Sustainable Tourism: Society & Environmental Aspects

Acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainability in the biggest industry on the globe: tourism! Get a sustainable tourism certificate or follow the course for free and uncover the social and environmental aspects of global tourism.

About this course

One of the largest industries in the world now – tourism – is continuing its expansion at a phenomenal rate. Travel and tourism sector is among the most important global sectors, directly contributing $1.4 trillion (U.S.) to the world economy. It accounts for one out of every ten jobs worldwide, and this percentage is gradually rising.

What’s in the course?

If you’re interested in learning about the growth aspects of tourism, and how will the sector affect the natural and social environments, enroll in this course. You will learn about critical views on the ‘comfort and enjoyment-driven’ sector of our economy.

Additionally, you’ll learn that tourism is more than just an influential economic force.
Tourism-related activities impact the environment of our vacation destinations, and can also have a global cultural impact. Tourism is extremely susceptible to changes occurring on a worldwide scale, such as evolving consumer behavior, economic developments, climate change, epidemics, or terrorist attacks. It is a complicated phenomenon.

Throughout the class, you will get weekly insights into the evolution of the tourism sector.
You will get familiar with the historical context of tourism, a wide range of social science approaches, common theoretical concepts, connected systemic observations, and knowledge of the economic, social, and environmental effects of tourism.

You’ll be required to construct your own argument for a tourism development of your choice, based on weekly writing assignments. You will learn to form a convincing argument. Additionally, you’ll assist others in giving and receiving useful feedback on their critical reflections on the phenomena.

Course details

Learning mode
6 weeks
Time investment
5–7 hours per week
Starting date
Any time
Registration date
Open for enrolment

What you’ll learn

  • How to approach the complicated social and environmental aspects of tourism
  • You will learn about the expansion of global tourism development and its historical contexts
  • Get insights into the social science approaches for studying tourism critically
  • Understand the magnitude of the growth of and within the tourism sector
  • To evaluate the interactions and relationships between tourism, society and their environments

Why you should enroll?

If you want to learn about how tourism affects our natural and social environments, our behaviors, and our cultural heritage, this MOOC is an excellent choice to start learning about the tourism sector.
The course was in the top 10 nominated courses for the “Class Central: Best of all-time” award and more than 15,500 learners from around the globe have already enrolled.
Sustainable tourism certificate

Learn as a ‘verified’ learner, and upon completion of the course, you will receive a sustainable tourism certificate.

Course partners

Course outline

Module 1: Introduction & Overview
The social science perspective of tourism. You’ll reflect about the various ways of how to understand tourism, and how can you study it from different social sciences points of view?

Module 2: History of global tourism development
From where and when does tourism originate? To understand the origins of our modern tourism practices, we travel in time.

Module 3: Scientific approaches and systemic observations
How are behavioral, cultural, and more critical insights typically included in social science approaches to tourism? And what kinds of observations are produced by these methods?

Module 4: Key theories and global flows
Learn about common theoretical ideas in tourism studies and how the expansion of global tourism is mirrored by the development of people, goods, technology, information, and capital movements.

Module 5: Environmental impacts of tourism
Consider the main interactions and effects that the sector of tourism has on the economy, society, and the environment.

Module 6: Synthesis and looking forward
Put the social science of sustainable tourism into practice: You’ll finalize your argument about the self-selected topic on sustainable tourism development.


No prerequisites.