Tourism Management

(B Tourism Management), Bachelor’s Degree (4 years), Full-time

Do you have an interest in tourism that extends beyond sunshine, beaches and palm trees? Are you creative and communicative, with a passion for foreign cultures? Do you like to get things done and see projects through from start to finish? If your answer is ‘yes’, Tourism Management could be just the course you are looking for!

  • Earn your bachelor’s degree in just 3 years – followed by a 1-year master’s degree (optional).
  • Strong focus on sustainable tourism
  • You will work on real-life cases for partners from the industry.
  • In the third year go can choose to study abroad either by going on Grand Tour to one of our campuses in South Africa, Thailand or Bali or by participating in the exchange programme at one of our many Exchange partners.
  • Complete your course with a 7-month international internship.
  • The programme is closely linked to the European Tourism Future Institute (ETFI) of NHL Stenden. ETFI is the specialist in future studies and scenario planning for leisure and tourism.

Curious about the experiences of our students & teachers? Meet us here



  • Bachelor of Arts

Study start

  • February
  • September


  • Leeuwarden


  • English

Standard duration

4 years


This course amounts to a total of 240 ECTS.


  • EU students (per year) € 1.084,-
  • NON-EU students (per year) €8,350
View all costs

Application deadlines

EU: 15 January /15 August
Non-EU: 31 October /31 May
More information


The bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management is a worldwide recognised degree. You will qualify for a varied range of management, administrative and consultancy roles in the tourism industry across the globe. Potential future employers include tour operators like TUI and Thomas Cook, city branding companies, theme parks, cruise lines, airlines and government organisations. The course also provides you with the skills needed to start your own business.

Why we need Tourism professionals now more than ever?

These are challenging but exciting times for all of us, holding many new opportunities for the future. A future, that calls for resourceful professionals who understand the dynamics of the Tourism industry, and dare to think out of the box to find innovative solutions.

No day is ever the same!

As a tourism professional, you will specialise in travel products and services, acting as a central point of contact in a job that is different every day. The principles of sustainable tourism form the backbone of this programme. You learn everything about the impact of tourism on different cultures, the environment and the economic needs that play a central role in tourist destination. You have inspiring ideas about sustainable tourism concepts and know how to respond to changing trends in the industry.

Careers open to you after graduation include:

  • Procurement Manager
  • Marketing and Communication Manager
  • Contracting Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Events Manager
  • Regional Manager at a travel agency
  • Sales Manager
  • Governmental Policy Officer 

Admission requirements

Academic Requirements

To be admitted to one of our 4-year bachelor programmes, you will need to meet the admission requirements as outlined in Dutch Higher Education law. For a 4 -year bachelor programme at NHL Stenden, you need a diploma that is at least equivalent to an NLQF 4/EQF 4 level (Dutch/European Qualifications Framework)* and comparable to the required Dutch diploma.

The Central Student Administration at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences carries out an assessment on every individual application to our 4-year bachelor programmes. It generally recognises the international qualifications listed here**

If the qualification you will obtain or have obtained is not listed as a recognised qualification, you may still be eligible to study at NHL Stenden and should also apply for the programme through Studielink. Your qualifications will be assessed by an Admissions Officer at the Central Student Administration (CSA) department at NHL Stenden once you have submitted your application.

If it is unclear what the equivalent level of your secondary school diploma is within the Dutch education system, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences will have your diploma evaluated by Nuffic, a Dutch organisation specialised in the assessment of international qualifications. For an indication of how your educational system compares to the Dutch system, please visit the Nuffic website.

* The European Qualifications Framework (EQF) is a tool for understanding and comparing qualifications awarded in different countries and by different education and training systems. Its eight levels are described in terms of learning outcomes: knowledge, skills and competences. The levels of the Dutch Qualification Framework (NLQF) are linked to the levels of the EQF.

** All applications are assessed on an individual basis by the Central Student Administration (CSA) even if your diploma is listed as a recognised qualification. Although this document has been composed carefully by NHL Stenden, rights cannot be derived from this overview.

All non-EU/EEA applicants are required to submit an English proficiency test with their application to show that their English language skills are at a high enough level to succeed in their studies.

