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BUS / ENV 365: Tourism for Sustainable Development: Italian and Global Models

Course Description

The potential for cross-cultural learning and exchange is an inherent benefit of tourism. However, with the growth of the tourism industry and steady increases in global tourism, we must also confront its negative consequences, including its impact on the sustainability of local communities and the environment. In order for sustainable tourism to expand from a niche market to a mainstream practice, we must develop models that prioritize sustainable planning, maximize the social and economic benefits to local communities, respect cultural heritage, and reduce negative impacts on the environment. This is the overall focus of this course as we study sustainable tourism from both a global and local perspective.

We will focus specifically on the Italian model of the agriturismo as an approach to sustainable hospitality that can benefit rural communities, promote local cultural practices, and enhance sensitivity to the environmental impact of tourism. We will engage with a number of local partners, using them as case studying for evaluating the effectiveness of the agriturismo model. We will also look at how this model is being exported to other parts of the world and assess the effectiveness of such efforts.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to:

  1. identify key terms, concepts, and principles related to sustainability within the tourism industry;
  2. explain how current debates about sustainable tourism are impacted by local, national, and international politics and economies;  
  3. articulate the benefits and key parts of an effective sustainable management system for a hospitality organization;
  4. evaluate the effectiveness of hospitality organizations in embracing and implementing sustainable practices;
  5. assess the agrotourism model as a sustainable hospitality enterprise in rural landscapes.