection of this industry, steeped in comfort and enjoyment, and help drive its sustainability!

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14,829 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archived.
Starts Sep 17
Ends Dec 21
Starts Nov 2
Estimated 6 weeks
5–7 hours per week
Self-paced
Progress at your own speed
Free
Optional upgrade available

About this course

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Tourism’s profound impact on the world
Tourism continues to experiencing incredible growth. Of all the industries of major importance worldwide, Travel and Tourism directly contribute $1.4 trillion to the global economy and provides one out of ten jobs and that number is growing.

But tourism is more than just a powerful economic force. Tourist activities come with a host of social and environmental issues at tourism destinations. And return, tourism business itself is highly sensitive to global transformations such as changing consumer behaviour, economic developments, natural disaster, epidemics, or acts of terrorism. Tourism is in fact a complex phenomenon.

Introduction to tourism; an all-round perspective
Instead of taking on tourism education’s customary approach – that of growth driven, applied and hospitality management – join us to explore the tourism industry and build your own reflections. You'll be exposed to a variety of insights throughout the course. These include tourism's historical background and a variety of social science approaches will be looked at, with a special focus on the human geography of tourism. You will be exposed to the negative impacts on natural resources, the cultural heritage of host communities and climate change related issues, such as carbon emissions. Which role can sustainable tourism development play to address both the tourism associated economic benefits as well as the collateral costs for key stakeholders?

Based on weekly reflection exercises, you'll be challenged to form your own argument for a tourism development of your choice. You'll also help others by providing and receiving meaningful feedback on their critical reflections of tourism phenomena.

The effects of Corona virus on the tourism industry
There is no doubt that tourism has been greatly affected by the Covid 19 virus outbreak. With the upcoming attempt to rebound post-Corona, all players in the industry face a choice: will it be business as usual or do we re-invent toward more sustainable practices? But also, how has Corona effected tourists and their behaviour? We will discuss these and other highly relevant questions throughout our tourism courses.

For whom
Whether you are a business owner, work in tourism or an fervent traveller, join us for this MOOC for an science based understanding of what tourism does to our living environment, our behaviour and our cultural inheritance. Help drive sustainability in tourism. Subscribe now!

Professional Certificate Programme

This online course, ranked among the 10 best online courses in the world by Class Central, is part of the Professional Certificate Programme Tourism in Transition: Exploring a Sustainable Future, along with the MOOC Sustainable Tourism: Rethinking the Future, which was nominated for the annual edX® award in 2019 and the MOOC Tourism and Climate Change.

Awards

Best of All Time

At a glance

What you'll learn

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  • How to view tourism as a complex social and environmental phenomenon
  • An overview of global tourism development in its historical context
  • Ways to distinguish differences in the social study of tourism
  • How to conceive of the sheer size and systemic development of tourism
  • To analyse mutual relationships between tourism and its environment

Module 1: Introduction & Overview
What is tourism, and how can you study it from a social sciences point of view?

Module 2: History of global tourism development
Where does tourism come from? We go back in time to understand where our contemporary tourism practices originate.

Module 3: Scientific approaches and systemic observations
What are typical social science approachesto tourism; including behavioral, cultural, and more critical observations? And to what kind of observations do these approaches lead?

Module 4: Key theories and global flows
Take notice of a set of typical theoretical concepts used in tourism studies, and become acquainted with how global tourism developments run parallel with rapidly developing flows of people, goods, technology, information,and capital.

Module 5: Environmental impacts of tourism
Take the main economic, socio-cultural, and environmental interactions and impacts generated by and in tourism.

Module 6: Synthesis and looking forward
Finalize your own argument related to a tourism development of your choice, and become familiar with the science of sustainable tourism.

Learner testimonials

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''An eye-opening course into the minutae of sustainable tourism practices and the societal and environmental aspects of the same. It changes one's perspective on what may seem like harmless activities and unearths the problems behind capitalistic tourist practices.''

''I absolutely loved this course. It's very well structured and all the resources (video, discussions and so on) help us to build the final assignment very well. Professors provide very interesting information and allow students to form their own opinion. I recommend it very much. Thanks!''

About the instructors

Frequently Asked Questions

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Do you have questions about the MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and/or related online programmes of Wageningen University & Research? To help you find answers to your questions, we created a list with frequently asked questions about enrolling, participating in- and finishing a MOOC.

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