Sustainability in The School of Tourism & Hospitality Management 

Photo of the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management with trees & plants in foreground

The School of Tourism & Hospitality Management has, over the past 20  years, offered modules on sustainability in Tourism, Hospitality, Events and Sport and Leisure. The school is committed to embedding sustainability as a learning outcome within all our programmes and to ensuring that every learner engages in practice-based research in the area. The school is also committed to delivering upon sustainability research projects with industry and community partners - converting knowledge into tangible outcomes. 



Guided by the UNWTO recommendations, the School will develop five key principles of sustainability that will underpin everything we do:  

  • Create an efficient and equitable environment for both staff and students within the school  
  • Continue to embed sustainability across our teaching and research 
  • Identify mitigation measures in relation to operation within the school (e.g. off-setting travel) 
  • Engage and collaborate with academic, industry and community partners to foster holistic multidisciplinary solutions to climate and societal challenges within the sector  
  • Position global responsibility and citizenship as a core graduate attribute by teaching ethics & social justice principles throughout appropriate modules 

Beautiful image, looking up through tall trees through to sunny sky.

The School Research Pillars, of which there six, are all underpinned by the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of sustainability.  

In striving towards embedding sustainability into Tourism, Hospitality, Event, Sport & Leisure education, a number of staff are members of, and actively participate with:

Sustainability Literacy CoP.

Green Campus . 



A number of staff have been awarded  the CPD in Educating for Sustainability and the Certificate in Sustainability for Finance.

Many of our modules integrate the key principles of sustainability: economic, socio-cultural and the environment and climate change and are Sustainability Inclusive. Examples of some of the modules we teach which are Sustainability Focused include:

Module Programme
Sustainable Futures 


B.Sc. in Events Management 

B.Sc. in Tourism and Digital Marketing 

Environmental Sustainability for Hospitality Management


B.Sc. in International Hospitality Management 

Sustainable and Responsible Events Management


B.Sc. in Events Management

Sustainable Tourism Futures


B.Sc. in Tourism and Digital Marketing

Sustainable Sports and Leisure Facilities Management


B.Sc. in Sports and Leisure Management 

Sustainable and Regenerative Tourism

TU747/3, TU957/2, TU967/2 

BA in Tourism Management 

B.Sc. in Tourism and Digital Marketing  

B.Sc. in International Language and Tourism 

Sustainable Tourism Destination Planning and Management 

TU 328

MSc. in Tourism Management 

A selection of Sustainability - Related Research Outputs: 

Academic Papers: 

Kelliher, F, Hynes, B and Mottiar, Z.. (2023) Building a better tomorrow – bridging the disconnect between policy, practice, education and research in social enterprise. Editorial for Special Issue Irish Journal of Management Vol. 42 Is 1  

Mair, J., Wood, E. and Quinn, B., 2024. Social sustainability in Event Management-a critical commentary. Event Management.

Smith, A., Quinn, B., Mamattah, S., Hell, N., McPherson, G., McGillivray, D. and Cox, T., 2021. The social value of community events: A literature review.

Quinn, B., Colombo, A., Lindstrom, K., McGillivray, D. and Smith, A. (2020) Public space and cultural inclusion: public policy insights.  Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 29 (12), 1875-1893

Quinn, B. with Devine, A. (2019) Building social capital in a divided city: the potential of events. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 27 (10), 1495-1512, DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2019.1639721

Quinn, B. (2018) Festivals and socio-cultural sustainability, in Mair, J. (Ed) Handbook of Festivals. Abingdon, Oxon, Routledge.

Quinn, B. (2006) Arts festivals and sustainable development in Ireland, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 14, 3 pp. 288-306.

Stewart, J. and Gorman, C. (2023) "Authentic Assessment and Embedding Sustainable Literacy and Technology Skills in Tourism Education.," Irish Journal of Academic Practice: Vol. 11: Iss. 2, Article 10.
doi:  Available at: 

Conference Papers:

Gorman, C. (2023) Guidelines for the Sustainable Presentation and Management of Tourism on Natura 2000 Peatland Sites (Wild Atlantic Nature Life IP). With Carrowcrin Consulting and Leave No Trace for Failte Ireland. Community Wetlands Forum, November 16, 2023. 
SDGs: 11, 13, 14

Gorman, C. and Stewart, J.  (2022) Embedding Sustainability and Technology Skills in Tourism Education.  ATLAS European Conference, MTU. Ireland September 2022
SDG: 4.7

Hartnett, A. Bates, C. Gorman, C. Hartnett, A., McCann, S. Murry, F.  (2017) Exploring Responsible Research and Innovation as a framework for engaged research in the curriculum Pre-Conference Session The 17th International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement Annual Conference NUI Galway, Ireland September 14-16th 2017 