Exceptions can be made for students who have had their preparatory education in a country where English is the only official educational language.

If you are applying for a bachelor degree and hold a diploma from a European institution listed here, and English was included as part of the final exam curriculum, then the additional English language test is not required. The same applies to students who have attained General Certificates of Secondary Education (enough O and A/AS levels with the sufficient score), the European Baccalaureate Certificate, International Baccalaureate Diploma, or an IB career-related programme taught fully in English.

All other applicants need to submit a valid and adequate English language test result with their application.

NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences accepts four kinds of official language tests in accordance with the Code of Conduct International Student in Dutch Higher Education:
• Academic IELTS 6.0 ** (with an advised minimum of 5.0 for each skill) 
• TOEFL 550 ** (paper-based), 213 (computer-based) or 80 (internet-based). Original test results must be sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to NHL Stenden. The TOEFL institution code for NHL Stenden is C652. 
• Cambridge ESOL score FCE-C (169, or higher). 
• TOEIC *670 (Listening and Reading) and 290 (Speaking and Writing). 

*We only accept TOEIC® certificates from public programs and not from institutional programs. Public programs are organized in public centers and delivers an official score report which is recognized worldwide.
** IELTS, TOEFL and TOEIC certificates more than 2 years old (at the start date of the study), will not be accepted. 

View the comparison of the different scores.

Please note: If you do not yet have the necessary level in English, you may enrol in our Preparatory English Language Course.

3 Year Track programme

Students with an appropriate high school level diploma (entry level for academic universities) may be eligible to follow a 3 Year Track Programme

Short Track

Have you previously done a tourism-related programme or do you have experience in this area? Then you may be eligible to do the Short Track course. This enables international students to obtain a bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management in a shorter amount of time, by having their prior learning and work experience accredited. The programme duration can be reduced to 1.5, 2 or 3 years, depending on your previous experience and qualifications. 

The programme’s Admissions Committee decides whether students qualify for the Short Track programme on an individual basis. Please contact for further information.


“It’s interesting to learn about sustainability and implementing it in our work”

After your studies

If you would like to continue your studies after your bachelor’s degree and specialise further, we recommend that you enrol in one of our master programmes:

Should you choose the minor Tourism Geography & Planning during your bachelor programme, then you may enrol in the Cultural Geography Master at the University of Groningen.

About the course

The Tourism Management programme provides a strong focus on sustainable tourism. You will learn all about the cultural and environmental impact of tourism, as well as the economic interests that come into play, in other words: how you can use commercial services in developing destinations.

First Year: Introduction to the industry

In the first semester you will discover the fundamentals of the tourism industry, including the role of nature, organisations, markets and other aspects of tourism. You will also work in a group on a large tourism fair project in which you will represent a travel destination that you have explored in detail. Lectures and workshops are your sources of inspiration and support.

In the second semester, you will explore tourism products in more depth and investigate how online marketing can be used to present them to market. Assessing tourism products and carrying out product innovation for a particular target group form a part of the project in the second half of your first year. Again, subjects such as research, communication and finance & control will provide the necessary insights

You will explore the sustainability aspects of tourism, how to find the right balance between people, planet and profit (aka the ‘triple bottom line’) and how to use various marketing tools to promote specific destinations. The course also takes an in-depth look at tour operating and service management.

In the second year, you will develop and broaden your knowledge of certain aspects of the tourism industry, in particular the marketing and management of travel destinations. You will also learn about tourism organisations, HRM, culture and nature. Practical assignments and field trips play a larger role in the second year and you can take elective subjects such as Spanish.

This year will focus on strategic management and collaboration with other tourism organisations. You will get to further develop your research skills and potential and conduct a significant piece of research in a group of four to five students. You then choose two electives (minor subjects) to specialise in a specific area of tourism management. You have the opportunity to do these minors at any of our campus sites in the Netherlands, Indonesia (Bali), South Africa or Thailand (we refer to this as the ‘Grand Tour’) or spend a semester abroad at one of more than 200 partner universities of applied sciences. 

The fourth and final year of your course is where you get to put to practice everything you have learned so far. You will complete a 7-month or 30-week internship anywhere in the world. Finally, you will write your  dissertation to prove your academic capabilities to analyse and translate industry-related problems and present feasible solutions.

