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2015

Sustainability in Tourism: A Corporate Perspective

Buijtendijk, H., & van der Donk, M.
Bibliographical information:
Buijtendijk, H., & van der Donk, M. (2015). Sustainability in Tourism: A Corporate Perspective. In G. Moscardo & P. Benckendorff (Eds.), Education for Sustainability in Tourism: A Handbook of Processes, Resources, and Strategies (pp. 239-270): Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
Abstract
The global tourism industry witnesses significant challenges and changes when it comes to sustainability, changing consumer preferences and ICT developments. Against this backdrop, tourism businesses need to innovate in order to stay relevant for their markets and stakeholders. Critical tourism professionals with strong analytical skills can initiate and guide these processes of innovation in the future, and reach beyond existing blueprints and organizational frameworks. This is the idea behind Sustainability in Tourism—The Corporate Perspective (SUSCOR), a 6-week, English taught, intensive specialization course that explores how sustainable business practices can create (social) returns on investment. SUSCOR is built around a real-life consultancy assignment for a work field commissioner. Students work in international project teams to assess the client’s CSR activities in order to identify strategic improvements, design a business case, present this business case to the board of directors at the client’s head office, and conclude with a final consultancy report. SUSCOR offers students a platform to practice and develop their problem solving and consultancy skills while simultaneously getting a reality check about their future professional field. As the assignment is embedded in a series of lectures and workshops about contemporary theories about sustainable development, social responsibility and business innovation, SUSCOR links academic knowledge to the reality of today’s professional field. This chapter presents the concept and design of the course, illustrates the course week by week, and provides a number of concluding remarks and recommendations that aim to guide the further development of this type of teaching activity.

Keywords
Business model innovation  – Tourism industry  – CSR  – License to operate  – Stakeholder management  – Real-life consultancy assignment

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