Mottiar, Z. (2023)  Sneaking in the vegetables: developing entrepreneurial competencies and showing students the power of action in a complex world.
This conference paper presented at the Entrepreneurial Education Share and Learn Symposium in Nov 2023. It shows how students used design thinking to develop tourism products that future tourists with global values who wish to learn more about sustainability in Dublin city when they visit, or wish to maximise their positive impact while here would be interested in. Using the SDGs as a framework student can see how they can have impact and take action as global citizens to effect change.
SDGs : 4,11,12

Image of windmills in a field against blue sky



Embedding Sustainability: Students & Staff in Action (ESSSIA)

Building on the Students in Action project which was a recipient of an inaugural DELTA Award, the ESSSIA project involves several work-packages with the objective of embedding sustainability and empowering students to take action to explore and address sustainability in the context of tourism and events in the School of Tourism & Hospitality Management (STHM). ESSSIA further develops this highly successful SIA initiative with a remit to deepen sustainability literacy across staff, students and programmes in the school.  The goal is to implement the TU Dublin Sustainability Education Framework by ‘advancing knowledge, understanding and action to ensure an environmentally, socially and economically responsible transition to reach climate neutrality’. It consists of 7 work packets which focus on increasing students' knowledge and awareness of sustainability (WP1), building academic staff capacity (WP3) providing opportunities for students to create sustainable products (WP2), highlighting the ongoing work in the school in relation to sustainability (WP5, 6 and 7) and strategically reviewing and mapping our emphasis on sustainability across our programmes (WP4).  Thus, ESSSIA will have impact at the student, academic staff, school and community level in both the short and long term.
T. Ryan (2024) 

Sustainable Curriculum Co-Create
The School were part of a TU wide project who developed sector-focused sustainability modules for academic staff, enterprise learners and campus-based students through an IMPACT Accelerator project. The curriculum design for the modules involved a number of stakeholders in EDS (Academia, Enterprise, Students, Community, etc). The modules provide a comprehensive overview of sustainable development goals (SDGs), targets and policies relating to Tourism, Hospitality, Events, Sport/Leisure and the design-thinking processes underpinning co- created innovative solutions to the complex challenges that face the tourism and associated industries. 
Industry Consultation and input included: Mary Mulvey, Shane, Dineen (Failte Ireland) Maurice Bergin (Green Hospitality) Catherine Mack (  Jarlath O Dwyer ( CEO, Burren Ecotourism Network) 
C.Gorman (2021)   Case study 45 

Social Entrepreneurship

To what extent are social entrepreneurs using their social objectives to attract tourists?  Mottiar, Z. (2024) 
Social entrepreneurs play an important role in terms of addressing the SDGs. As people become more aware of the impact of travel, this research explores new generations of tourists and posits that they will be more conscious of having a positive impact as they travel and perhaps see travel as a way in which they can operate as global citizens. The research explores Irish and Cambodian tourism social enterprises and asks to what extent are these businesses highlighting their social objectives as a way of attracting these future tourists.
SDGs: 9. 11, 12 

Sustainable Events 

Sustainable Event Industry Knowledge (SEIK) 
SEIK aims to develop teaching resources to enhance event management curricula at levels 8, 9 and 10 in TU Dublin. In the process it aims to: 

  • bridge the gap that exists between academia and event practitioners
  • harness a wealth of knowledge for the benefit of students, academics and the events industry
  • share learning with event management educators in other HEIs in Ireland 

SEIK generates data by capturing and recording knowledge and expertise held by industry practitioners on a range of topics related to the event industry. It uses the data to reproduce a variety of outputs that can be incorporated into third level event management curricula. These outputs are reproduced using both traditional and new technologies for use in both offline and virtual environments. They include, for example: print material (case study series) as well as an eBook, podcasts, blogs, videos and audio-visually recorded interviews and webinars. All of these resources are made available through Arrow, TU Dublin’s searchable open access repository with all material licensed under Creative Commons licenses.  

From a sustainability perspective, the Event sector can be seen to be lagging behind other sectors in adopting sustainability practices. To this end a cross cutting theme of all of the material developed enhance the sustainability of event practices. 

Dr Bernadette Quinn led a team of colleagues including Dr Theresa Ryan, Samantha Morris, Dr Ruth Craggs, Rachelle O’Brien and Dr Vincent O’Flaherty, Hayley Farrell, Mary O’Rawe, Mariia Perelygina as well as students from programmes at levels 8 (Mary-Aoife Ong, Hannah Lyons) 9 (Nyrenee Bailey, Kate Sarapulova, Rachel Reddy Cox, Nicola Coetzer) and 10 (Danielle Lynch). 

Sustainable Tourism Management 

Sustainable Presentation and Management of Tourism on Natura 2000 Peatland Sites (Wild Atlantic Nature Life IP).
A set of guidelines were developed for the Sustainable Presentation and Management of Tourism on Natura 2000 Peatland Sites (Wild Atlantic Nature Life IP) with Carrowcrin Consulting and Leave No Trace  for Failte Ireland with the aim to provide direction for those who wish to engage with tourism in sensitive peatland sites. It also contains a number of links to national and international case studies. 
Gorman, C. (2023)
SDGs: 11, 13, 14