STEP - Sustainable Tourism and Environment Program


STEP - a catalyst to address tourism issues and opportunities

STEP provides an opportunity to join community and University resources in developing tourism opportunities which enrich our social and cultural heritage, environmental quality, and economic well-being. The primary purpose of STEP is to enhance education by linking theory to practice.

To promote tourism planning and policy in Iowa which supports beneficial social, cultural and environmental relationships in the tourism development process and facilitates the use of sustainable practices within the existing tourism industry.

Sustainable Tourism and Environment Program was established at the University of Northern Iowa to assist industry, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and special interest groups with their tourism development efforts. Tourism is one of the world's largest growth industries. Many states, including Iowa, are developing their visitor industries to diversify and enhance local economies. As with any type of development, tourism development should improve the overall quality of life in Iowa's communities addressing economic well-being, cultural and social support and environmental quality.

The University of Northern Iowa offers an educational program in tourism planning and management within the Leisure, Youth and Human Services Division. Tourism, recreation and leisure are tied to quality of life issues that will determine Iowa's future. STEP is an outgrowth of the Governor's Summit - "Enhancing the Livability of Iowa Communities." STEP, funded by the US Department of Education Fund for the improvement of Post-secondary Education, links practice to theory and the community to the University.