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SMART Tourism and Responsible Travel

Discover the fundamentals of responsible travel and learn how smart technology can help inform sustainable travel choices.

428 enrolled on this course

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SMART Tourism and Responsible Travel

428 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Introductory level

Find out more about how to join this course

Explore the concept of responsible tourism with Nottingham Trent University

Tourism is often criticised for having a negative impact, from CO2 emissions to exploitation.

On this four-week course, you’ll learn how to offset negative impacts by making responsible travel choices. You’ll also discover how digital and smart technology is impacting sustainable travel practices in global contexts.

Identify the benefits of travel and tourism

Beginning with a focus on the controversies that surround travel, you’ll learn why some regard travel as unsustainable on environmental grounds.

You’ll then contrast this by examining the benefits of tourism when governed responsibly.

Using case studies that reflect both sides of the argument, you’ll gain insights into how your travel choices can impact a destination, and how you can address these opportunities and challenges on an individual basis.

Examine the impact of smart and digital technology on responsible travel

Digital and smart technology has transformed travel, from the planning process to the activities experienced once at a destination.

You’ll learn how new and emerging technology such as apps, VR, and AR are revolutionising the travel and tourism industries in exciting and innovative ways.

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to adapt your future travel behaviours, understanding which technologies will help drive responsible travel.

Inform your decision making using smart tourism principles

Responsible travel decisions affect everything from transport to accommodation choices.

You’ll investigate how technology can help travellers make responsible decisions using meaningful data and information.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to offset negative travel consequences, where possible, by using technology-driven decision making that benefits your destination and its people.


  • Week 1

    So what's the problem with tourism anyway?

    • Introduction

      Ice-breaker and overview.

    • The scale and scope of the issue

      An introduction to the World Economic Forum, followed with an explanation on the key points from the video, and finally a poll on how much you travel.

    • The anti-tourism debate

      This activity covers why you should be a sustainable tourist. This is followed by a knowledge check and case studies/insights into sustainable tourism with an opportunity to add your opinions on the topics covered.

    • Tourists behaving badly

      In this activity you will encounter examples of destructive tourism with opportunities for you to feedback on them.

  • Week 2

    Can we do things differently?

    • The counter-argument

      This activity questions if tourism can ever be deemed as a positive thing.

    • Tourism benefits everyone, everywhere, or does it?

      This section covers the benefits of tourism.

    • Tourism as a force for good?

      This activity frames tourism in a force for good if followed by a code of conduct. Finally a specific code of ethics is covered. Each stage allows for you to have your say.

    • The practices of a responsible traveller

      This activity covers practical applications of responsible travellers.

  • Week 3

    How data makes a difference

    • Information informs behaviour

      A short section on information gathering with links to responsible travellers.

    • The role of SMART tourism

      Defining SMART tourism and making its case with steps allowing for you have your own opinion on the matters.

    • Cases in SMART tourism

      Case studies of SMART tourism with sections to allow you to reflect on them.

    • Time to change!

      Examples of a SMART tourism manifesto and a place for your to try to create your own.

    • Next steps

      What you could do after this course

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Understand the reasons why there are growing concerns associated with international air travel, on environmental grounds
  • Contest the growing criticism of international travel on social, economic and environmental grounds
  • Understand the role of responsible travel in mitigating negative consequences of travel and maximising benefits and how digital technologies support this
  • Make responsible travel decisions in relation to transport mode, activity, destination and accommodation providers

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with a personal or professional interest in travelling responsibly.

It would also be beneficial to those considering a career in travel and tourism, furthering their understanding of sustainable travel choices.

Who will you learn with?

Faye is an Online Learning Consultant for Higher Education. She creates and delivers online courses across a variety of institutions on the themes of Ethics, Responsibility, Leadership and Values.

Who developed the course?

Nottingham Trent University

With over 40,000 students and staff spanning five university sites, Nottingham Trent University (NTU) is one of the largest and most influential higher education institutions in the country.

Nottingham Business School

Nottingham Business School’s (NBS) purpose is to provide research and education that combines academic excellence with positive impact on people, business and society.

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Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save


Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 9 May 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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