Managing Sustainable Rural Development
Course Summary:

The course aims to provide delegates with a broad understanding of environmental issues and their impact upon the tourism sector. The natural environments of regional and global destinations will be explored to enable delegates to assess tourism’s dependency on environmental factors and the changing nature of domestic and international policies in this respect. It also introduces delegates to the main issues of sustainability and tourism in a regional and global context including theoretical models and empirical applications. Finally, an introduction to rural development is provided with a focus on the potential of regional/local products as a means of promoting economic growth. Delegates obtain an understanding of different approaches and models of sustainable development, their underlying assumptions and their main conclusions and policy implications. Delegates gain comprehension on the goals of sustainable tourism and development policies in rural areas and regulatory tools to implement them. 

Course Objectives:

concepts and methods of environmental economics (economics of market imperfections, nonmarket valuation, economic notions of sustainability over time);

  • Overview of major environmental issues with regard to the tourism sector (climate change, biodiversity conservation, waste management, water supply)
  • Sustainable rural development and tourism policy in Africa;
  • Theories and concepts underlying sustainable tourism development;
  • Theories and concepts underlying the production and marketing of regional/local products both food and non-food;
  • Examples of sustainable tourism and regional product initiatives (STRPIs)
  • The concept of sustainable development
  • Various definitions of sustainable development
  • The main principles of sustainable development
  • The emergence and evolution of the concept of sustainable development
  • Some key strategies for promoting sustainable development
  • Some resistances and alternative perspectives and approaches to sustainable development
  • A range of current issues and debates relating to sustainable development

Course Outline

Knowledge and understanding:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the notion of sustainability and of its impact on regional evelopment
  • Knowledge and understanding of the notion of externality, and of the methods to assess externalities and public goods in the tourism sector
  • Knowledge and understanding of economic policies for sustainable tourism
  • Knowledge and understanding of theories and concepts underlying regional/local product initiatives as a means of regional development 

Applying knowledge and understanding

  • Ability to develop economic models for sustainable development of local tourism
  • Ability to plan and assess processes of economic development (at both, micro and macro level) in the tourism and sports sectors
  • Ability to analyze the economic effects of tourism policies, at local, regional and national levels
  • Ability to draft a plan of sustainable development of a tourism destination (policy maker perspective) 

Making judgments:

  • Ability to critically assess and evaluate existing research results in the field; Ability to address a given environmental/sustainability/rural development issue within a group project on their own and to formulate appropriate research questions that need to be answered. 

Communication skills:

  • Delegates learn how to communicate knowledge, economic analysis, methods, and scientific research results related to sustainable tourism and rural development issues.

Learning skills:

  • Ability to link economic theory and empirical research, to interpret and to properly frame a research question and to do an appropriate literature review. Ability to autonomously extend the knowledge acquired during the course by reading and understanding scientific research and analysis.