(Ashland, Ore.) — Southern Oregon University’s newest academic program will provide students the tools they need to recognize and address the role of sustainability in the tourism industry, and to become leaders of tourism-related organizations – from regional to global – that commit to sustainable business practices.
SOU’s unique Sustainable Tourism Management bachelor’s degree program will get underway this fall term with a core curriculum of classes from the university’s Business, Social Science and Environmental Science and Policy departments. It is offered through the SOU School of Business.
Those who major in Sustainable Tourism Management will learn about the importance of environmental and conservation practices in the operational, strategic and financial objectives of tourism-related organizations and destinations. They will come to understand the social responsibilities of those organizations to protect and preserve the resources and cultures that make their areas attractive to visitors, and to contribute to the long-term success of destination communities and environments.
“Learners in the Sustainable Tourism Management program will become experts in integrating sustainable planning, practices and policies in the growing tourism industry of southern Oregon and beyond,” said a document proposing the new program.
The program aligns with SOU’s vision statement, to be “an inclusive, sustainable university for the future that guides all learners to develop the knowledge, capacities and audacity to innovate boldly and create lives of purpose.”
“SOU collaborates across academic divisions, facilities, student life, housing and landscaping to forward our deep commitment to sustainability,” said Vincent Smith, director of the Division of Business, Communication and the Environment. “This new program will build on our existing collaborations between the Business program and Environmental Science and Policy program to serve our region’s growing sustainable tourism industry.”
Students in the program must complete 36 credit hours of required lower division coursework in business, environmental science and tourism, and 52 credit hours of required upper division coursework – including two courses in applied research and an internship. Required courses include “Sustainable Tourism,” “Tourism Policy and Planning,” “Tourism Economics,” “Case Studies in Corporate Sustainability,” “Environmental Sociology” and “Ecological Economics and Sustainable Development.”