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Sustainable Tourism Experience Design


Vroegop E.

Course director


The module Sustainable Tourism Experience Design will provide insight into the elements of the design thinking process and strategies from behavioural economics for designing inclusive, sustainable, and regenerative tourism experiences in particular (i.e., giving back more than we take from a destination's community, environment, and economy).

This module will start with an introduction to the design thinking process and experience design, followed by an overview of sustainable tourism and related concepts such as regenerative tourism, responsible tourism, community-based tourism, ecotourism, and nature-based tourism. Special attention will be dedicated to the current impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry, as well as its role in the ongoing academic debate on sustainable tourism.

In a second part, focusing on the intention/attitude-behaviour gap in sustainable tourism, learners deepen their understanding of current challenges and opportunities for regenerative tourism. Drawing on design thinking and strategies from behavioural economics, this module concludes by exploring different ways to bridge the intention/attitude-behaviour gap in designing regenerative tourism in and to destinations.

Throughout this module, learners will develop their ability to think critically and creatively about how we can design regenerative tourism experiences in an inclusive process by actively turning the acquired knowledge into action in hands-on collaborative exercises in small groups inside and outside the classroom.


By the end of this module, learners will be able to: 

  • evaluate current design thinking applications in tourism in general – and in regenerative tourism in particular (i.e., giving back more than we take from a destination's community, environment, and economy) – using the acquired knowledge and hands-on experience of the design thinking process and its mindsets


  • develop inclusive design processes starting from needs: not only the needs of (different) guests, but with special attention given to the needs of the destination community including local residents and tourism professionals


  • design regenerative tourism experiences for everyone involved drawing on strategies from behavioural economics to bridge the intention/attitude-behaviour gap

Sustainable development goals

  • Good health and well-being
  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Indusrty, innovation and infrastracture
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

The Sustainable Tourism Experience Design module comprises face-to-face sessions with in-class Mentimeter quizzes to support the learning process, complemented by collaborative group projects, case studies, and hands-on exercises in class to train design thinking skills in the context of regenerative tourism. Contributions of USI Master in International Tourism alumni working in this field illustrate potential career paths in sustainable and responsible tourism.

Examination information

The assessment will consist of participation in as well as individual contribution to all in-class activities (10%), collaborative work in small groups during the lectures in class (40%), as well as a final individual final paper (50%) integrating also personal reflections on the learning process throughout the course. Instructions for the individual paper will be provided in class during the first lecture (ultimate date to upload the individual paper on iCorsi: Sunday January 8th 2023 at 23:59 PM).