I'm Salva from El Salvador, I run a tour agency based in Tunco beach, a little surfing town.
El Salvador is becoming a very popular touristic destination very fast and I am affraid it could become the next Tulum or Costa Rica.
I want to go back to school and study sustaintable tourism so that I can share my knowedge with the local businesses and teach them how the tourism industry can work in alliance with the local communities.
Any advice where to start, what university program to look for, scholarships, your comments are more than welcome.
I have seen your work on Tunco Life and it looks like you're doing an amazing job for your destination! And it's great that you're interested in more sustainable tourism management. Keep up the great work!
Hey Salva. The George Washington University has a great program for Sustainable Tourism Destination Management that many Travel Massive members been part of. Have a look: tmsv.co/GWUSummer22
Their summer course starts in August, and there is an early bird price until Monday, July 4th.
There is a discount code for Travel Massive members for 50$ off - use code TRAVMASS50
Hello! I’m not aware of universities, but I know that GSTC has some courses: www.gstcouncil.org/sustainable-tourism-training/
Hi Salvatore,I agree with both the recommendations offered by Elaine & Maria, I have completed each of these.Another option which is not so much geared to the tour operator, but the conversation around sustainability in travel are the course offered by RISE Travel Institute. They offer scholarships as well.www.risetravelinstitute.org
If you really want to learn about sustainability, go to Costa Rica, a country that is, and has been practicing it for almost 30 years. Try to go to one of the several universities who have dedicated programs in sustainable tourism where you will also take many field trips to see functioning successful models of real sustainable tourism as part of the class studies.
Hi Salvatore, I studied the MSc Responsible Tourism Management via Leeds Beckett University in the UK (remote).You might like to take a look at this article which aggregates other sustainability leaders suggestions:sustainability-leaders.com/best-sustainability-courses-for-tourism-professionals/
Was coming in here to recommend you and that program! <3
Dear Salvador, so good to hear you’re planning to work on this and to protect Tunco Beach.
At the Good Tourism Institute, we have developed an online course that will help you run a sustainable and successful business at the same time.
You’ll learn to (re)define your strategy, implement sustainable tourism, develop new travel experiences, support and involve local communities, improve your communication (to travellers, partners and employees) and your online marketing strategy.
It has a very practical approach and it will really help you involve the local businesses and work with them to protect the authenticity and beauty of Tunco Beach.
More information can be found here and let me know if you have any questions!
Hi Salvatore! I manage George Washington University’s Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism Destination Management (the program Maria mentioned). Based on your background, I think you’d be a great for our program! I’d be happy to chat with you more - please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have also been a participant in the GSTC course and the RISE Travel Institute’s Flagship Program that have been mentioned in other responses. I would recommend them to you as well - all three programs have knowledgeable instructors with a wealth of experience, valuable insights and practical resources to share to help support you in your sustainable tourism endeavors.
I’m doing the MSc Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Beckett mentioned by Vicky at the moment. It’s solid.
My advice would be it depends on what you’re after. If you’re after more practical, hands on advice, one of the shorter courses may be a better fit (and more affordable) but if you want/need “the bit of paper” and am happy to play in the weeds of the theory behind some of the RT principles, something like what Leeds Beckett offers is an excellent fit.
Also depends a bit on how full your dance card is. The LB Masters is easily taking 20+ hours a week (part time) of my time, and I know some of my cohort who also have FT jobs are finding it to be quite a stretch.
Another thing is quite a few of my fellow students have rolled straight over from a Bachelor degree, so they’re not bringing quite as much to the table in “life experience” as would be the case if they’d been out in the wilds for a spell. This isn’t to say they’re not great contributors, they are, but it is different.
So down to time, money, cohort, and your motivations behind doing it. I’m very satisfied with what I’m doing… though should be studying now rather than answering this ha ha.
I am currently studying the Masters program Sustainability & Tourism at the Linnaeus University in Sweden which I can recommend. It is very researched based but great new insights! I also know that the University of Florence has one called Design in Sustainable Tourism. Also in Vienna there is a university offering a masters in sustainability and tourism. Other than that I would recommend going to the US because there are great courses, or in Melbourne there are also some good ones. :) Goof luck!
I am the founder of a sustainable travel company focused on Kenya, happy to have a chat and share tips that I've learnt along the way ! My company is called Travel4Purpose :)
Hi Salvatore, I am doing my Ph.D. in Sustainable Tourism - would be happy to connect! :)
Hey Amit, thanks for joining the discussion! What is the topic of your Ph.D thesis?
Hi Salvatore,I understand your concerns completely. I'll actually be traveling to El Salvador for work in 2023 so I'm a bit familiar with the current situation.What exactly do you want to do after your studies? It seems that small business consulting is what you are focused on?
Policy making is probably the biggest determinant for how sustainably tourism will develop in El Salvador. Just something to keep in mind.
Send me a message, I'd be happy to connect and chat further!