Investigating opportunities for innovation in sustainable tourism

The strategic Sustainable Tourism and Innovation program advances research in the area of ecotourism, nature conservation, resource efficiency, and climate change. The program builds on a long tradition of environmental research at Griffith University and connects with experts from a range of other disciplines, including climate science, ecology and marine science.

Our research strives to ensure that tourism activity is sustainable (economically, environmentally, socially and culturally) and resilient to major pressures, such as climate change or resource depletion.

This program addresses the tourism impacts that occur in some of the most vulnerable locations on our planet, including World Heritage Sites, small island states and coastal environments.

Our research

Building on broad expertise at Griffith University in the area of global environmental change and climate change in particular, this program addresses tourism sustainability by conceptualising tourist destinations as human-environment systems that are exposed to external and internal stress, and that can respond by increasing adaptive capacity and enhancing resilience. Tourist destinations, including communities and businesses, can proactively adapt to change, for example by making better use of climate information and services.

At the same time, destinations can reduce vulnerability by decarbonising their operations and by advancing resource efficiencies, in particular in relation to energy and water. Research on global change and environmental management (e.g. through Corporate Social Responsibility) recognises the business risks associated with some of the major environmental challenges this planet is facing. To assist the tourism sector in preparing for these changes, this program brings together tourism experts with researchers from other disciplines, for example engineering, ecology and meteorology.

Project highlight

Monitoring the Great Barrier Reef

This project investigates how the use of visitor data and ‘human sensors’ can complement existing systems to improve the way we monitor environmental change in real time at the Great Barrier Reef.

Researchers: Professor Susanne Becken, Associate Professor Bela Stantic, Professor Rod Connolly

Our flagship projects

Connect and collaborate

If you would like to study or collaborate with us, get in touch