You will learn more about the following themes:

  • Sustainability & responsible tourism 
  • Change management
  • Consumer behaviour
  • (Online) marketing
  • Experience marketing
  • Tour operating
  • Tourism products innovation & development 
  • Human Resource Management
  • Business Economics
  • Strategic management

You will develop yourself in the following skills

  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking & problemsolving
  • Management & change agent skills
  • Research skills
  • Communication skills
  • Cross-cultural management skills
  • Co-creation


Tourism Management is a broad-ranging course. In your third year, you will have the option to specialise by taking a number of minors: these are electives in which you focus on a specific subject or expand your knowledge by taking an additional subject. This allows you to truly take charge of your education by ‘customising’ your course.

You can take these minors in the Netherlands or at one of the international campus sites located in South Africa, Thailand or Indonesia (we call this the Grand Tour). You may also choose from minors offered by other courses and universities of applied sciences – this is all part of broadening your academic skills.

Some of the minors that you can choose from are:

Heritage Experience Management (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands):

Focuses on the management of natural and cultural heritage. Next to researching the tourist possibilities, students also focus on maintaining and protecting this heritage. On behalf of local companies, students work on – for example - the development of an app or an experience related to heritage.

Outdoor Leadership and Adventure (Leeuwarden, the Netherlands):

Focuses on planning and guiding/managing outdoor activities. Think of climbing, mountain biking, survival, etc. You learn in practice what it takes to be an entrepreneur in this industry; how do you set up a business, what does it mean to be a leader, which problems, opportunities and challenges do you have to face and how do you handle these? You will also learn to understand, develop and deploy sustainable tourism products and innovative strategies. 

Community-Based Tourism (Thailand):

Focuses on small-scale tourism in developing countries in cooperation with development organisations and the tourism industry. Read more about Community-Based Tourism

International Destination Branding:

Explores how events are used to create a brand identity and, as a result, make a destination competitive.

Tourism Geography & Planning (Leeuwarden):

A new pre-master programme on Geography and Tourism. The programme consists of two minors and a dissertation and is offered in cooperation with the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG). After completion of this pre-master programme and the bachelor's degree, students may directly enrol in the Cultural Geography Master programme offered by the RUG. 

Research and practice 

You will gain substantial practical experience in your chosen field throughout your studies. You do this for example by taking on practical assignments from companies, our various departments and our ETFI research institute or the Centre of Expertise for Leisure, Tourism and Hospitality (CELTH), of which this course forms part. You will also go on several international field trips during your course. 

In order to share research data and knowledge within the education system and the professional field, a large team of researchers are affiliated with the course, along with three NHL Stenden departments. These departments include: 

  • Sustainable Innovation in the Regional Knowledge Economy 
  • Marine Wetland Studies 
  • Scenario Planning 

Recognised all over the world  
In April 2017 The Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) awarded the NHL Stenden programme in Tourism Management the ‘Sustainable Development’ seal of approval. The organisation grants these seals of approval to educational programmes which have performed exceptionally in a specific area. 
THE-ICE accreditation  
The Tourism and Hospitality Management programme at NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences successfully completed the accreditation process for the International Accreditation Standards of Excellence. NHL Stenden is a full member of the International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE) and is the first institution in the Netherlands and the second in Europe to receive this accreditation. This confirms that NHL Stenden is committed to excellent education in tourism and hospitality, as well as to internationalisation. 

Research and practical experience

You will acquire substantial practical experience in your chosen field throughout your studies, for example through assignments completed for companies, our research groups and our European Tourism Future Institute (ETFI) research institute or Centre of Expertise Leisure (CELTH). You will also go on several international field trips during your course.

International Opportunities

The Bachelor’s programme in Tourism Management has received the following accreditations and quality labels:

  • Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO)
    The NVAO issued a unique “sustainable development” award in April 2017 to the Tourism Management Bachelor course at NHL Stenden.

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Education concept

Design Based Education

All NHL Stenden programmes are working towards a system of Design Based Education (DBE), which puts co-creation with professionals in the field front and centre. You will be working in small teams of students, teachers, researchers, and industry professionals. Tourism Management introduces DBE as from September 2020.