Despite a global recession, the tourism industry has experienced continued growth and is one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Its unique growth position coupled with a visible presence offers an opportunity – and responsibility - to show leadership in sustainability.
This is nothing new for Bruce Lange, managing director of the Westin Kierland Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, AZ. Having worked in the industry for over 40 years – beginning as a dishwasher to now leading the Westin Kierland in becoming more sustainable by launching its “Be Greener” program and earning the resort a certified green designation-- Lange has seen how sustainability is impacting the industry. “Packaging, recycling, energy and water consumption reductions and reducing each guest’s carbon footprint are all objects of interest and areas of focus,” says Lange. “Sustainable tourism practices not only have enormous social and emotional value for both guests and associates, but also a hidden economic value. Few opportunities can uniformly galvanize the interests of patrons, employees and ownership, but sustainable practices do exactly that.”
And because of all this, employers are looking for candidates who have an understanding of how sustainable practices can make an impact in their organization. “Education is often the difference between operating in a status quo fashion versus challenging convention and opening the door to ideas and solutions to age old problems and opportunities,” says Lange. “My education combined with a healthy dose of pre-graduation ‘hands-on’ industry experience provided me a pedigree that separated me from other candidates with lesser qualifications. Nothing is more powerful than a resume that illustrates one’s industry dedication by receiving a degree in that endeavor – except, of course, an industry degree supported with significant industry experience.”
ASU now offers a Master’s degree in Sustainable Tourism entirely online. It is an exciting and innovative new program that addresses the growing demand for tourism professionals who are trained in applying the three pillars of sustainability to tourism development. Students will focus on the environmental, economic and social aspects of tourism, developing skills necessary to create pioneering sustainable development solutions and applying them to the challenges facing tourism today.
This program is geared toward professionals seeking a flexible yet rigorous graduate degree program. The online degree program allows students from all over the world to have access to the top-rate faculty of a research institution and gain an education that will allow for personal growth and professional advancement.
“A masters program in sustainability puts a meaningful arrow in the quiver of every hotel industry professional seeking to add a new dimension to their education and additional value that their employer can derive from their training,” says Lange. “It is a differentiator – one that can be leveraged to create value from the perspectives of guests, associates and owners. And the flexibility of studying online makes it an ideal tool for hotel industry professionals considering the diversity of their work schedules and the differing day-to-day demands on their time.”Apply now for the Master is Sustainable Tourism Online Degree.