Sustainable Tourism

2 credits / 6 weeks weeks
10 Jan 2022 - 13 Feb 2022

Professor Felipe Zalamea
Professor Mary Elizabeth Little

In this course, students will critically examine contemporary issues of tourism as a tool for sustainable development as well as the historical development context that has shaped the current tourism environment. The aim is to present sustainability perspectives on the economic, social, cultural, political, and environmental aspects of broadly defined tourism development that students can apply to their research and professional settings. We start by presenting tourism strategies as a tool for economic development including tourism’s role within the UN model and the SDGs. We then examine how gender, race and class influence tourism experiences and potential power imbalances. Finally, we focus on case studies of food security in tourism communities and community-based tourism used as a local development strategy in Costa Rica.
This class is relevant to students and professionals working in community development, international cooperation, research, programming and policy that want to deepen their understanding of sustainable and regenerative tourism and to acquire tools and frameworks applicable in this field.

Felipe Zalamea

Felipe Zalamea is an economist from Sorbonne University (Masters, 2010). After a 1-year ground research on social innovation (finance, agriculture, fair trade and tourism) traveling across South America (2011), he moved to London where he worked 6 months for a social venture intermediary, acquiring valuable experience within the social enterprise sector. Then he founded Sumak Sustainable Travel (2012), a social enterprise specialised in community-based tourism and sustainable tourism in Latin America. He has visited and promoted hundreds of local sustainable tourism projects. Occasionally, Felipe works as a consultant for tourism and local development projects, for clients like the UNDP, BIOFIN, Impact Hub and local NGOs. Lastly, Felipe is a PhD student at the University for Peace, where his research focuses on finance, community-based tourism and entrepreneurship in rural Costa Rica.

Mary Elizabeth Little

Mary Little LL.M. is an associate professor at the Center for Sustainable Development Studies, School for Field Studies (SFS), in Costa Rica. She also teaches courses on food security and sustainable tourism at the United Nations-mandated University for Peace in Costa Rica. Brofore teaching, Mary studied human rights law advocated for the legal rights of refugees and women experiencing domestic violence. These experiences with advocacy have informed her social justice approach to research and teaching. Her research explores community-driven waste solutions, responsible tourism and regenerative food initiatives. Currently, she is focused on agrotourism as a mechanism for climate adaptation and the links between, tourism, food security and social-solidarity movements for her Ph.D. candidacy at the University for Peace.

 Mary Little LL.M. es profesora asociada del Centro de Estudios de Desarrollo Sostenible, Escuela de Estudios de Campo (SFS), en Costa Rica. También imparte cursos sobre seguridad alimentaria y turismo sostenible en la Universidad para la Paz. Antes de enseñar, ella estudió derecho de los derechos humanos y abogó por los derechos legales de los refugiados y las mujeres que sufren violencia doméstica. Estas experiencias con la defensa han informado su enfoque de justicia social para la investigación y la enseñanza. Su investigación explora soluciones de desechos impulsadas por la comunidad, turismo responsable e iniciativas de alimentos regenerativos. Actualmente, se enfoca en el agroturismo como un mecanismo para la adaptación climática, y está examinando estrategias de seguridad alimentaria en áreas turísticas para su Ph.D. en la UPaz.


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