This fall, the Department of Sociology at UAH will offer a brand-new 300-level course on the sociology of tourism and travel. The impetus, says associate professor Dr. Bhavani Sitaraman, was twofold: first, to expand the department's curricular offerings, and second, to enhance students' understanding of the social dimensions and consequences of tourism around the world. &quot;Tourism is a multi-trillion dollar industry that generates significant employment and pleasure, but it is also an important phenomenon that teaches us a lot about the nature of work, leisure, consumption, and culture in modern societies,&quot; says Dr. Sitaraman. &quot;At an individual level, critical knowledge about how tourism works can foster responsible tourism where we all benefit from travel that enhances cultural understanding, economic development, and environmental conservation.&quot; Thus by exploring interactions between tourists and non-tourists, the creation and designation of tourist sites, and the social, economic, and environmental impact of tourism on destinations, students are afforded the opportunity to engage with the world as an educated and cosmopolitan citizen. And that's of value not just to the students themselves, points Dr. Sitaraman, but also to future employers. &quot;Many students today are encouraged to study abroad and be prepared to live and work with a global consciousness,&quot; she says.