Responsible Tourism and Ethics (BRL201)

The course addresses topics that are critical to the management of tourism such as impacts of tourism (both positive and negative), current trends, ethical principles, and conflicts, etc. Both the natural environments as well as the local cultures will be explored in relation to these issues. The course also explores some of the tools used in managing the challenges that may arise as a result of tourism.

Course description for study year 2023-2024. Please note that changes may occur.


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The course offers a foundation of knowledge to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the current issues and challenges in tourism such as economic, environmental and socio-cultural consequences. Economic issues relate here to ensure that residents receive commercial benefits and fair compensation for providing local goods, products, and services. Social issues in relation to responsible tourism involve treating residents or communities as equals. Cultural issues is related to a tourism that respect local traditions, customs, beliefs, and lifestyles. Environmental issues is related to the preservation of local natural resources. In addition the course describes also some of the tools used in managing these issues and thereby develop tourism in a more responsible way. Examples, cases and discussions will be important elements of the course.

Examples of important topics in the course:

  •  the main principles of responsible tourism 
  •  the magnitude of tourism impacts and challenges such as cultural conflicts linked to global tourism
  • management strategies and tools in sustainable tourism (such as visitor planning, interpretations and information, tour guiding, management planning for destinations, organisations and natural areas/national parks)
  • the influence of environmental and human rights organisations on tourism behavior

Learning outcome

Upon completion of this course the candidate should have gained the following knowledge, skills, and general competence:


Upon completion of this course, the candidate:

  • Will have a basic understanding of the ideals of the concept of responsible tourism and to give an insight into the main challenges of managing tourism in accordance with these principles
  • Will have knowledge about the broader concepts of responsible tourism with an emphasis on the economic, socio-cultural, and environmental impacts related to tourism
  • Will have knowledge of key issues that are critical for the future progress of responsible tourism
  • Will have knowledge of different techniques for determining and achieving the objectives of conservation as well as socio-economic development


Upon completion of this course, the candidate:

  • Will understand the importance of interpretation in tourism as well as evaluate best interpretation techniques to enhance tourist experiences
  • Will be able to use relevant concepts, techniques, and other materials to assess methods to develop responsible tourism from a global perspective.
  • Will have the ability to critically discuss and reflect upon responsible tourism and its core principles in relation to other concepts of tourism

General competence

Upon completion of this course, the candidate:

  • Will be able to reflect on his/her own knowledge and experience to participate in discussions related to future concerns and the development of tourism
  • Will be able to provoke critical thinking on the future of tourism and the responsibilities of the tourism industry
  • Will be able to discuss and reflect upon the latest research within sustainable and responsible tourism

Required prerequisite knowledge



Written group assignment with Poster evaluation

Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Home exam in groups 4/5 Letter grades
Poster evaluation 1/5 4 Hours Letter grades

Additional information on compulsory activities such as seminars and workshops will be outlined at semester start. An approved project description is required as well as a mandatory oral academic poster presentation. The academic poster presentation is compulsory in order to receive the final grade of the course. The home exam can be written individually or in groups with a maximum of 3 students.

Coursework requirements

Oral presentation, Project sketch

A mandatory group project description should be submitted and approved where the choice of case and topic is explained. This will have to be accepted during the first part of the course and presented briefly to the class during one of the lectures.

In the end of the semester, the group project will be presented in a poster session by all members of the group. Presentation will be made in a pitch format. 

The Poster will be handed in and assessed. 

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Åsa Helen Grahn

Course teacher:

Trude Furunes

Head of Department:

Trude Furunes

Method of work

During the semester, mandatory seminars will be held with a 75% mandatory attendance. This will include workshops and guest lectures. This will be more defined at semester start. 

Lectures, guest lectures and presentations will be in English. Excursions will be considered.

Overlapping courses

Course Reduction (SP)
Globally Responsible Tourism (BRL390_2) 10

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course coordinator, the student representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital course evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


The syllabus can be found in Leganto