Case Study Archives

Each school that wins the GTTP Research Award in its country also prepares a case study for use in GTTP classrooms around the world. This archive has the case studies prepared by Research Award winners in each country filed by year.

Click on the country name to download the pdf of the winning case study.

2015 Winning Case Studies on Sustainable Adventure Tourism

2015 China Research Award

2015 Case Study Winner (China)

Huihang Ancient Road is one of three routes crossing the Eurasian landmass that connected China in the east and Europe in the west for many hundreds of years.
Today the scenic eastern end in Anhui Province exists as “the well-developed and most popular hiking route in Southeast China,” said the students. Today the Road sees some 1 million visitors a year, and all indications are that the Road and the Preserve in which it is located are going to see many more visitors. Is the Road ready? The students decided to analyze the strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/Challenges (S.W.O.T) facing the Road and its communities and service businesses.

Carrying their tent, sleeping bags, backpacks, food and water, and other items, the students spent two days exploring today’s Ancient Road in order to produce their case study.

2015 Case Study Winner (Hong Kong SAR, China)

The title of this case study tells the story: “From Local to National to Global: A Case Study of How a Local-Based Hotel and Communities Helped Develop HK Geopark into a World-Class Destination for Sustainable Adventure Tourism.”

Eight “geo-areas” comprise the HK Global Geopark and between them they serve as a handy introduction to geology. As the students note, the parks showcase Hong Kong’s “timeless and eerily beautiful landforms” as well its flora and fauna. Be prepared for hiking and boat tours to enjoy them all.

And the difference between a Geopark and a Global Geopark? “ A Global Geopark is an area with a particular geological heritage of international significance and also with a sustainable development strategy involving local communities.”

2015 Hungary

2015 Case Study Winner (Hungary)

The Mátra is a mountainous area in northern Hungary that is part of an old volcanic zone. It is also home to the Mátra Nature Protection Area, which bans many activities, including collecting plants and geological specimens, and protects wildlife. People touring on bikes have to follow dedicated routes. No machines powered by gasoline or diesel are allowed, nor are information signs on trees. The number of visitors to the Nature Protection Area are controlled.

In spite of all the controls, the Mátra is also home to the High-Tech Sports Base at Mátrafüred. The company obtained a permit to operate in 2010. How the company uses technology to comply with the requirements of the Protected Area is the story the students report.

2015 Case Study Winner (Jamaica)

The students are intrigued by paragliding, a sport that is growing in popularity in Jamaica. It’s fun and sustainable since paragliding is both kind to the environment and does not consume much in the way of resources. A paragliding enthusiast needs a fabric wing and a steep hillside slope to launch from, preferably with a nice view. Jamaica has plenty of those. An added attraction, report the students, is that most of Jamaica’s competitors in the Caribbean do not offer the sport to their visitors. The students report on this niche sport and its potential to help diversify what Jamaica offers visitors.


2015 Case Study Winner (Kenya)

Kakamega Tropical Rainforest is the largest Kenyan remnant of a forest that stretched across Africa to the Atlantic Ocean. It is home to 488 bird species, 46 of which are only found in the Kakamega forest; 36 snake species; 21 lizard species; 487 species of butterflies; animals ranging from the Clawless Otter to the Giant Water Shrew. There are any number of massive trees, some over 300 years old, and waterfalls. The problem facing the survival of the forest is that people need work and they need food.

“The people living around it depend on it for timber, fuel wood, herbal medicine, building materials and food,” report the students. “Kakamega Forest, being a biological system, has to remain diverse and productive indefinitely.” They explore what needs to be done.

2015 Case Study Winner (Russia)

The students started thinking how Accessible Adventure Tourism could work for people with health limitations or disabilities in their hometown, Tver. Tver is a 12th century city town with 18th and 19th century architecture, located between Moscow and St. Petersburg on the Volga river. Instead of just thinking about it the students created the Accessible Adventure Cycling Tour, an enterprise with real customers. Creating the business required initial surveys, market research, promotion, an action plan, training, creative itineraries, and activities. And then there was equipment to adapt: bicycles, tricycles and wheelchairs. Customers of course need to be trained. The students were helped by school friends, teachers and their school’s administrators. Also “we were really lucky with enthusiastic response from the city administration, travel & tourism businesses, medical and social care institutions and NGOs who were eager to help us,” the students report. They can handle 10-15 riders per tour. Their customers write rave reviews about the tour.

2015 Case Study Winner (South Africa)

“There are a number of threats caused by adventure tourism activities,” say the students. “Mass tourism can have negative effects. Natural resources can be exploited. Local communities can be influenced negatively.”

The students examine Storms River Adventures, a well-established firm located in Tsitsikamma in the Eastern Cape Province, to see how it deals with the three potential threats.

They examine the ways the company achieves its environmental objectives that include protecting water sources, reducing its carbon footprint and protecting 300-year old trees. Social responsibility activities range from providing free meals for young children who need them to sponsoring veterinary clinics.

