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Sustainable Tourism: Society & Environmental Aspects

Wageningen University via edX

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Overview

Tourism is already one of the world’s largest industries and it's still experiencing incredible growth. Industries of major importance worldwide, Travel and Tourism directly contribute $1.4 trillion (U.S.) to the global economy. One in ten of the world’s total jobs are in travel and tourism and that number is growing.

Join this course if you want to learn where this growth is coming from and what the effects will be on the social and natural environment. You’ll be challenged with more critical reflections of an industry steeped in comfort and enjoyment.

You’ll also discover that tourism is more than just a powerful economic force. Tourist activities affect the environment of travel destinations and influence cultures worldwide. Tourism is very sensitive to global transformations such as changing consumer behaviour, economic developments, climate change, epidemics, or acts of terrorism. Tourism is in fact a complex phenomenon.

To explore the development of the tourism phenomenon and begin to build your own reflections on the industry, you'll be exposed to a variety of weekly insights throughout the course. These include historical backgrounds, a variety of social science approaches, common theoretical constructs, related systemic observations, and exposure to environmental, social and economic implications of tourism. 

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

Syllabus

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 approaches to 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.

Taught by

Arjaan Pellis and Jonas Skutka

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