The adventure and outdoor recreation industry is an economic powerhouse in the United States, with consumers spending $887 billion annually and a workforce of 7.6 million people. To help better prepare people to work in the industry, and improve the skills of those already employed, Colorado State University has launched an Online Graduate Certificate in Adventure Tourism.
The new certificate program, a first of its kind in the nation, will provide students and budding entrepreneurs with the skills required to successfully develop and manage land-, water-, and air-based adventures. It combines information gleaned from industry leaders and natural resource tourism management theory with an emphasis on the practice of managing an adventure tourism enterprise.
“This course provides a unique opportunity for individuals to live their passion, while making a lasting positive difference in the world by transforming lives, increasing cultural awareness, and expanding worldviews,” said Mark Gasta, associate professor of tourism and director of the Adventure Tourism program in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources. Gasta is the former executive vice president of Vail Resorts.
“The outdoor recreation industry represents a new economy,” according to Luis Benitez, director of the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office. “The leaders of this economy will need to have a deep understanding of our natural resources, and how to integrate the components of innovation, health and wellness into a vision for what comes next.”
The certificate program will accept students in spring 2018. The flexible online format will allow students from around the world to complete the coursework — six classes — at their own pace. Courses will include narrated presentations, discussion groups, and a range of multi-media content, including video interviews and discussions with industry experts.
The Online Graduate Certificate in Adventure Tourism is one of a number of programs developed by CSU’s Department of Human Dimensions of Natural Resources to serve the needs of students and professionals in the natural resource tourism and outdoor recreation industries. These programs include the Master of Tourism Management program (available on-campus and online) and an online Graduate Certificate in Ski Area Management.