ENVR E-118: Environmental Management of International Tourism Development


  • Professor: Megan Epler Wood , Amber Beard
  • Term: Fall
  • Days: Th
  • Time: 5:30-7:30
  • School: Harvard Extension School
  • Course ID: 16112

This course lays out the significance of the international tourism industry, which represents approximately 10.4 percent of the global economy. It provides students with an understanding of how the tourism business operates, primarily focusing on mainstream tourism, its supply chains, and how each sector of the business approaches environmental management. The course looks at the growth of tourism as an industry, how digital sales and marketing are transforming the sector, and its part in the rapid globalization of world economies. It discusses the industry's particular impacts on emerging economies, its role in employment generation and economic development, and the current status of the global dialog on green tourism growth. Speakers from business and government reflect on the management of sustainability for tourism. Students learn how the industry is presently managing air, energy, water, waste water, solid waste, sprawl, and ecosystem impacts, and how new systems for environmental management can be deployed at the business and destination level. Each week a different sector of the industry is covered, including hotels, tour operators, air carriers, airports, and transport. Special attention is given to the impacts of climate change on the tourism industry, as well as on issues of carbon management of the different sectors of the industry. A set of environmental and carbon assessment tools and methodologies is presented. Students learn how governments presently manage tourism, discuss how governance is changing, and review prospects for further reform and consider innovative new systems for management of growth.