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WageningenX: Sustainable Tourism: Rethinking the future

Considering the negative impacts on climate change, the host communities and their natural resources, the growth-driven tourism industry needs to improve its footprint. Join Wageningen University and Research for this online course, nominated for the annual edX® award 2019. Engage in interdisciplinary debates to explore and co-create future responsible travel and tourism initiatives in your (professional) context. Subscribe now.

9 weeks
6–8 hours per week
Progress at your own speed
Optional upgrade available

There is one session available:

9,240 already enrolled! After a course session ends, it will be archivedOpens in a new tab.
Starts Apr 12

About this course

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Sustainable tourism development put into practice
In this course you will be teamed up and challenged to apply your argumentation skills to implement insights from various tourism disciplines and different social science perspectives to current tourism developments. For example:

Sociology: how is tourism organised (laws/regulations)?
Psychology: what effects how tourists experience tourism (COVID 19?!)
Geography: what does tourism development mean for a particular location?

Learn of and work on promising and new tourism developments, such as Van Life and voluntourism and other inspiring changes observed in the tourism industry. Recognize and co-create future narratives as a tool to compose new business cases and/or project proposals in your professional context. Implement these perspectives to a tourism practice of your choice, and share your insights through regular feedback with experts and other participants in this course.

Debates on sustainable tourism development
Sustainable alternatives can only become real if we allow for an open space for continuous discussion and representation of new ideas. That's why this MOOC offers a platform for ongoing discussions of tourism developments, where you are encouraged to engage in meaningful debates on these innovative developments as they appear, during the course as well as after completion.

The effects of Corona virus on the tourism industry
There is no doubt that tourism has been greatly affected by the Corona pandemic. With the upcoming attempt to rebound post-Corona, the industry faces a choice: back to business-as-usual or re-invention toward more sustainable practices, such as ecotourism? But also, how has Corona effected tourists? We will discuss all related questions throughout our tourism courses.

For whom
Whether you work in tourism, are a tourism related business owner or a fervent traveller, join us for this MOOC as we apply science to a broad array types of tourism. Then come up with your very own to help drive sustainability in tourism. Subscribe now!

Professional Certificate Programme

This online course is part of the Professional Certificate Programme Tourism in Transition: Exploring a Sustainable Future, along with the MOOCs: Sustainable Tourism: Society & Environmental Aspects and Tourism and Climate Change.


edX Prize 2019 Finalist

At a glance

  • Institution: WageningenX
  • Subject: Philosophy & Ethics
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Prerequisites:

    This course is especially valuable if you have a background in either the social sciences or tourism/hospitality studies, but everyone is welcome to join (you might want to consider taking TOUR01x first to learn the basic concepts used in this course).

  • Language: English
  • Video Transcript: English
  • Associated programs:
  • Associated skills:Psychology, Sustainable Tourism, Tourism, Social Sciences, Geography, Research, Innovation, Project Proposals

What you'll learn

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  • How to implement insights from various tourism disciplinestocurrent developments in the tourism industry
  • Become familiar with, and share, inspiring tourism developments across the world
  • Recognize and co-create future narratives as a tool to compose new business cases and/or project proposals in your professional context
  • Ways to become part of ongoing dialogues on developments for the future of tourism
  • How the tourism industry is being affected by the Covid-19 corona virus outbreak.

Module 1: Tourism Studies and Development

In module 1, you will learn more about the cases from which we will depart in this course. Each case represents a unique setting in which tourism develops one way or another. As situational these cases appear, they may well connect with other practices that you are familiar with or have a special interest in. It is also possible to come up with your own case and find collaborators (other learners) who wish to join you in the exploration of this case. We very much welcome your creativity in outlining a case that is of interest to you!

If you are eager to move forward and engage in a dialogue on these cases, you must enrol as a verified learner. As a verified learner, you are given access to your own team environment but also to previous ideas developed in this course. You can work with other international team members on a case of your choice, share inspiring solutions to problems addressed, participate in (optional) fieldwork and engage in analyses corresponding to modules 2-4.

Module 2: Psychology of Tourism

In module 2, you will get an overview of the psychology of tourism and explain tourist experiences before, during and after holiday trips.

Module 3: Sociology of Tourism

In module 3, you will get an overview of the sociology of tourism, and learn how to explore the policy environment of any tourism case.

Module 4: Geography of Tourism

In module 4, you will get an overview of the geography of tourism, and learn how to explore the politics of place making and objects in tourism contexts.

Wrapping Up and Looking Forward

In module 5, we will invite you and your team members to present your group findings to all learners of this course. As such, you can possibly become inspired with the work of other learners in this course and gain final feedback to improve your final team vision.

Finally, verified learners can complete this course by filing a personal report in which you reflect on the team process and outcomes individually.

Learner testimonials

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"Thank the teachers and team advisors because it has been a very educational course and will undoubtedly serve me well in the future and more, now that we are increasingly realizing the importance of sustainability and the repercussions".

"Even though we were (thousands of) miles apart, it felt like we were a team with the same ambition to work on the case. The diversity in (professional) background helped us to see the different sides of the coin, which makes this way of collaboration very interesting. Some of us were already very invested in the topic, which made them come up with good references, ideas and information. Others like me were new to the topic, which made it easier to think out of the box and come up with alternative solutions".

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.

This course is part of Tourism in Transition: Exploring a Sustainable Future Professional Certificate Program

Learn more 
Expert instruction
3 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
5 months
5 - 7 hours per week

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