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Virtual teamwork for more sustainability in tourism

June 14, 2021

70 students from 2 universities developed sustainability analyses for 15 countries and regions.

In non Covid times, we always undertake international study trips with our Master’s students in the sub-modules “International Destination Studies” in order to get a professional insight into developments on site.

When it became clear that another wave of infections would make an excursion abroad even more difficult in the summer semester, lecturers Daniela Wagner and Claudia Szivatz-Spatt decided to offer their students a worthy replacement in the form of an international project.

Together with two English-taught tourism courses at Heilbronn University and their lecturer Prof. Dr. Lauren Ugur, we developed a COIL project (COIL = Collaborative Online International Learning).

The joint course “Sustainable Destination Studies” started in March with a project kick-off. The 70 students in the three Master’s programs were given the task of examining one destination in terms of sustainability in 15 mixed and virtual teams. For this purpose, recognized tools such as SWOT and PESTEL as well as destination branding were used.

In the weeks following the kick-off, we organized workshops and inputs from international experts who showed the students how these analysis tools are used in practice and how sustainability can be measured in tourism.

On June 10, 2021 the results of the project work were presented by the students.

What impressed us, was…

… the multitude of analytical and systematic findings on tourism regions and countries such as Namibia, Mexico, Thailand, Sicily, Basque Country, etc.,

… the critical conclusions regarding real and supposedly green strategies & projects and

… the technically sound recommendations for sustainable tourism development from young people who are the next leading generation in destination management.

We thank all teams and speakers for the great cooperation!