Adventure Travel and Eco-Tourism: The Businesses and Their History


Fall 2013 quarter

Taught by

Russian history, environmental history

Eco-tourism and adventure travel are frequently proclaimed to be two of the fastest growing sectors of the tourism industry, and both are promoted as more environmentally friendly options than traditional tourism models. Are they really? This program will examine the history, development, and business policies of the adventure travel and eco-tourism industries. Ever since the first adventure travel company emerged in 1969, opportunities for exploring distinct landscapes, species, and human cultures boomed worldwide. What, however, are some of the consequences related to this new type of tourism? Are these industries truly more interested in protecting the environment than they are making money? Why are adventure travelers actually more interested in experiencing traditional landscapes, cultures and beliefs than traditional tourists? Is one truly an eco-tourist if he flies in a airplane half way around the globe to view threatened birds?

Physically demanding activities, such as trekking, rafting, and climbing – most often in foreign countries – all became hallmarks of this new type of tourism. In addition to learning the history, economic and cultural power of this "new" tourism, we will also examine specific business models in the program. As such, we will investigate clients, their desires, and how numerous companies strive to meet their demands. Several guest speakers with long histories in adventure travel and eco-tourism will give us added insight, as will numerous field trips.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

adventure travel, eco-tourism, history (environmental and cultural), business, environmental studies, cultural studies, and writing.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.

Required Fees

$250 for one-day field trips, multi-overnight field trips, and museum fees.


Date Revision
September 18th, 2013 This program is no longer offered. Please refer to Ecotourism and Adventure Travel in a Threatened Biosphere offered by David Phillips.
April 16th, 2013 New opportunity added.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall)

Class standing: Sophomore–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Number not yet available.

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