Ethical traveller: Getting a degree in sustainable travel

Lori Robertson has published a piece which leads with a piece about the MSc in Responsible Tourism at Leeds Met – it is accessible from outside the UK at

For some, travelling is a calling — not just to see the world, but to build a career.

And as the ideas of responsible and sustainable tourism have taken hold, so too have university degree programs designed to give students the skills to influence how tourism is managed, with the goal of benefiting local communities, preserving their cultures and protecting their environment.

Here’s a look at a few academic programs that can turn a passion into a full-time job:

Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK
The masters in responsible tourism management at Leeds Metropolitan University is a pioneer in this course of study. Professor Harold Goodwin brought the course to Leeds from London’s University of Greenwich in 2007. Goodwin, who founded the  International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT), also at Leeds, in 2002, said the course is “designed to enable people to make change: to use tourism for sustainable development, to use tourism to make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit.” Distance learning allows mid-career professionals to live and work around the world while taking classes such as responsible tourism theory, local economic development and poverty alleviation. The ICRT works with governments and tourism professionals around the world to promote responsible tourism.

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