Assignment: You have been hired to analyze a particular company (festival/fair/event OR hospitality group OR destination) in the U.S. that is not currently operating in a sustainable manner and propose specific measures that would increase sustainability over time, based on the unique requirements of the event/hotel/destination. Your results will be submitted in a written report that you would present to senior executives, administrators and managers in a real-life situation. 

First step – Choose a tourist event for approval by the instructor. Criteria for an acceptable event:

  • If you choose an event, the event should occur over at least two days.
  • There must be an online website for the event/hotel/destination that is accessible and provides a lot of information about the event.
  • The company must be a U.S. company. The reason for this is that environmental laws, customs and norms are often different in other countries and, for the purpose of this assignment, all projects must be in the same context.
  • You may choose a large or small company. Please contact the instructor if you have trouble finding an appropriate company.

Second step – Do lots of research. You need to learn everything you can about the company, such as where, when, duration, basic geography of the area, how many people, history, etc. There are many questions to be asked and, in order to do so, you will need to spend a bit of time learning about the company, the location, and other details. Yes, that means you may need to email or call someone listed on the website to get info. If you do, please make sure you answer as many questions as you can on your own – both from the event website and from searching online – before making a list of questions for the person with whom you communicate. Be organized, polite and professional. These folks get calls from students from time to time, so, for most, it’s nothing new and they are usually happy to help. Bear in mind that their schedules are as busy as yours, so you might want to call a couple of weeks in advance to schedule a SHORT phone conversation (try to hold it to 10-15 minutes – max).

You will use your course text when analyzing and proposing solutions. You will also find it necessary to refer to academic journals and multiple websites. You are required to use at least 5 outside academic references. Bear in mind that everything needs to be “backed up” and referenced as you would in an academic paper.

Third step – Look at everything you’ve collected to analyze the data. What have you learned? What are the sustainability issues? What could be done to improve environmental/cultural/social sustainability? Other issues you have found in your research? Once you answer all of your questions, you will be ready to write up your report.

Your report will likely include the following information, along with other data you learn:

  1. The characteristics of the destination – the geographic and economic context – location, population, basic geography, and any other relevant information. (For example, how far away is the closest airport? What is the available infrastructure) Website addresses connected to the company (marketing materials) or that provide relevant information about the area should be included.
  2. The characteristics of the company – cultural and social context – when, how long, typical number of visitors, specific requirements (a music festival has very different needs than a heritage festival), etc. (Parking? Public Transportation?)  Current negative impacts from the company or related tourism should be identified. Such as – do locals object to tourism visitation? Does the company hire locally? Is this a boon for area businesses? Is there local charities that need donations? Is it easy to buy local?
  3. Current sustainable/unsustainable practices of the company. (Lots of waste receptacles, but none are separated for glass, paper, trash, food, and all waste goes to the “dump”)
  4. Identify barriers to the implementation of sustainable tourism practices. (Example: Local dissatisfaction with tourism and its disruptions, isolation of venue, etc.) Is the town/city/locale lacking in any recycling capabilities?
  5. Analysis of the needs of the company in order to move toward sustainable practices over time. What investments need to be made?
  6. Any other information you find to be relevant for a thorough analysis and necessary for worthwhile, viable recommendations. Your research will likely yield questions, ideas, and data that have not been discussed in these notes. This is where critical thinking and your own knowledge base come into play. Apply both.
  7. Your recommendations of the necessary actions to move the company toward sustainability and methods for implementation.  Ideas to consider:
    1. Who pays for the solutions? Hint: raising prices as your solution is NOT acceptable.  Price hikes may be part of your solution, but there must be other methods as well.
    1. Simply printing flyers encouraging tourists to recycle is also not an answer.  Those flyers usually end up on the ground and then in the trash.
    1. Be innovative, but realistic, with your solutions!
  8. Your conclusions.

