M.A. Tourism Destination Management

NHTV Breda University of Applied Sciences

Application deadline: 1st July for Dutch and EEA students; 1st June for non-EEA students
Tuition fee:
  • Ä 9,230 / Year (EEA)
Start date: September  2015
Credits (ECTS): 68 ECTS
Duration full-time: 12 months
Languages:
  • English
Location:
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time
More information: Go to university website

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Description

International professionals in tourism can make a big difference: the difference between profit and loss, between chaos and structure, a difference for the tourists as well as the local people. Organisations involved in tourism at tourism destinations are looking for well educated professionals. People, who are able to analyse, interpret and apply the global developments that take place and translate these into new opportunities and solutions.

Focus

Tourism has developed into a dynamic and fast growing sector, creating an interdisciplinary field of study and research. The tourism industry offers economic benefits, growth and opportunities for people and businesses in destination areas. At the same time, matching demand (tourists) and supply (destinations) remains a challenge. The position of the destination areas is becoming more and more important. This master in Tourism Destination Management is designed to contribute to this, focusing on practice, perspectives and policies of tourism management at destinations.

Your career?

This masterís programme offers graduates the required qualifications for international managerial and consultancy positions with private, public or non-profit organisations in the tourism sector. Graduates qualify for international:

  • management positions
  • consultancy positions
  • policy and advisory positions
  • research positions

Why study Tourism Destination Management at NHTV Breda

  • an extensive international network through a 40-year tradition in tourism education
  • one of the leading and specialised institutions in the field of tourism studies in the world
  • focusing on practice, perspectives and policies of developments of and at tourism destinations
  • studying together with fellow students from so many different nationalities representing so many different perspectives is possibly the strongest resource you can make use of
  • certified by the UN World Tourism Organization

Career examples

Graduates of Tourism Destination Management qualify for:

International Policy & Advisory positions

  • international advisory functions related to feasibility analysis of investment projects, business strategy and market penetration or development
  • public strategic functions in the field of development and management of (tourism) destination areas
  • advisory and management functions in the field of visitor management in urban areas, theme parks and nature reserves
  • strategic advisory functions

International Management positions

  • international (growth related) management functions in internationally operating businesses (like service companies, hotel chains, tour operators, airline companies)
  • international Marketing Management functions, with destination management organisations or (tourism) marketing consultancy agencies
  • international Consultancy positions, either project-based or permanently in commercial consulting or international development organisations

Research positions

  • research functions in the area of international (new) market development, market segmentation or market potential analysis
  • research functions with branch organisations such as WTO, PATA, Govt. Tourism Boards and Destination Management / Marketing Organisations
  • external advisory functions in the area of international corporate, financial and organisational development for small and medium-sized companies

Contents

Developments in Tourism Destination Management

Tourism has developed into a dynamic and fast growing sector, creating an interdisciplinary field of study and research. The tourism industry offers economic benefits, growth and opportunities for people and businesses in destination areas. At the same time, matching demand (tourists) and supply (destinations) remains a challenge. It will always lead to a permanent but fluctuating flow of consumers to and from the destination areas. In tourism, as opposed to nearly all other economic goods and services, it is not the goods and services, but the consumers who are Ďdistributedí. Without trivialising the role and the importance of the tourist as a consumer, it is clear that the position of the destination areas is becoming more and more important.

The role of a Tourism Destination Manager

The commercial position of tour operators in the areas of origin (tourism markets) is under pressure from an increasingly empowered position of the suppliers of tourism products and services at the destination. It is expected that a shift of power will take place from the tour operators in the market areas towards the operators of tourism products and services at the destination areas. This requires knowledge and expertise, which is closely interwoven with the destination areas themselves. This master in Tourism Destination Management is designed to contribute to this, focusing on practice, perspectives and policies of tourism management at destinations.

Aim of the programme

This master's programme offers graduates the required qualifications for international managerial and consultancy positions with private, public or non-profit organisations in the tourism sector. Graduates qualify for international positions, such as:

  • Management positions
  • Consultancy positions
  • Policy & Advisory positions
  • Research positions

Course details

The curriculum is subdivided into three phases. The first phase in Breda, with a clear emphasis on theory, is considered to be the preparation for the second phase which will take place on three different types of tourism destinations. This second phase has a focus on the tourism practice under different circumstances and you will work in international student research teams. In the final phase, the dissertation is written in which practice and theory should be brought together and in which is strived towards new insights, theories or generalisations.

Phase 1 - Theory in Breda
Phase 2 - Practice at three different types of tourism destinations around the world
Phase 3 - Dissertation (Final Thesis)

Phase 1: Theory in Breda

During the first phase, you will gain theoretical knowledge and develop your professional skills. This enables you to effectively analyse the current situation and available potential for development strategies at various tourism destinations. Destination theories, models, developments and practical cases will be studied. Courses are given by lecturers, along with an interesting team of visiting lecturers from international organisations and universities. Students interact on a daily basis with this specialised team of academics and tourism professionals.

