In developing countries, tourism as a means of economic development receives considerable public funding and private investment. Moreover, NGOs increasingly support local tourism initiatives, as well as voluntourism, in hopes of raising incomes in the communities in which they work. Amongst these institutions, tourism is seen as a mechanism for local communities to capitalize on assets such as the natural environment and cultural heritage. Yet in academic circles, tourism has often been accused of being destructive, elite and at times oppressive.
This course will explore successful tourism initiatives as well as problematic initiatives. We will critically examine the nature of tourism, its impacts on communities and considerations that must be taken into account in order for a tourism project to have the desired impact of pursuing a local vision for development without destroying.
Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.
Due to the condensed time frame for this course, students cannot withdraw and receive a refund once the course begins.
Luminita Cuna has a Master of Science in Sustainable Development with focus on Environmental Management from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies. Her Master's thesis researched the impact of conservation policies on protected areas in the Amazon and their effects on the indigenous people that live in these areas. Luminita worked for 10 years in Information Technology, including at the United Nations. She studied International Economics and French at Mount Holyoke College, where she earned her BA. Luminita holds a Graduate Certificate in Management of Information Systems and a Professional Certificate in Journalism, both from New York University and a Sustainable Community Development Certificate from Colorado State University. Luminita is the founder and director of Maloca (a Village Earth affiliate), a grassroots support organization that works with indigenous communities living in the Amazon basin. Luminita has been working with indigenous communities in the Amazon since 2006.
Cynthia Ord holds a Masters of Tourism and Environmental Economics degree from the University of the Balearic Islands in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and a B.A. in Spanish and Philosophy from Colorado State University. Her M.S. program focused on the socio-cultural, environmental and economic impacts of global tourism. Ord's research focused on non-commercial volunteer tourism networks. She currently works in media and communications for WHL Group, a global online travel-booking network that focuses on e-market access for small and medium sized tourism enterprises in the Global South. She has also worked on ecotourism projects in Central America and worked with a local tour operator in Albania. In her spare time, she is a travel blogger.