Adventure Travel and Ecotourism: The Businesses and Their History

Fall 2015 quarter

Taught by

Russian history, environmental history

This program will examine the history, development, and business policies of the adventure travel and ecotourism industries. The United States introduced this new sphere of tourism to the international community in 1969, when three American climbers created the world’s first adventure travel company, Mountain Travel , which took eager clients to the Himalayas. This company, and the thousands that soon followed worldwide, tapped into many tourists’ desire for more adventurous trips. Trekking, rafting, and climbing—most often in foreign countries—all became hallmarks of this new type of tourism. Exploring distinct cultures and diverse peoples in more natural settings, especially those far removed from cities, created an explosion of opportunities in the tourism business worldwide.

In addition to learning the history and economic power of these industries, we will also examine specific business models in the program. All students, for example, will create at least two plans: the first will be a dream adventure travel destination; the second will be a dream ecotourism destination. Since each student will be the “owner” of a new adventure travel or ecotourism business for a period of this program, dream trips will need to make economic sense. You will need to understand your client base, their income, their desires, and your company’s special skills. Several guest speakers with long histories in adventure travel and ecotourism will give us added insight, as will numerous field trips.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

adventure travel, ecotourism, history (environmental and cultural), business, environmental studies, cultural studies, and writing.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day


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Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning

More information about online learning.

Required Fees

$300 for entrance fees, overnight field trips, and supplies.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall)

Class standing: Junior–Senior

Maximum enrollment: 25


Course Reference Numbers

Jr (16 credits): 10113
Sr (16 credits): 10114

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