Virtual Fieldtrips and Climate Change Education for Tourism Students
While the pedagogical benefits of fieldtrips have long been recognised our ever increasing understanding of the impacts of flying on climate change is presenting educators with a poignant dilemma; the many benefits long associated with international fieldtrips are at odds with the world community’s needs in limiting/halting climatic change. In response, the paper presents the concept of a VR-based virtual fieldtrip as an innovative and carbon-sensitive type of (educational) travel. The paper not only makes the case for virtual fieldtrips as a meaningful learning tool but also explores both the virtual fieldtrip’s impact on Greenhouse Gas emissions and climate change-related learning. On both accounts the initial findings in this paper are very encouraging. More in-depth research is now required to not only develop a deeper understanding of the full breadth of benefits, but also of the diverse weaknesses presented by virtual fieldtrips and how to negotiate them.