An innovative new university level course delivered in Newquay is tackling the growing impact of the tourism sector on our environment.

The one-of-a-kind Ecotourism foundation degree offered by Cornwall College Newquay, is focused on a new form of tourism, intended as a low-impact and smaller scale alternative to standard commercial mass tourism.

Head of campus at Cornwall College Newquay, Ruth Martin, said the course was vital “in these times of environmental change”.

“In an increasingly unstable world, a shift in the environmental management of tourism is essential for a sustainable future for the industry,” she continued.

“Our FdSc Ecotourism programme offers a mix of key themes for employment in the growing ecotour industry. It really is the only course of its kind, with a focus on wildlife, business and tourism, enabling students to learn the underpinning knowledge and skills to be a valuable employee or to even set up a business themselves.”

One of the defining principles of the growing ecotourism movement is that tourists have a responsibility to become conservationists to protect areas of importance and beauty for future generations.

“Our graduates in Ecotourism will lead this evolution, inspiring people to conserve and celebrate the world around them,” Martin explained.

The foundation degree programme is delivered over two years and covers a range of modules such as animals and their environment, business & sustainability and understanding tourist behaviour.

“It’s really about getting hands-on to understand the sector from the inside out, honing your skills while keeping abreast of new technologies and initiatives,” Martin added.

Cornwall College Newquay has grown its higher education community over a 20-year partnership with Newquay Zoo, offering environmentally-focused university level courses in zoology, animal behaviour & psychology, animal husbandry & welfare and wildlife education among others.