• 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.

Welcome to the Center for Sustainable Tourism

Message from the Director, Dr. Patrick Long

Dr. Patrick LongWelcome 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 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!

WHAT GREEN PRACTICES TRAVELERS WANT: The Center for Sustainability at East Carolina University recently worked with travel destinations across North Carolina to research what green practices visitors utilize when they travel and what green practices they look for in places they go. The research collected surveys from more than 700 visitors and found an overwhelming number engage in green practices and they also feel it is important for destinations to do so as well. For example, the survey found that 85.1 percent of visitors always make an effort to respect their natural surroundings when they travel and 65.2 percent always recycle and dispose of waste properly, with 29 percent usually doing so. The same study found that 85.5 percent of visitors always or usually reuse towels and bed linens. Also, 78.1 percent select restaurants that offer local food options. Looking at what green practices visitors look for, the study found that 72.5 percent feel that conserving natural and open spaces is either essential or a high priority, and 63.9 percent felt making local crafts and other products was either essential or a high priority. Preliminary statistical analysis of the data found that visitors that were more engaged with their travel were more likely to feel that it is a priority for destinations to adopt green practices. For more information about the study, contact NC GreenTravel program manager Tom Rhodes, or Alex Naar with the Center for Sustainable Tourism at ECU at (252) 737-1346.

Sustainable Tourism

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