2015 Case Study Winner (United Kingdom)

“UK adventure tourism has experienced steady growth over the past 10 years,“ report the students, “ particularly given facilities and infrastructure development, improved access arrangements, more aggressive marketing and information provision.”

The students review “how different companies contribute in making UK adventure tourism more sustainable.” The four organizations selected, say the students, “are recognized at both local and national levels for their contribution to the promotion of sustainable tourism.”

Examined are: “Go Ape,” one of the UK’s fastest-growing outdoor adventure tourist parks, with 54 sites nationwide; “Wilderness Scotland, winners of two awards; “Nevis Range,” a government-run organization, and “ Haggis Adventures,” a family-run organization.

2015 Canada Research Award

2015 Case Study Winner (Canada)

The students explored Pure Life Paddle Boards, a business in Chilliwack, British Columbia, to see how its owner, Ken Larsen, works to achieve social, environmental and economic sustainability, also known as The 3 Pillars of Sustainability. He works hard.

As one of the students reports, “Through this project I have learned how complex it is to run a business, how hard it is to pursue the true meaning of the existence of the business, and how much Canada is blessed with nature.”

This is a classic example of looking at big goals through the lens of a small company that practices what others preach.

2014 Winning Case Studies on Technology and Sustainable Tourism

2014 Case Study Winner (Brazil)

Olímpia, population 54,000 is home to a gigantic waterpark. On a typical day, so many visitors arrive that the town’s population almost doubles. However, the region faces a severe drought. Fortunately, waterparks recycle water. One challenge is to reduce visitor water consumption in the town’s hotels, most of which are small or B&Bs. “The use of simple and very cheap technology can help small hotels save water and reduce energy consumption,” the team reported. ”Simple actions can generate great changes.” The team shows how.

2014 Case Study Winner (Canada)

The Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve is a150, 000 hectares (almost 600 square miles) preserve adjacent to the Province of Ontario’s Thousand Islands region. Designated a Biosphere in 2002 by UNESCO, the preserve uses its surroundings as a living laboratory to test and demonstrate the management of land, water and biodiversity. It has three goals: first, provide support for research; secondly, contribute to conservation; third, foster sustainable economic and human development. It is a complicated and challenging task. The team shows why.

2014 Case Study Winner (China)

The team, one member of which had had vacation job with a famous hotel chain, investigated the application of digital and other technology to achieve sustainability goals at hotels in Hangzhou and Qingdao. One hotel is China’s first “smart hotel.” The technology used touches architectural design and local culture; the guest experience; staff efficiency; food and beverage management; water and energy conservation; solid waste management; expense management, and competitive advantage.

2014 Case Study Winner (Hong Kong)

Ocean Park Hong Kong combines an amusement park and its 80 or attractions with a marine animal park, a theme park with animals, and an oceanarium. In 2013 more than 7 million people poured into the park’s 226 acres (91.5 hectares). The students examine technology that improves the visitor experience and improves the way the park manages energy consumption. They also offer suggestions.

2014 Case Study Winner (Hungary)

Visitors come to Sárvár, a pleasant town of about 16,000 people, to visit its spa, castle, churches, arboretum, park and lake. The student team decided to research how smart phones and QR codes are used to market Sárvár’s attractions. Among other things, the team provides a comprehensive briefing on how QR codes work and how useful they are. The team determined that Sárvár and its visitors would benefit from greater use of this technology.

2014 Case Study Winner (Ireland)

Travelers today, report the team, can “take a tour of a city without a tour guide, book a flight with a booking desk, and tell tales of exotic locations without opening their mouths.” This is Ireland in the Age of the App, the mobile digital applications that make smart phones and other mobile devices smart. The team takes us on a tour of Ireland, show us how apps are changing travel and tourism.

2014 Case Study Winner (Jamaica)

The team explored the operations of Chukka Caribbean Adventures, which offers “natural adventures and excursions” ranging from riding horses along the beach to tubing and zip-line rides. Five hundred of the company’s 700 or so employees are in Jamaica. The team reported that the company uses technology to manage water conservation, energy use and waste control. The team noted that the company invests in employee training, hires locally and works with local suppliers.

2014 Case Study Winner (Kenya)

“Transformative technology” is an overused term, but it fits very precisely Kenya’s M-Pesa money transfer service that makes it possible for people without bank accounts or easy access to banks to transfer money and pay for goods and services. It is operated by Safaricom, a mobile phone service provider. Almost half the population of Kenya uses M-Pesa. The students tells us about the impact M-Pesa has had on Kenya’s economy. The “M” in M-Pesa , by the way, stands for “Mobile” and “Pesa” means “money” in Swahili.

2014 Case Study Winner (Russia)

The students came up with the idea of creating a “mash up” or linking together the capabilities of a tablet computer and a Google Glass wearable computer. Tourists could use the mash up to plan their day, including where to visit and where to eat, then use the Google Glass as a personal tour guide as the explore wherever they are. Their case study comes complete with a Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats (S.W.O.T) analysis and a discussion of how to finance the development of their idea.

