• Community Sense of Place Community Sense of Place Tourism Impacts and Second Home Development: A Sustainable Approach
  • Climate, Weather, and Tourism Climate, Weather, and Tourism Tourism destinations and their individual tourism businesses are all vying for tourists at their respective locations.
  • Engagement and Community Engagement and Community In partnership with the Office of Engagement, Innovation, and Economic Development.
  • Rural Tourism Rural Tourism Sustaining rural America is one of today's pressing issues.
  • RESET RESET Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism
  • US Travel Care Code US Travel Care Code The United States Travel Care Code has been developed and is managed by the Center for Sustainable Tourism.
  • RETI RETI The Renewable Energy in Tourism Initiative
  • Tourism and Entrepreneurship Tourism and Entrepreneurship Developing the local tourism industry as part of an economic development strategy.

Sustainable Tourism

Message from the Director, Dr. Patrick Long

Dr. Patrick Long Welcome to the Sustainable Tourism component of the Center for Sustainability. Sustainable tourism here at East Carolina University (ECU) advances research and outreach aimed at affecting changes in tourism business practices, public policies, and individual traveler behaviors that lessen any negative impacts of travel while enhancing travel's positive outcomes for both travelers and their host communities. The original Center for Sustainable Tourism was established in 1997, and relocated to ECU in the fall of 2007. Just recently the center joined the College of Engineering and Technology and its work has expanded; it has been renamed the Center for Sustainability: Tourism, Natural Resources, and the Built Environment (CfS). The interdisciplinary Master of Science in Sustainable Tourism degree program began its course offerings in the fall of 2009 and is managed by the CfS.  

Our philosophy regarding sustainable tourism is that all participants in the tourism experience can, together, protect the environmental health and socio-cultural distinctiveness of tourism destinations while contributing to economic vitality. We work across disciplines, often supporting inter-disciplinary teams for teaching, research, and outreach. Our collaborative approach capitalizes on the intellectual wealth and institutional capacity that East Carolina University can bring to the study and practice of sustainability in tourism. We are proud that our MS in Sustainable Tourism-the first such degree program in the nation- is multi- and inter-disciplinary, and that the degree is conferred by the ECU Graduate School. We welcome you to join us in ensuring that travel remains an integral part of everyone's life and that the special places travelers hold dear are enjoyed with dignity and respect. .

News and Upcoming Events

2013-2014 Center for Sustainability Annual Report has been published!


NC Green Travel Tips: Get the complete list here!

Encouraging visitors to be energy efficient: Visitors are the main consumers of water at tourist-related facilities, however, tourism operators concerned with sustainability should avoid "telling guests how to behave." Therefore, increasing water efficiency is a significant strategy for increasing cost savings. Separate from decreases in the amount of a facility's water bill are savings experienced through decreases in electricity, sewage and chemical costs. Three key factors that can affect behavioral change regarding water conservation are individual behaviors, social evidence and infrastructure. Introducing the several measures can help promote visitor water conservation. First, develop, commit to and publicize the facility's strategy to conserve water. Successful strategies are often those that have been thoroughly developed, have upper management and guest buy-in, and are widely broadcasted to employees, guests and the general public. Water conservation strategies should include areas of concern, specific action-based goals and detailed plans to achieve success. Provide information on the facility's achievements and also feature progress that has been made over time. Encourage visitors to feel they are active participants in improving any negative impacts of the tourism facility by detailing the part they play in the process. As an alternative of having a generic card requesting guests to reuse towels, personalize the message so that it pertains directly to the guest. Provide guests with social evidence that they are doing the right thing. Investing in plumbing fixtures and appliances that conserve water also communicates to the visitor that your establishment is committed to sustainability. For more information on water conservation in North Carolina, click here, or contact NC GreenTravel program manager Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140. For more information on sustainable tourism, contact Daniel Johnson with the Center for Sustainable Tourism at ECU at (252) 737-4296.

Sustainable Tourism

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