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20 hours






4 weeks




Lucerne University HSLU

The course provides introductory knowledge in Sustainable Destination Management. The objectives of this course are:


1. To understand the destination as the unit of the competition and to learn the destination as an eco-system. It will aid attendees to understand the destination as the unit of the competition, recognize the tasks of the Destination Management Organization, and how his together with the relevant stakeholders can develop the destination more successfully.


2. Based on this knowledge, participants will learn the basics of sustainable tourism, the most relevant players, and systems relevant for the sustainability of destination management.


26 top experts from a broad variety of countries will share their experiences and offer profound additional insights to learn the benefits of applying the introduced tools and methods into your work (environment). With all this, participants can take the first steps to strengthen the success factors of destinations, to undertake goal-oriented actions towards improving their destination (management) plus the destination’s sustainability. Finally, this course should enable attendees to reduce negative tourism impacts in all three sustainability dimensions.


You can enroll and study the content for free and only pay € 49 if you want to do the assignments and receive a certificate of completion.



This program is suitable for professionals and individuals seeking to learn introductory concepts and expand their knowledge on Sustainable Destination Management.


This course is designed for people working in DMOs, associations, tourism businesses, political institutions, NGOs, and similar entities. The different course contents, such as expert interviews, topic-specific literature excerpts, short exercises, and other references, can be transferred to the working environments of the participants.


Course subscribers will benefit from this course whether they are junior or senior professionals, looking for additional knowledge in fundamentals in destination management, in sustainability and sustainable destination management.


The 4 modules with a clear structure and agenda steps allow to learn and progress individually. Additionally, the course exercises can be linked with a chosen destination allowing to adapt the learnings directly.



Each module encompasses several subtopics. They are structured as follows:


Module 1- Fundamentals of Destination Management
• Welcome & Course Overview
• The Destination as the Competitive Unit
• Tourism Development and the Impacts of Covid-19
• The Eco-System “Destination”, its Framework & Environment
• The Destination’s Stakeholders and their Expectations
• The 2 Forms of the DMO


Module 2- Success Factors of Destinations & Approaches to Sustainable Destination Management
• Key Performance Areas in Destination Management
• The UNWTO.QUEST Certification Programme
• The 10-A-Model
• Destination Strategies and Real Cases
• Sustainable Tourism and Sustainable Development


Module 3- Global Sustainability Goals and the Role of Certification Schemes
• The 17 Sustainable Development Goals
• The UNWTO Policy Implications
• The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
• The GSTC Assessment


Module 4- Implementation in Practice and Measuring Process
• Stakeholder Management and the Skill-Will-Matrix
• Public-Private Partnership
• Destination Goals and Monitoring Systems
• The UNWTO International Network of Sustainable Tourism (INSTO)
• Real Cases
• Future Empowerment

Urs Wagenseil

Professor at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (Switzerland) and Head of the Competence Center of Tourism at the included Institute of Tourism and Mobility

Urs Wagenseil is one of the leading scientists and specialists in sustainable development of tourism destinations. Before taking over this position in 2005, he has been the General Director of the Destination Management Organisation Lenzerheide Tourism in Switzerland for six years. Urs Wagenseil has additional working experience as a Manager Corporate Sales (Diners Club Switzerland), Managing Director (Wettstein Travel, Switzerland), and Project Manager in various positions at Kuoni Travel Ltd, Head Office, Switzerland. Additionally, Urs Wagenseil acts for several years already as Board Member of the TourCert certification label, as Advisory Board Member of the Ibex/Fairstay label, as Member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Destination Stewardship Work Group, and as Head of the Education & Training Work Group of GSTC.

Enrollment process

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If you would like to obtain a certificate of completion, please enroll in Get Certified: Sustainable Destination Management after finishing the MOOC.

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If you would like to enroll multiple users or need more information about this course, please contact us!