2014 Case Study Winner (South Africa)

The cliffs of South Africa’s Mossel Bay are home to caves containing stone age technology dating back 170,000 years and human remains from 100,000 years. At the top of the cliffs and stretching back inland is technology dating 8 years: this is where Pinnacle Point Beach and Golf Resort, opened in 2006, is located. The students examine how modern technology can help preserve the stone age technology for scholars and allow the resort to co-exist with this important archaeological site.

2014 Case Study Winner (United Kingdom)

“Our research was focused on exploring the relationship between sustainable tourism and how technology supports it,” wrote the team. The team also wanted to understand how the how the visitor experience was improved. Four local businesses were examined. They ranged from a hotel to a maker of sea salt. One conclusion reached: technology today moves so quickly it outstrips some businesses’ ability to understand how new developments can help them survive.

2013 Winning Case Studies on Culinary/Food Tourism

2013 Case Study Winner (Brazil)

Surrounding the town of Itu are many traditional coffee plantations whose owners have ignored the temptation to sell their properties for housing developments or other urban necessities. These plantations are attractive destinations, and the students set out to find out “Why do the historic farms receive so few tourists?” This is their report.

2013 Case Study Winner (Canada)

The Upper Columbia Valley of British Columbia has all the ingredients needed to create a culinary destination for visitors. Nevertheless “there is a void of culinary tourism opportunities.” The students report on what needs to be done to fix the problem and better serve the area’s already sizeable tourist industry.

2013 Case Study Winner (China)

In Hangzhou, famous for its cuisine, people like to go out into the countryside and blend together a relaxing mix of activities that includes visits to tea plantations, villages and their tea houses, local farm food, ceremonial tea preparation and nature walks. The students explore this “tea culture” and its appeal to both domestic and international visitors.

2013 Case Study Winner (Hong Kong)

There are more than 200 vegetarian restaurants in Hong Kong, and the students report on the wide variety of menu choices now available to visitors. The team believes that interest in vegetarian cuisine is growing rapidly and that this interest could be harnessed to attract more visitors to Hong Kong.

2013 Case Study Winner (Hungary)

The students want to help their hometown of Mor attract more visitors during the periods when the pretty little wine center attracts fewer tourists. They decided to create useful websites in Hungarian and English to let people know about their community, its food, its vineyards, and its culture. If you want to know about where to eat, stay, shop, check it out at

2013 Case Study Winner (Kenya)

Kenya’s traditional cuisine includes such dishes as ugali, githeri, seveve, mursik , matumba, and nyama choma. These are some of the dishes enjoyed by Kenya 42 ethnic groups. “When one tours Kenya a sumptuous culinary experience is always there,” report the students. They describe the dishes, include recipes and recommend places to sample them.

2013 Case Study Winner (Russia)

In 2008 two determined ladies of Kolomna, Natalia Nikitina and Elena Dmitrieva, set out to restore the authentic manufacture of the apple-based delicacy called pastila for which the town was once known. With recipes dating back to the 14th century, pastila takes two days to make by hand. The team examines how the resurrection was accomplished, its associated activities, its impact and its future.

2013 Case Study Winner (South Africa)

The San people of the Kalahari have lived in Southern Africa for some 20,000 years. They are hunter-gatherers and one of their favorite foods is !Nabas or Teresa pfeilii in Latin, a distant relative of that gourmet’s delight, the French black truffle. The students tell us about !Nabas, how they are found and cooked and how they are used as a treat for visitors.

2012 Winning Case Studies on Innovation in Tourism

2012 Case Study Winner (Kenya)

Kenya relies on its scenery and abundant and varied wildlife to attract visitors. The students believe Kenyan tourism would benefit by expanding opportunities for home stays so visitors can experience Kenyan cultures more directly. They examine the positives and negatives of home stays in the Masai and Luo communities and suggest how to improve and expand the home stay experience.

2012 Case Study Winner (Russia)

The team believes that Moscow is ready for and innovative boutique hotel, and they have a historic building in mind to rescue for the role, as well as a proposal for history-based room and food themes, starting with a cave room and ending with “the bedroom of the future.” The study comes complete with surveys and a SWOT (Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats) analysis.

2012 Case Study Winner (South Africa)

The students want to create jobs in their district. They suggest offering tours of a closed gold mine and visits to a Tswana village; rehabilitating a riverside recreation area next door to the mine, and adding a wild game farm and conference center. The combination of new activities and facilities should create a new destination for visitors, and jobs.

2012 Case Study Winner (United Kingdom)

“People with disabilities have the same needs as other tourists, including the need to feel in control of their travel experience,” report the students. Based on their research at two London hotels and a fast-food restaurant, the students have recommendations about training staff in order to improve that travel experience. They also have plans to help make their recommendations a reality.