TM9703 - Sustainable tourism and hospitality

What will I learn on this module?

This is a 20-credit module running in the second semester of the programme. The module will cover three main areas of learning: Environmental impacts of tourism and climate change, Sustainable principles and practice and green forms of consumerism in tourism and hospitality.
The first part will review the range of social and environmental impacts in tourism and hospitality sector both at a local and a global level. This first part will extensively cover debates surrounding climate change. You will learn how tourism contributes and is affected by climate change as well as the implications for the future of the sector.
The second part will start with a more theoretical discussion on sustainable tourism development as a contested concept and the various principles underpinning the debate.. It will consider the notion of sustainability in both local and global contexts as well as its application to the hospitality industry. You will learn about Environmental Management Systems in tourism and hospitality, Community involvement in the development of sustainable tourism, sustainable transport and hospitality and Food and beverage waste management systems.
The third part will explore various forms of green consumerism in tourism and hospitality that respond to these environmental challenges. The discussion will range from changing lifestyles and the 'new tourist to Ecotourism, Eco-ethics and other alternative forms of tourism such as slow food movement. It will also discuss how to inflict sustainability in mainstream tourism and hospitality practices. You will also learn about the convergence of mass tourism and sustainability, the marketing for sustainability and sustainability practices within the hospitality industry.

How will I learn on this module?

A research rich learning approach alongside awareness and understanding of contemporary issues, investigations and developments within the tourism and sustainability field. Critical reflection on knowledge, experience and practice underpins the learning and teaching philosophy along with the explicit development of competence. This is key to your learning on the module. To put this in place, the module will be taught by lectures and seminars covering contemporary theories and debates concerned with sustainability in tourism and hospitality combined with developing analytical awareness to aid critical thinking and writing.

The module is supported by a teaching and learning plan, which outlines the formal sessions, together with the tutor-directed study and independent reading. An interactive approach to lecture sessions will draw upon the directed learning undertaken and your own experiences. Throughout, the emphasis will be on high levels of your participation, both individually and within small groups or teams. You can therefore expect the reflective-practitioner approach to learning to be embedded in all workshop/seminar sessions through undertaking activities which facilitate you to apply theory through considering the different methodologies, ways of thinking about and reflecting through a contemporary issue to enable you to examine a concept of choice and develop a clear and convincing argument through to drawing conclusions and/or recommendations for appropriate ways forward for an organization/individual.

Directed learning will centre upon a range of activities including pre-reading, preparation for interactive activities and use of the discussion board on the e-learning platform. Independent learning will centre upon you identifying and pursuing areas of interest in relation to the subject area or by providing deeper/broader knowledge and understanding of the subject through a range of learning activities that might include extended reading, reflection, research etc.

Throughout the module until its end, you will engage in individual writing exercises and group role play to debate to consider the pros and cons of contemporary issues and test, develop and present your arguments logically and persuasively.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by a member of academic staff leading the module and providing the lecture input. Other members of staff will contribute to the teaching of the module based on their subject expertise. Individual and group work will be supported by individual members of academic staff to provide closer, more focused and personal academic support. The activities of the teacher and the learner will be aligned towards the co-creation of knowledge. You will take responsibility for your own learning through active and self-directed learning activities that are supported by academic staff

The eLP will serve as a learning tool house lecture and seminar materials relating to the module supported, where appropriate, various lecture recordings to support you in your independent study. These lecture recordings will include introduction to the module and support in preparation for assessment. The module uses software which is fully supported by a comprehensive range of materials which are housed on the eLP for your reference. You will be provided with a specialist electronic reading list that comprises of various materials including reports, conference papers and journal articles that showcase the application of a variety of subject material presented by specialists involved on the module.

The module assessment consists of two parts. Both assignments are individually based on a critical evaluation of a contemporary issue. Part A: Around the mid-point you will submit a short review of a contemporary issue, explaining it in terms of relevant theory (20%). This provides an opportunity to be given formative feedback to students on your grasp of theory as well as your writing style. Part B: The main summative assessment will take the form of an assignment that requires you to critically evaluate and discuss certain contemporary issues with reference to theory, policy and practice, it is designed to permit you to demonstrate the extent to which you can achieve the learning outcomes for the module (80%). The role of the assessment is to ensure you bring together all the skills learnt on the module including applying critical thinking, research and reflection and demonstrates that you have fully considered sustainability in an integrated way.

inter-related tasks which will be distributed to you throughout your teaching semester and formative feedback will be provided, particularly in relation to seminar taks. This will encourage your active participation in the learning process throughout the semester. The eLearning portal will be used to permanently host these tasks after release to ensure that you can access the information required at all times. Your work on these tasks will be the pre-work for your assignment at the end of the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Understand and evaluate the wider impact of tourism and hospitality on different environments within the climate emergency era [MLO1] (Addresses PLOs 2.3; 4.1; 3.1)
• Acquire and critically evaluate appropriate concepts, theories, and models to develop and monitor sustainable tourism in global, national and local contexts, and in different business settings [MLO2] (Addresses PLOs 2.3; 4.1; 4.3; 3.1)
• Develop a sustainable approach to management in the globally expanding tourism and hospitality industry [MLO3] (2.3; 4.1; 4.3; 3.1; 1.1)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• Demonstrate skill in the selection, planning and critique of contemporary issues through professional communication skills, showing creativity both individual and within culturally diverse groups to develop a range of professional skills and project capabilities [MLO4] Addresses PLOs 1.1’ 1.2; 3.1)

How will I be assessed?

The module will be assessed by two assignments. Both assignments are individually based.

Assignment A (20%)
Write a short review (750 word) of a chosen
news item on sustainability
(in the last six months) to develop your critical and analytical thinking (20%). This assesses MLO1

Assignment B (80%)
A 3000-word critical paper based on examination of a contemporary issue from the taught sessions on the module (80%). This assesses MLO1, MLO2, MLO3 and MLO4.

Formative assessment will be carried out on a continuous basis within the seminars. This will take place through group work, assignment discussion and reflection together with theory/practice related discussions. Students will be required to do at least one formative presentation





Module abstract

This module offers critical insights into concepts, theories and policies related to sustainability in tourism and hospitality, the impact on tourism on a variety of environments within the context of climate emergency, and a range of strategies and policies to develop more sustainable forms of tourism and hospitality. It offers students an opportunity to develop a detailed and critical awareness of the theoretical and practical issues that influence how the principles of sustainable development are applied in tourism and hospitality.

It is our belief that tourism can only thrive if it is managed responsibly. The tourism sector can, and should, make a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy. This concept of sustainable tourism, shared by the UN World Tourism Organization, the World Bank and the European Union, as well as national ministries and regional development agencies, is the guiding principle to develop a more responsible sector.

This course develops your management knowledge and skills, with an international focus, with an special attention to the global south. Alongside your student peers, you can expect to gain valuable insight into topics such as sustainable destination planning, responsible tourism practices, ecotourism, tourism impacts, sustainable marketing, and tourism development strategies. You will examine the managerial challenges and issues in implementing sustainable practices at both macro and micro level in the hospitality industry.

Within the setting of these strategic objectives, you will demonstrate a variety of skills in throughout the module including creativity, critical thinking, professional communication skills through written and debate. Throughout the module, you will work both individually and in teams to practice your research, analytical and debating skills.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full time
2 other options available

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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