Here at Acorn Tourism Consulting, we believe in the strength of working together to build a greater sustainable future for the tourism sector and beyond. We have been promoting some sustainable tourism through our social media platforms and decided that it would be helpful to also collate them all into one blog.

Sustainable tourism is continually evolving, especially as we come out of the pandemic. Many consumers are changing the way they travel and have a desire to travel with a positive impact. Therefore, it is important to keep up to date with the new trends. One way to do this is through the completion of online training courses.

Whether you are a Destination Manager, Operations Manager or just have an interest in the topic, we have collated a handful of courses that may interest you and help you drive your organisation forward in a more positive and inclusive light.

For Destination Managers

UNWTO – Sustainable Destination Management Online Course (Free)

The UNWTO alongside Lucerne University has recently launched this free online course to help introduce Destination Managers into the world of Sustainable Destination Management.

The modules and topics covered include:

  • Fundamentals of Destination Management

  • Success factors of destinations & approaches to sustainable destination management

  • Global sustainability goals and the role of certification schemes

  • Implementation in practice and measuring process

This course is approximately 20 hours long and can be started at any time and taken at your own pace for 4 weeks. If you would like to gain a certificate from this course, you will be required to pay 49 EUR.

Green Destinations – Developing Capacities for a Sustainable Future (€180 +VAT)

This course has been developed by Green Destinations to help Destination Managers further their skills and knowledge of sustainable destination management.  The course starts by providing a broad overview of the foundations of sustainable tourism before moving on to destination management. The final section introduces helpful tools to help guide practitioners towards sustainability.

After completing the course, you will:

  • Understand the key concept of sustainable tourism and destination management

  • Be familiar with issues and trends

  • Understand the role of marketing and management and its importance in facilitating sustainability

  • Have learnt many practical skills and tools to help implement sustainable tourism initiatives  

This course can be taken at your own pace over the course of a year. If you wish to gain certification for the completion of the course, you must obtain a passing grade in the exam at an additional cost of €40+VAT).

For General Managers & Sustainability Managers

The Long Run & Preferred by Nature – Strategic Sustainability Planning (Free)

This online short course is aimed at tourism businesses to help them integrate sustainable management and planning into their operations. It will enable them to expand their positive impact and become more resilient. The course will bring in leading examples from The Long Run Members.

The modules and topics covered include:

  • Working towards shared goals; establishing a vision, defining outcomes and results

  • Integrating a vision into day-to-day activities and roles

  • Driving positive impact through annual monitoring and reporting

This is a short course that can be completed at any time. Enrolment is free.

The Long Run & Preferred by Nature – Resource Efficiency (Free)

Another insightful course from the team at The Long Run & Preferred by Nature. This course is aimed to help the accommodation sector gain greater knowledge and understanding of resource efficiency and maintain and develop industry best practices. Alongside the training, The Long Run has developed a Resource Performance Tracker available in their training videos.

Elements tracked include:

  • Energy and water consumption

  • Food waste

  • Scope 1,2, & 3 greenhouse gas emissions

This is a short course that can be completed at any time. Enrolment is free.

For all Tourism Professionals

GSTC – Professional Certificate in Sustainable Tourism (US$ 395)

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s online course is aimed at anyone within the tourism industry who wants to gain a greater understanding of sustainability.

It offers practical insights and expert guidance. After completing the course you will:

  • Have gained in-depth knowledge of the GSTC Criteria, the global standard for sustainability in travel and tourism

  • Be able to make informed decisions on how to implement sustainability practices for your company or destination

  • Be ready to develop viable and actionable sustainable tourism policies and practices for your organisation

This course costs US$395 and takes place over 4 weeks. Check the website for the next enrolment dates.

For Destination Managers interested in Community Based Tourism

International Trade Centre – Community Based Tourism Training of Trainers (Free)

This course is a little more specific, but due to the importance of community-based tourism (CBT), we thought we would add this to our list. This course is aimed at professionals looking to develop their knowledge and skills for the development of successful CBT.

The course covers the following five major steps:

  • CONSIDER: how to select a CBT destination, build trust and assess potential

  • CONCEIVE: how to shortlist and design marketable CBT experiences and program

  • CRAFT: how to build local capacity to welcome tourists and offer tourism services

  • CONNECT: how to build trusting marketing partnerships and business linkages

  • CONSERVE: how to sustain and build on this work

This is a free course that takes approximately 35 hours to complete over 4 weeks. Check the website for more information and upcoming start dates.




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