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Educational Tourism and Local Development: The Role of Universities

Sabrina Tomasi (), Gigliola Paviotti () and Alessio Cavicchi ()
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Sabrina Tomasi: Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, 62100 Macerata, Italy
Gigliola Paviotti: Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism, University of Macerata, 62100 Macerata, Italy

Sustainability, 2020, vol. 12, issue 17, 1-15

Abstract: On the basis of a scoping review of the literature about educational tourism—a type of tourism in which the traveller’s primary or secondary objective is learning—this study summarizes views on how Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) can foster local development through educational tourism. The results show that international students can be considered as educational tourists, and their stay can benefit them and the destination. In this context, the university can actively facilitate relationships between tourists and local stakeholders to foster learning at the destination and improve the sustainability of the local economy; some reports about specific cases are described. We argue that the tourism component should be considered by any institution organising or managing educational programmes, in order to exploit the opportunities offered by the destination for the achievement of learning goals. More specifically, the paper focuses on educational tourism related to HEI students in international mobility programs, who are educational tourists inasmuch as their overall experience at the destination includes leisure and tourism activities. Further research is needed to formulate models of intervention.

Keywords: educational tourism; local development; higher education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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