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FIU launches new global sustainable tourism program

FIU launches new global sustainable tourism program

FIU's Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the College of Arts, Sciences & Education create online bachelor's degree focused on global tourism industry and its relationship to the environment

April 29, 2021 at 11:35am

Global tourism's impact on the health of the planet and the environment's effects on the prosperity of the tourism industry – the world’s second largest industry – have propelled the creation of a fully online Bachelor of Arts degree in Global Sustainable Tourism. The Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management and the Department of Earth and Environment at the College of Arts, Sciences & Education at Florida International University (FIU) will launch the program in January 2022 to provide students with the knowledge and skills to lead the hospitality and tourism business sectors on sustainable practices, resiliency and advocacy in this emerging field.
"Our tourism industry is adversely affected by issues such as red tide, seaweed blooms, Zika and others, while overtourism and less-sustainable industry practices directly impact the environment," said Joseph Cilli, department chair and director of distance learning for the Chaplin School. "This program is designed to produce graduates who will become future industry leaders in the management of sustainable tourism practices that work to protect the planet."
Renowned environmental scientists and tourism education leaders from the two FIU schools will teach a new breed of students who are passionate both about environmental causes and the future of Florida's largest industry. A blend of new and existing courses from both schools will offer students an educational pathway toward rewarding careers in sustainability and job positions that did not exist just a decade ago.
According to Visit Florida, visitors spend over $100 billion a year in Florida, supporting more than a million jobs. About 10 percent of the state's total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) comes from tourism. The program would focus on protecting natural resources, which in turn would protect tourism dollars.
After the COVID-19 pandemic put a year-long hold on global travel, many environmental advocates witnessed first-hand the impacts on the planet, such as improved water quality and reduced air pollution.
“Without a healthy environment we lose everything that makes South Florida such a rich place for tourism,” said Leonard Scinto, associate professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environment. “By ensuring that future leaders of our tourism industry incorporate sustainability, climate change mitigation and environmental concerns at the core of their industry, we can ensure a vibrant and resilient economy and a healthy environment, now and for the future.”
To learn more about and apply for FIU's fully online bachelor's degree in Global Sustainable Tourism, please visit FIU Online.

Degree provides skills and knowledge to address the resilience of the tourism industry both locally and abroad through sustainable practices.

Learn more at FIU Online.