Written Report: Your report should look polished – as though it was professionally produced. You may choose to include photos you find online (giving proper credit) or not. You may choose to use graphs, tables, appendices, etc. or not. You do not get “extra” points for using these if they are not appropriate to your report. You may design the look yourself or use a template – your choice. (Microsoft has a variety of free templates connected to Word.) Here is an example:

You are not required to use this specific template – it’s just for reference.

And, yes, creativity and a polished look “count”.

This is a short list of some of the most well-known festival and fairs in the U.S. You are welcome to use any of them for your project – just bear in mind that most are pretty large. There are many smaller events throughout the U.S. as well.

Festivals, Fairs and Events

  1. Parke County Covered Bridge Festival – Indiana
  2. Big Guava Festival – Florida (music)
  3. National Western Stock Show and Rodeo – Colorado
  4. Firefly Music Festival – Delaware
  5. Art Basel Miami Beach – Florida
  6. Buffalo Wing Festival – New York
  7. Lollapalooza – Illinois
  8. Tucson Jazz Festival – Arizona
  9. Taste of Chicago – Illinois
  10. Feast Portland – Oregon
  11. Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival – California
  12. Battle of Gettysburg Reenactment – Pennsylvania
  13. Newport Folk Festival – Rhode Island
  14. The Race of Gentlemen – New Jersey (vintage racing)
  15. Bonnaro – Tennessee (music)
  16. Mardi Gras – Louisiana
  17. Minneapolis Aquatennial – Minnesota
  18. Daytona Bike Week – Florida
  19. Harlem Week – New York
  20. Cherry Creek Arts Festival – Colorado
  21. Amish Acres Arts & Crafts Festival – Indiana
  22. Wellfleet Oyster Fest – Massachusetts
  23. African World Festival – Michigan
  24. Aloha Festivals – Hawaii
  25. Philadelphia Folk Festival – Pennsylvania
  26. Cheyenne Frontier Days – Wyoming
  27. SXSW Music Festival – Texas
  28. Pennsylvania Farm Show – Pennsylvania
  29. Brooklyn Hip Hop Festival – New York
  30. New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival – Louisiana
  31. Memphis in May – Tennessee
  32. Electric Daisy Carnival – Nevada
  33. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta – New Mexico
  34. Sturgis – South Dakota
  35. Tulip Time – Michigan
  36. Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival – Virginia
  37. Renaissance Festivals – pick a state

Hospitality Companies

  1. Marriott
  2. Hilton
  3. Windermere
  4. Trump Towers
  5. Motel 6
  6. Sandals
  7. Club Med
  8. Carnival Cruise Lines
  9. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines



Page 3 – Executive Summary

Like an abstract, just a little longer.  There are lots of examples online.

Page 4 – Purpose and Methodology

                        Purpose – what was your company hired to do?

Methodology – how did you determine what data to gather and how did you gather the data?

Ok…now the number of pages per topic will be up to you.

  • Findings
    • This section will be organized into sub categories according to your findings and organizational preferences. What goes in this part?  Refer back to earlier instructions – what are the demographics of the area? Demographics of the company? Requirements of the company? Pros? Cons? Environmental issues?

What are their current, if any, nods to sustainability?  This list doesn’t include all the questions you need to ask, but it will get you started.

  • Proposals
    • What did you learn from the findings? What do you propose for the company?

Who’s paying for it? Why should they accept your findings? How do those findings correlate to sustainable management principles you’ve learned throughout the course? Your proposals will be based on your research, your course text, other events that are already run sustainably, or moving that direction, academic studies, etc. ALL OF THESE CITATIONS MUST BE REFERENCED IN APA STYLE THROUGHOUT YOUR REPORT. NO EXCEPTIONS.

  • Conclusions
    • Briefly review what you did, why, what you found and your proposals. What happens if nothing is done? Worse, better, the same? What in your data indicates they should listen to what you have to say? What do they need to do in future? Such as, should this data be reviewed in 5 years for updates? Did you include an assessment mechanism in your proposals so they can monitor themselves or do they need to hire someone every few years?


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