Welcome to the
Center for Sustainable Tourism
Message from the Director, Dr. Patrick Long
Welcome to the Center for Sustainable Tourism. The Center 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 Center was
originally established in 1998, and relocated to East Carolina
University in the fall of 2007. The Master of Science in Sustainable
Tourism degree program began its course offerings in the fall of 2009. Our philosophy 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. At the Center, 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 our 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
Check out the latest NC Green Travel Tip and download the complete list of tips here!
(May 22, 2013) Why get recognized for greening?
According to research from the Biltmore Company and PGAV Destinations, being LEED certificated falls very low on the list of green practices consumers view as an outward sign of a destination having an environmental commitment. For tourism managers, this should raise some serious questions about the value of pursuing a green certification or recognition like NC GreenTravel. However, there are some key benefits of being recognized by an outside organization that should also be considered. The first is, since a growing number of meeting planners and corporate travel providers are seeking to integrate green into their products, many will be looking for ways to identify greener properties, which will most likely include certification and recognition programs. A second benefit to being recognized as being green by an outside party is, according to Trip Advisor's 2012 eco-friendly travel survey, while many travelers are looking for greener travel accommodations, many are unaware if a hotel is green or not. So being recognized as a green property helps inform potential guests that the property is environmentally-friendly. Participating in a green program also provides a road map to facilitate greening. For many property owners and managers, while they would like to be greener, they are not sure what green practices should or could be implemented and in what order. Certification and recognition programs can provide that road map. And lastly, participating in a certification or recognition can provide access to a number of resources to assist in implementing green practices. For example, Waste Reduction Partners offers no-cost environmental audits as part of the NC GreenTravel Initiative. For more information on NC GreenTravel, North Carolina's statewide green tourism recognition program, contact NC GreenTravel program manager Tom Rhodes, or contact Alex Naar with the Center for Sustainable Tourism at ECU at (252) 737-1346.