• 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


NC Green Travel Tips: Get the complete list here!

Bicycle friendly businesses help economy, environment: The economic, social and environmental advantages that an attraction or accommodations can harness from promoting bicycling to its visitors, and even their employees, are abundant. The most substantial benefit is the reduced impact on the environment. Traveling by bicycle is a form of clean and efficient transportation that doesn't involve burning fossil fuels, emitting pollutants or increasing traffic congestion. Businesses can also benefit from the myriad of positive health impacts that are associated with encouraging employees to bicycle to work. Bicycle commuting reduces stress and anxiety levels, increases physical fitness and can improve mood and productivity amongst employees. Providing bicycle parking for your employees, either on the street or in a dedicated room, makes a business a more attractive place of employment, especially to young, highly educated workers who value urban lifestyles and shorter commutes. With less staff driving cars to work, fewer parking spaces are required. Businesses that encourage bicycling are perceived as concerned employers who are environmentally friendly, which can directly contribute to the positive reputation of a business. Investing in bicycle infrastructure and promoting cycling can also draw additional revenue to the local economy by attracting various forms of bicycle tourism, which has been identified as one of the fastest-growing travel markets in the nation. For more information on how to become a bicycle-friendly business, click here. For information on sustainable tourism, contact NC GreenTravel program manager Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140, or Daniel Johnson with ECU's Center for Sustainability at (252) 737-4296.


Sustainable Tourism

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