Faculty-student research team publishes report on travelers and climate action
Aritree Samanta, assistant professor of Environmental Studies in the School of Public Affairs & Civic Engagement, was part of a team that recently published a report titled, “Frequent Travelers, Climate and What to Do: Travelers Share Their Thoughts.” The team was led by Paige Viren, executive director of Sustainable Hospitality Management at CSU Monterey Bay and former associate professor in SF State’s Department of Recreation, Parks & Tourism.
The report presents the results from a worldwide survey launched by the research team in partnership with the United Nations World Travel Organization (UNWTO) on the occasion of World Environment Day in 2021. In the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow, 2021, tourism businesses, destinations and associations were invited to participate in this Global Survey of Climate Action in Tourism. Preliminary results informed the content of one of the panels organized by UNWTO at COP 26.
A team of students have played an integral part in the project. One of Viren’s former graduate students (at East Carolina University), Daniel Pilgreen, who is now pursuing his Ph.D. in Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M, assisted with supervising three SF State undergraduate students: Mandalyn Kime and Brianna Canizales, both SF State Recreation, Parks & Tourism graduates, and Anya Zabaneh, a Biology major who minored in Recreation, Parks & Tourism.
The objective of this global survey is to better understand the ongoing climate action efforts in the tourism sector and identify front running initiatives and opportunities to accelerate climate action. It is implemented within the framework of the Sustainable Tourism Programme of the One Planet Network. Working as part of an interdisciplinary team of university and industry stakeholder, the project provided students with the opportunity to contribute to a real-world problem and build relationships with faculty and industry for employment, professional networking, graduate school applications/research experience and professional skills.