  1. Destination specific tourism subjects focusing on theoretical knowledge and tourism practice
  • Destination Stakeholder Analysis (3 ECTS)
  • Destination Cultural Analysis (3 ECTS)
  • Destination Development Strategies (3 ECTS)
  • Tourism Destination Finance (3 ECTS)
  • Tourism Destination Marketing (3 ECTS)

General context related subjects with a focus on knowledge and actual issues

  • International Tourism Context (3 ECTS)
  • International Project Management (3 ECTS)
  • International Tourism Research (3 ECTS)

Schematic overview of Phase 1

The following scheme is a representation of the cohesion between the various courses and how they are related to the tourism environment.

Phase 2: Fieldwork

In the second phase you will carry out assignments at three different locations in the Asia Pacific. These assignments are written by the staff in cooperation with stakeholders involved in developments of and at tourist destinations in this region. The Asia Pacific has been selected because of the:

  • great familiarity of the staff with the area
  • many contacts with businesses, governmental institutions and academies
  • familiarity with developments and dynamics
  • many variations in culture
  • ever changing combinations of Western and Eastern influences

Three different locations in the Asia Pacific region

This fieldwork research project is an important, if not crucial part of the programme. You carry out field research and consultancy assignments at three different locations in the Asia Pacific region. These destinations vary each year. Students visit:

  • an area with a typical tourist character (e.g. Bali, Phuket)
  • an urban area with tourism development (e.g. Singapore, Brisbane)
  • a rural area with existing but limited tourism developments (e.g. Palawan / Phillipines, Da Nang / Vietnam)

Practical team assignments

Through these assignments theoretical insights come together with professional skills in management and research. You will also interact with stakeholders at a professional and managerial level as you work in close cooperation with professional and well-known tourism organisations in this area.

The assignments are based on complex subjects relevant to each destination. Based on an initial briefing document, you conduct research, use theory and international case studies, after which you present your advice to stakeholders. These presentations offer a great opportunity for professional interaction and discussion between students, staff and stakeholder representatives.

Phase 3: Dissertation

By writing a dissertation during the last phase of the programme, you apply your research skills and demonstrate a true understanding of tourism destination management from a professional and academic point of view. You are required to demonstrate critical analysis and evaluation. The dissertation uses concepts, insights and practical abilities to develop a better understanding of the subject under investigation. A dissertation is an individual assignment, carefully supervised by one of the NHTV lecturers.

Final thesis

Producing a dissertation is an independent process. While producing you demonstrate your ability to do research and understand a topic of your choice in the field of your preceding education in and outside NHTV. This challenge, when undertaken thoroughly, can be a difficult but a very rewarding one as well.

Dissertation subjects

A dissertation is a major commitment of time and energy. The dissertation subject, as a consequence, often personally motivates and interests the student and (new) ideas of students can be openly discussed with the NHTV staff. In principle the dissertation subject should be a topic or an issue in an international tourism context. Students have to ensure, however, that the research idea is both appropriate and feasible. The dissertation should be written in English, unless another language is really more appropriate.

Cooperation with an external commissioner

You can opt for writing a dissertation in close cooperation with an external commissioner. This enables you to closely cooperate with international tourism organisations and therefore adds an additional and professional dimension to the research project. However, many students write an independent research and travel to a tourism destination to study their subject in-depth. Working without an external commissioner often ensures a more independent, and also critical, research product with interesting academic views.

Location of research

Conducting a research and writing a dissertation in this third phase can be done anywhere in the world. The final (oral) examination takes place in the Netherlands.

Requirements

If you want to apply for this programme, you should have a bachelorís degree, preferably a Bachelor of Business Administration, for example in the field of tourism management, leisure management, hotel management, economics, commerce, general management or finance. Bachelorís students with such a BBA degree are directly eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • knowledge (bachelorís level) of tourism planning and development

  • knowledge (bachelorís level) of cross-cultural studies

  • academic skills at bachelorís level (e.g. methods and researching techniques)

Additional criteria

Applicants who do not have a BBA degree, but who hold a bachelorís degree in another field of study (e.g. arts, law, cultural studies, social sciences) may also be considered for admission. However, additional criteria will be applied in selecting these students:

  • knowledge (bachelorís level) of financial management

  • knowledge (bachelorís level) of marketing

  • knowledge (bachelorís level) of tourism planning and development

  • knowledge (bachelorís level) of cross cultural studies

  • academic study and research skills (bachelorís level) including abstract and critical thinking

For these students, demonstrable and relevant working experience could support the application. If the above mentioned criteria are not met, a self-study package can be requested.

Test Of English as a Foreign Language

As a non-native speaker of English, you must also show sufficient results of one of these tests:

  • TOEFL test (minimum score 80 internet-based and minimum sub score for Speaking 20)

  • IELTS test (minimum overall band score 6.0 and a minimum sub score for Speaking 6.0)

  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate

With an appropriate diploma you may be exempted from the obligation of taking a language test.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6
TOEFL iBT® test: 80

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