Advancing Sustainable Tourism

Giant Leaps Hospitality and Tourism Management

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Climate change isn’t just something that is happening somewhere else or far into the future. It’s happening right now, right here at home in Indiana. Researchers in Purdue’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (HTM) are assessing the impacts on Indiana’s economy and exploring the notion of sustainable tourism.

Economic impact of climate change on tourism

Indiana’s thriving tourism and recreation industries rely on the state’s climate. Businesses will have to plan ahead for a warming climate that will change the types of activities Indiana can offer, as well as when visitors might be able to enjoy them.

Indiana Dunes National Park

Besides Indiana residents who spend money at tourist and recreation businesses in the state, in 2016 the state had 79 million out-of-state tourists who added $12.2 billion to the economy. Tourism supports more than 240,000 jobs across the state.

Researchers with Purdue Climate Change Research Center, including Jonathan Day and Sandra Sydnor from the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, contributed to the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment (IN CCIA) Tourism and Recreation Working Group technical report. Read the highlights or download the full report.

and Sandra Sydnor from the School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, contributed to the Indiana Climate Change Impacts Assessment (IN CCIA) Tourism and Recreation Working Group technical report. Read the highlights or download the full report.

This uses climate projections for the state to explore likely impacts for Indiana’s tourism and recreation industries. The findings presented here are primarily based on the Indiana CCIA Tourism and Recreation Working Group technical report (Day et al., in review), but also draw upon key findings from other reports in the IN CCIA series.

Learn more about the impact of climate change on tourism and recreation in Indiana.


Sustainable tourism research

Sustainable tourism is all about how you can take tourism — which is a huge economic driver and social driver in the world — and make it work for the people in the communities that are impacted by it,” says Jonathon Day, associate professor and director of graduate program’s for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Research opportunities

The notion of sustainable tourism impacts many different parts of the tourism system. As a result, there are a wide range of research opportunities for Purdue Hospitality and Tourism Management students.

Ivan Henares is a PhD student researching the preservation of cultural heritage as it relates to sustainable tourism. “While studying heritage conservation, we saw that heritage is actually a catalyst for economic development,” says Henares.

The protection of heritage and culture are very important parts of sustainability. (Cultural sites) are very vulnerable to the negative effects of tourism. We need to have correct policies in place to preserve cultural heritage for future generations.

Ivan Henares, PhD student in Purdue’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management
Boiler Bytes segment about sustainable tourism research at Purdue University

The Travel Care Code is a set of 10 simple things you can do while traveling, including booking fuel efficient travel, supporting local businesses, protecting your natural surroundings, and sharing your experiences with others. Learn more at TravelCareCode.org.

We have a project that is based on the notion of responsible travel. It is about being conscious and mindful about your travel activities, but still having a good time.

Jonothan Day, chair of The Travel Care Code

More reading on sustainable tourism

Professor Jonathon Day, leader of sustainable tourism projects, at a welcome ceremony in Nepal
HTM Professor Jonathon Day is leading several global sustainable tourism projects. Day (center) participated in a welcome ceremony in Nepal with villagers and Purdue HTM graduate student Filza Armadita (fifth from left) in May 2018.

The Fall issue of Life360 magazine features Jonathon Day’s leadership in global trends in sustainable travel.

The Travel Care Code is an initiative of a network of academics and professionals committed to encouraging responsible travel. HTM professor Jonathon Day serves as chair.

The research on sustainable tourism coincides with Purdue’s Giant Leaps celebration, acknowledging the university’s global advancements made in sustainability as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.

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