Monday, September 6, 2010

Students taking the course

Our first class last Thursday was filled with exciting moments. We have launched our website which helps us manage information for students taking the course from around the world. Students are now introducing themselves, and they are a very interesting group.

I just read an introduction from an architect who is working in Dubai on a hotel next to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Another student, from Jamaica is getting her MBA at the Bainbridge Institute and trains on climate change as part of the team organized by Al Gore, she is photographer who focuses on sustainability and conflict areas. Another student recently returned from working at a safari lodge in Zambia. We have a hospitality student from Brazil, and someone working for an ecotourism company in Panama. There is a representative of a tourism foundation in Qatar.

All in all we have 68 students to date, and we are hustling to prepare the assignments for them. The program depends on all students working through a learning program on-line called Elluminate, where they meet weekly with our Teaching Assistants to prepare their projects.

The first week we focused on explaining the overview of how the tourism industry is structured and the types of environmental impacts caused by tourism.

I made it clear this is not an ecotourism class! This class intends to look at tourism worldwide as an industry, or system, which has complex and difficult impacts to manage. We will not seek to construct products for tourists at all. Rather, we will focus on understanding what approaches will be the most effective for managing environmental impacts of this enormous industry.

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