Education for a sustainable tourism
We teach a postgraduate course related to the design and marketing of innovation- and sustainability-based tourism products
Tourism has become a key driver of socioeconomic progress, and makes a relevant contribution to production and employment worldwide. In Spain, historical records in terms of the number of tourists, incomes generated and direct and indirect job creation are broken year after year. This makes tourism fundamental for our economy, with Spain being a reference in the sector. However, the strong growth and development of this leading sector for the global economy may have devastating consequences for the environments and cultures of those areas in which tourism takes place. To mention but a few examples, tourism has been associated with habitat destruction, the extinction of wildlife species, the introduction of invasive alien species, the quantitative and qualitative impoverishment of natural resources such as soil and water, an overproduction of waste, and the loss of traditional cultural identities and values.
The notoriety of tourism-related environmental and cultural impacts on host communities, along with an increased public awareness of these issues, signify that it is necessary to implement guidelines and models for tourism development that will avoid both present and future negative socioeconomic and environmental impacts while satisfying the needs of tourists and industry. This is known as “sustainable tourism”, a concept that is applicable to all forms of tourism at all destinations. Its objective is to increase the appreciation and optimal use of local environmental and cultural resources so as to guarantee the long-term viability of tourism as an economic activity, while providing tourists with a high degree of satisfaction through significant experiences that will foster the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.
The increase in the importance, diversification and sophistication of tourism has led to a rise in the number of small enterprises offering specialized tourism services. Despite the fact that these enterprises are relevant for the development of local economies, many are doomed to failure in the medium to long term. First, they do not have a good understanding of how the tourism system works; second, they do not incorporate sustainability criteria into their internal planning and management, and third, they do not have the tools required to design and evaluate tourism products in terms of added value and potential market. It is, therefore, critical that both entrepreneurs and agents currently established in the sector benefit from an adequate educational offer as regards sustainable tourism.
We at Azeral Environmental Sciences are proud to say that our members of staff are professionals in the field of Environmental Sciences who are also educated, experienced in and passionate about the world of tourism, particularly as regards Nature Tourism and Ecotourism. The non-governmental development organization “Fondo Verde” has consequently taken us on to teach its postgraduate course “Design and marketing of innovation- and sustainability-based tourism products”. The aim of this course is to provide current and future tourism professionals with the knowledge and tools required to improve a product and/or create new products by integrating the principles of sustainable development from the ground up. Its objective is to train recipients to identify the values of natural and cultural diversity and their heritage, along with the key stages as regards the analysis, communication and digital marketing of tourism products as critical elements for innovation within the sector.
All the information about the course can be obtained by clicking on the picture below.
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