• 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.

Center Initiatives


Climate, Weather & Tourism

Tourism destinations and their individual tourism businesses are all vying for the expenditures and vitality that tourists bring to their respective locations. But, in making travel choices, these vacationers have considerations besides distance, cost, and timing. They are also considering the daily or weekly weather and other climate factors when determining both where to go and the extent to which they enjoyed their travel experience. The World Tourism Organization, notes that weather and climate are perhaps the most important influence on the choice of leisure travel destinations.


Community Sense of Place

In an effort to better understand how communities are effected by tourism development, the Center has conducted research in a number of North Carolina counties. These studies increase understanding of the perceptions of resident property owners and second home owners regarding the impacts of tourism development on land use, the economy, service provision, cultural opportunities, infrastructure, and the environment.  This initiative provides information for stakeholders in their efforts to maintain their community sense of place through thoughtful discussion and planning.


Engagement and Community Outreach

In partnership with the Office of Engagement, Innovation and Economic Development, the Center advocates for the many businesses, communities, and travelers already implementing sustainable tourism practices The Center also reaches out to the public directly, conducting presentations to community groups and professional or civic organizations, conducting regional workshops, responding to sustainable tourism related inquiries, conducting joint research and publishing weekly sustainability tips, business tip sheets, sector specific sustainable practices checklists, sustainability reports, and a widely distributed quarterly newsletter for the tourism industry.


Race, Ethnicity, and Social Equity in Tourism (RESET)

The concept of sustainability stresses responsible management of the social-cultural aspects of tourism development as well as its economic and environmental aspects. RESET is a research and outreach initiative that seeks to identify, study, and challenge patterns of social inequity in the current tourism industry. Special attention is focused on enhancing the role of racial and ethnic minorities in tourism--as visitors to destinations, employees and entrepreneurs in the industry, and the focus of marketing and tourist site development.


Renewable Energy in the Tourism Industry (RETI)

Along with corporate sponsor Miles Media, Inc., RETI hosts a webinar series for tourism businesses and support organizations. These webinars explain renewable energy options, steps every tourism organization can take to reduce energy bills, and the latest market research on green-minded travelers and sustainable tourism trends.


Rural Tourism

Sustaining rural America is one of today's pressing issues. With the decline of family-operated farms and ranches and the move away from traditional extraction industries, word about the benefits of developing tourism in rural communities and regions is quickly spreading. This increased interest in tourism as a way to diversify the rural economy has also led to widespread interest and need by local community leaders, business representatives, and government personnel for information on how to organize resources and systematically implement strategies for tourism development.


Sustainable Tourism Practices

This initiative promotes awareness among individual travelers and public policy makers about the benefits and importance  of adopting environmentally, socially and economically responsible practices. It also provides advocacy for business operators who are embracing sustainable tourism practices across the region, state and nation.


Tourism and Entrepreneurship

Many rural economies have historical, cultural, natural and recreational assets that can be used in developing their local tourism industry as part of an economic development strategy. In fact, the relationship between entrepreneurship and tourism can be an important indicator of a healthy rural economy. To support the efforts of the many small businesses and entrepreneurial ventures that are encompasses in rural tourism, the Center's Tourism and Entrepreneurship Program focuses on two streams of activity.


United States Travel Care Code

The United States Travel Care Code has been developed and is managed by the Center. The United States Travel Care Code is designed to provide travelers with information on how they can reduce the negative impact of their travel and visitor related activities. The Code was created with domestic travelers in mind and includes actions that they can take to protect the environment and support local economies and communities.

Sustainable Tourism | Initiatives

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