Sustainable Tourism

In the Sustainable Tourism course, students learn about the profound changes that are taking place worldwide in the tourism industry—changes that will permanently alter the development, management, and relationship of every tourist business to its community. Students begin by familiarizing themselves with some of the basic concepts of sustainability: measuring a person’s carbon footprint, recognizing the implications of the Limits of Acceptable Change model, understanding the latest research about climate change. Students then consider approaches to land use and sustainability, including trends in alternative tourism and multiple-use policies. Students explore the economic and social impacts of tourism and how community-based sustainable tourism programs can mitigate negative effects. Next, students learn the implications of sustainability for hospitality and tourism businesses. They explore corporate social responsibility policies and evaluate how a business can demonstrate its commitment to sustainability. Students explore careers in sustainability, including sustainability management jobs and opportunities with governmental and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).

For their culminating projects, students propose a new business or service in hospitality or tourism that will improve the sustainability of their local tourism community. Students research existing sustainable businesses, conduct interviews, develop their own corporate social responsibility policy, and consider how their business can behave sustainably in a variety of ways. Students develop a business proposal and create a pitch to showcase their idea for the community. Students participate in a Sustainable Business Ideas Fair where industry professionals and community members view their pitches and proposals.

This course is expected to take a total of 68 50-minute class periods.

Course Scope & Sequence

The Scope & Sequence lists the learning objectives for each lesson, providing you with an overview of what your students will learn during the course. You can use these learning objectives as a guide to determine how the course enables your students to reach the requisite goals set for them.

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Lesson Descriptions

The Lesson Descriptions document includes a brief overview of every lesson in the course. This is the narrative companion to the course Scope & Sequence document.

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Course Support

If you have questions about this course, need a hand with a particular lesson, or just have a great idea to share, please contact Kevin English directly at We are available to support you in teaching the course while also gathering feedback to improve the NAF curriculum.

Culminating Project Overview

In every NAF course, students complete a culminating project and present it in the final lesson. Download the Project Overview to learn the details about the culminating project for this course and to find out what advance preparation the project entails.

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NAFTrack Certification Course Guide

NAFTrack Certification is a nationally recognized, standards-based set of tools developed by NAF to evaluate students’ readiness for college and career. By completing all NAFTrack Certification requirements, students demonstrate mastery of academic skills and career-related knowledge. The requirements are as follows: for each of four NAF courses, students complete all coursework, pass the end-of-course exam, and fulfill culminating project responsibilities, as evidenced by uploading key pieces of work.

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Correlations to the Common Core State Standards

This document identifies which of the ELA and Math Common Core State Standards are met by each lesson in the course. You can use these correlations as an aid to preparing your students for college and careers.

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We welcome questions and feedback about these course materials. For a prompt response, please email Kevin English directly at

The ZIP file below contains the current version of every file for this course. Be sure to download it before the start of each school year. If you just need a specific file or two, it's quicker to use the individual links listed on this page.

All Course Files (ZIP file)

Unit 2: Meeting the Challenges of Sustainability

Lesson 4: Preservation, Conservation, and Restoration

Lesson 5: Trends in Alternative Tourism

Lesson 6: Multiple-Use and Sustainability

Unit 3: The Economics of Sustainable Tourism

Lesson 7: The Economic and Social Impacts of Tourism

Lesson 8: Community-Based Sustainable Tourism

Unit 4: Sustainable Tourism Business Practices

Lesson 9: Corporate Social Responsibility and Commercial Tourism

Lesson 10: Sustainable Business Management

Lesson 11: A Consumer-Driven Market

Unit 5: Continuing Toward a Sustainable Future

Lesson 12: The Culminating Project Proposal

Lesson 13: The Culminating Project Pitch

Lesson 14: Project Presentation and Course Closure

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