88371 - Tourism and Local Development

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The purpose of the first part of this course is to enable students to rigorously apply appropriate evaluation and decision-making methodologies (e.g., Cost Effectiveness Analysis, Multi-Criteria Analysis, Threshold Analysis, Cost-Benefit Analysis) to sustainable development projects in the tourism sector. In particular, as regards evaluation methods where decisions have marginal impacts in a non-competitive market, theories and applications will be shown in case of tradable and non-tradable resources: in the sub-case of tradable resources, the concept of shadow exchange rate will be introduced; while in the sub-case of non-tradable resources, the concepts of willingness to pay and opportunity costs will be discussed. Evaluation methods where decisions have non-marginal impacts will also be presented. As regards evaluation methods where there is no market, both production approaches (e.g., response method, replacement cost, opportunity cost, preventive cost) and utility approaches (e.g., revealed preferences and stated preferences) will be discussed. Students will also be taught recent theories and applications of decision-making methods under uncertainty or risk, time spans, space interactions, indirect effects, and distributive effects.

Course contents

In the first part of this course, student will learn about:

Sustainability paradigms (e.g., Economic general equilibrium vs. Ecosystem services, Weak vs. strong sustainability, de-growth vs. a-growth)

Sustainable, responsible and alternative tourism

Assessment approaches (e.g., Life Cycle Assessment, Cost Benefit Analysis, Multi-Criteria Analysis)

Assessment issues

  • Time and space

  • Uncertainty

  • Intra and inter generations equity

  • Ecological interdependencies in time and space

  • Social interdependencies

  • Economic interdependencies


H.F.Campbell and R.P.C.Brown, Benefit-Cost Analysis, Cambridge University Press

Assessment methods

Written examination, 90 minutes long and based on 3 open questions. Notes or other materials are not allowed.

Students can reject the grade obtained at the exam once. To this end, he/she must email a request to the instructor within the date set for registration. The instructor will confirm reception of the request within the same date.

Teaching tools

Zagonari, F. (2016) Four Sustainability Paradigms for Environmental Management: A Methodological Analysis and an Empirical Study Based on 30 Italian Industries, Sustainability 8: 1-34

Zagonari, F. (2019) Multi-Criteria, Cost-Benefit, and Life-Cycle Analyses for Decision-Making to Support Responsible, Sustainable, and Alternative Tourism, Sustainability 11: 1038-1073

Office hours

See the website of Fabio Zagonari