Tourism Management course overview
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.
Semester 1: Unpacking Tourism
In the first semester the focus lies on analysing a travel destination of choice in the Netherlands. You look at the destination from different perspectives of tourism and create an overview of the destination’s main stakeholders. By examining the destination and the stakeholders in a new way, you get to understand the basic principles of tourism. You forecast the future of the destination on the basis of an extensive trend analysis that not only considers trends and developments but also sustainability.
Semester 2: Innovations and Marketing
In the second semester you and your project team develop an innovative product for a tourism client. You put yourself in the shoes of the target group and draw up the customer journey. You then create a unique and meaningful experience to meet their needs, for instance using innovative tools such as virtual reality or a personalised app. You also develop a clear marketing strategy for placing the product innovation on the market and draw up a creative and effective online marketing campaign.
Semester 1: Rethinking Tourism Destinations
In the first semester, you will further explore how travel destinations are organised and learn how to look at them from a different perspective. Travel destinations are managed just the same as a business or organisation and dedicated destination management Organisations (DMO) study questions such as: how can a destination continue to be attractive for local residents and tourists? How do you ensure the sustainable management of the environment and culture? How do you deal with growing numbers of tourists, and what opportunities are there for future development? Your project team will be linked to a DMO and you investigate potential tourism developments, developing different scenarios for the destination.
Semester 2: Managing Talents and Satisfaction
Creating attractive tourism services and collaborating and managing an organisation are important elements of this semester. You and your fellow students will develop a short trip that you will experience yourself. You will also learn how to find and train the right people for a position and develop their commitment to the company.
You will also learn a second language in this semester.
Semester 1: Revaluing the Tourism Future
This semester focuses on strategic management and working with professionals from other tourism organisations. You will develop your own vision of the field and you will be challenged to apply the knowledge you’ve gained so as to develop innovative sustainable solutions. You will also study subjects such as research, strategic management, trend analysis and scenario planning.
Semester 2: Choosing a minor
You can 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
- Scenario planning
- Strategic management
You will develop yourself the following skills:
- Critical thinking & problemsolving
- Management & change agent skills
- Research skills
- Communication skills
- Cross-cultural management skills
In addition, you will study additional subjects such as research, marketing, communication and business economics.
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.
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
At Tourism Management, you carry out assignments for real clients. First-year Tourism students worked, for example, on the following assignment: How can you innovate the tourist product of a campground, museum or hotel-restaurant, taking into account the wishes of the tourist, the current conditions, and with respect for the environment?