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Educating for Sustainable Tourism: an Analysis of Degree Programmes in Sub Saharan Africa and Implications for Reform

  • Tourism projects have been promoted for several decades on a global scale as a tool for achieving socio-economic development and, more recently, the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The pivotal role of education for ensuring the long-term success of these projects has also been widely acknowledged. However, numerous studies indicate that academic programmes as well as research in sustainable tourism education have lagged behind. Several important research gaps were confirmed in the process of this study. In particular, there is scant research on achievements with regard to the integration of sustainability into tourism curricula. Likewise, little attention has been given to the development of conceptual frameworks designed specifically for sustainable tourism education. This study attempts to address these research gaps by examining the status of sustainable tourism education in the Sub Saharan Africa context. This region has recently become the focus of increased tourism development work due to its high poverty, unemployment and migration levels on the one side, and a robust tourism industry and growing workforce on the other. Adopting a mixed method approach, the study commences with a quantitative analysis of sustainability related content in online tourism curricula in all accredited tertiary institutions in the region. Next, a framework for sustainable education is developed that is informed by tourism stakeholder perspectives gained through surveys and interviews as well as an extensive review of the apposite scholarship. In a final step, the online curricula is analysed within the context of the proposed framework and recommendations are offered. The overall findings of this inquiry indicate, contrary to the recommendations of the tourism stakeholders and scholars consulted in this study, that sustainability concepts have yet to be fully integrated into tourism curricula in the region. Rather than addressing a broad range of sustainability related issues, tourism curricula remain mostly focussed on business interests. This study argues for a more balanced approach to tourism education in order to successfully contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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Author:Wendy Dawn Fehlner
Referee:Gregor Falk, Wolfgang Hochbruck, Valentin Weislaemle
Advisor:Gregor Falk, Wolfgang Hochbruck, Valentin Weislaemle
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Year of Completion:2020
Publishing Institution:Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg
Granting Institution:Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg, Fakultät III
Date of final exam:2020/07/17
Release Date:2020/07/21
Tag:Higher Education; Sub Saharan Africa; Sustainable Tourism; Tourism Degree Programmes; Tourism curricula development
GND Keyword:Bildung; Tourismus; Tourismusforschung; Nachhaltigkeit; Afrika
Page Number:401
Institutes:Fakultät für Mathematik, Naturwissenschaften und Technik / Institut für Geographie und ihre Didaktik
DDC class:300 Sozialwissenschaften
900 Geschichte und Geografie
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International