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Tourism Studies MA, Tourism and the Sustainability Agenda, 7,5 credits

General data

Code: TR009A
Subject/Main field: Turismvetenskap
Cycle: Second cycle
Credits: 7.5
Progressive specialization: A1N - Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
Answerable department: Tourism Studies and Geography
Answerable faculty: Faculty of Human Sciences
Established: 2/2/2016
Date of change: 3/29/2016
Version valid from: 9/10/2015


The aims of this course is to (i) provide students with a holistic understanding of the sustainability agenda (i.e., cultural, economic, environmental, and social dimensions) and the role of tourism in it, (ii) equip students with applied tools to critically analyze, challenge and suggest improvements in current sustainable tourism practices.

Course objectives

Upon successful completion of the course students are expected to demonstrate:
• Theoretical understanding of core socio-economic, political and environmental processes resulting in the emergence of the sustainability agenda; global-local nexus
• Understanding of critical issues and trends in contemporary sustainable tourism practices
• Ability to critically analyze major challenges and opportunities in sustainable tourism
• Knowledge of the major principles of sustainable natural and cultural tourism management
• Knowledge of the major impacts and their management tools within tourism industry
• Understanding of how global processes and general sustainability principles translate into local tourism practices


The course is comprised of three major blocks:
a) understanding sustainable tourism b) sustainable tourism management and c) special issues of sustainable tourism.

a) Understanding sustainable tourism – provides students with a comprehensive theoretical understanding of global social, economic and environmental transformations which resulted in the emergence of the sustainable development agenda. Students will be exposed to critical perspectives on the sustainability agenda and explore the complexity and contested nature of this paradigm. Further, students will learn how sustainability principles are integrated into tourism practices and influence the emergence of new tourism markets.

b) Sustainable tourism management– focuses on concrete practical knowledge about the implications of adoption of the sustainability principles within tourism. This component of the course introduces the economics of sustainable tourism, which includes the costs for environmental and capital stocks induced by tourism. In addition, the sustainable management of nature and cultural resources for tourism (e.g., impacts and management practices) are also explored.

c) Special issues in sustainable tourism – introduces students to areas of special interest within the broad spectrum of sustainable tourism. Case studies, tapping into the focal areas of ETOUR expertise, ongoing projects and beyond will be discussed, helping students with their decision of thesis topic selection.

Entry requirements

Bachelor exam in human geography, tourism studies or similar disciplines. TOEFL with a minimum score of 550 on a paper-based test and not below 4.0 on the TWE, or 213 on a computer-based test and not below 4 on Essay Rating, or a minimum score of 79 on internet based test and not below 17 on the TWE.
- IELTS (Academic Training) with a minimum overall score of 6.0 and a minimum score on the specific parts of at least 5.0

Selection rules and procedures

The selectionprocess is in accordance with the Higher Education Ordinance and the local order of admission.

Teaching form

Lectures, peer learning through group works and field trips.

Examination form

Written assignments and oral examination.

Grading system

The grades A, B, C, D, E, Fx and F are given on the course. On this scale the grades A through E represent pass levels, whereas Fx and F represent fail levels.

Course reading

Required literature

Author: Ballantyne, R. & Packer, J.
Title: International Handbook on Ecotourism.
Edition: Senaste upplagan
Publisher: Edward Elgar Pub. Ltd.

Author: Go¨ssling, S., In Hall, C. M., & In Scott, D.
Title: The Routledge Handbook of Tourism and Sustainability.
Edition: Senaste upplagan
Publisher: Routledge

Author: Newsome, D., Moore, S. A. & Dowling, R.
Title: Natural Area Tourism: Ecology, Impacts and Management.
Edition: Senaste upplagan
Publisher: Channel View Publications

Reference literature

Author: Mowforth, M. & Munt, I.
Title: Tourism and Sustainability Development, Globalisation and New Tourism in the Third World.
Edition: Senaste upplagan
Publisher: Routledge

Ytterligare litteratur/material kan tillkomma.

Each lecture will be provided with supplementary readings through academic journl articles.