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Online Course

Sustainable Tourism: Society & Environmental Aspects

Wageningen University via edX

  • Provider edX
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate $99 Certificate Available
  • Effort 5-7 hours a week
  • Duration 6 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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Tourism is already one of the world's largest industries and it's still experiencing incredible growth. Of all the industries of major importance worldwide, Travel and Tourism directly contribute $1.4 trillion (U.S.) to the global economy. One out of 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. Prepare yourself to be challenged with more critical reflections of an industry steeped in comfort and enjoyment.

You will also discover that tourism is more than just a powerful economic force. Tourism 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 online 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.

Join this MOOC if you want to explore tourism and understand what tourism does to our living environment, our behaviour and our cultural inheritance.


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.

Taught by

Arjaan Pellis and Jonas Skutka

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Reviews for edX's Sustainable Tourism: Society & Environmental Aspects Based on 4 reviews

  • 5 star 25%
  • 4 stars 75%
  • 3 star 0%
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  • 1
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
It is a fairly complete course that develops analytical and research skills for the study of specific cases and their relationship with tourism, the approach raised in each of the topics is appropriate for the subsequent tasks to be performed, in addition to allowing interaction with other users so that each of the required tasks can be improved. In addition to this, multidisciplinary aspects enrich the course and allow us to understand from a different perspective its relationship with sustainability. The only suggestion I could make is that at least the subtitles of the different videos be established based on the main languages spoken in the world (Chinese, Spanish, French, Russian etc.)

For everything else, it seems to me an excellent course that has allowed me to better understand the relationship between the activities of man and his impact on the different places and ecosystems of the earth.
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Anonymous completed this course.
For my PhD I have to immerse myself in the tourism world, whereas it's absolutely not my specialty. Your course was the perfect introduction I was desperate to find somewhere. I'm sorry I didn't participate to the "state your case" activities, but I read all the tutorials about taxis in Prague with much interest.

I will definitely follow the next part in January.

Thank you very much.
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Anonymous is taking this course right now.
I enjoy taking this class, as the video are quite short but content is clear to make a point.

It highlights multiple aspects when thinking about tourism I never would by myself - historical development or all the notion of cultural definition of what's authentic.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous completed this course.
It's nice to have a complete overview of what the background and the impact of tourism can be.

I like the short films and the suggestions to make a statement and state a case.

It makes the course diverse.

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
  • 1

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