Open Access

Perception of events management students in relation to environmental sustainability: case study in Portugal


Tourist-oriented events have relevant impacts on the dimension of environmental sustainability. Without proper planning, those impacts could manifest as harm to the surrounding environment. An effective measure for dealing with these impacts is the appropriate education of event managers. By shaping visitors’ perceptions as they are formed, it is possible for such events to transmit values and knowledge about environmental concerns, leading to future action and the creation of sustainable events that can make a difference.

This research examined event management students’ perceptions of environmental sustainability, their most important values, and whether they incorporated them into their event-organisation practices. With the development of a theoretical framework, an empirical investigation was implemented through a qualitative analysis based on interviews with nine groups of Portuguese students who were in their final academic year. Direct observations were also conducted at six events.

The results revealed a positive correlation between environmental concerns and the academic training of these future event managers. Crucially, behaviours that students exhibit and their beneficial effects lead to their effectiveness in practice, which may be reflected in their future work activity.