Master Tourism Destination Management

Master
1 year
Full time
English

Future of tourism destinations

Do you want to explore how to shape the future of tourist destinations in a responsible, resilient and sustainable way? Then the Master Tourism Destination Management is for you! 

This programme will equip you as a young professional with the skills, knowledge and tools to tackle complex challenges and opportunities that tourism destinations face. You will learn different perspectives from various stakeholders, such as tourists, locals, businesses, governments and NGOs. You will also apply your learning in practice and conduct field research at four different destinations in the world, experiencing the diversity and cross-cultural dynamics of tourism first-hand. 

Why choose the Master in Tourism Destination Management at BUas?

  • Three months of field research at three different destinations in the world
  • Great opportunity to expand your international network 
  • Internationally acknowledged by UNWTO and THE-ICE

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Study overview

Study programme

Tourism remains 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 - of tourists in the areas of origin - and supply - at the tourism destinations - continues to be a challenge for many organisations.

Knowledge of the tourism destination

The tourism industry and tourism destinations frequently experience rapid changes in markets and business models, often in response to social and economic processes occurring in the wider world. Effective management of this type of change and building resilient businesses and destinations requires knowledge and expertise, which is closely interwoven with the destination areas themselves. The Master in Tourism Destination Management has been designed to contribute to this, focusing on practice, perspectives and tourism management policies at destinations.

Study at four locations in the world

This programme offers you the opportunity to study at four different locations in the world so that you will obtain wide-ranging intercultural experience and develop in-depth knowledge of tourism destinations. Each destination finds itself in a different stage of development. You will carry out research at three different destinations. In previous years destinations were: Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, France and Malta.

Course details

The programme is structured into three phases. The first phase in Breda, with a clear emphasis on theory, is considered to be the preparation for the second and third phase. The second phase takes place at three different types of tourism destinations. It has a focus on the tourism practice under different circumstances and you will work in international student research teams. In the final phase, you will write your final thesis in which practice and theory should be brought together, striving towards new insights, theories or generalisations.

The programme covers 12 months and it comprises three phases:

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 in group projects, as well as in individual assignments. Courses are given by lecturers, along with an interesting team of visiting lecturers from international organisations and universities. Some courses will take you for a company visit or assignment on the spot. The workload is 40 hours per week. 

The first phase covers the following subjects: 

  • Destination Stakeholders and Policy (6 ECTS credits)   
  • Contemporary Marketing, Context and Trends (6 ECTS credits) 
  • Destination Development, Finance and Organisation (6 ECTS credits) 
  • Context Related Research (4 ECTS credits) 
  • Cross Cultural Studies (3 ECTS credits) 
  • Research Process & Methods (3 ECTS credits) 
  • Team Performance and Creative Leadership (2 ECTS credits)
Phase 2 - Field research

In the second phase, you will carry out assignments at three different locations around the globe. These assignments are created by lecturers in cooperation with stakeholders involved in developments of tourist destinations in the region. The students will have to embed themselves into a foreign culture in order to get the desired contextual information. Each group is assigned a different stakeholder perspective and has to do research on the possible, probable, or preferable future of their area/district/region.  

We try to select a great variety in destinations that are familiar with developments and dynamics, have many contacts with businesses, government institutions and universities of applied sciences, where research can be done in English, and that offer cultural differences.  

The final decision on the mix of destinations will be determined after the start of the programme. In the past we have visited, amongst others, Australia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Chambery, Malta, Singapore. 

Phase 3 - Final thesis

By writing a final thesis during the last phase of the programme, you will apply your research skills and demonstrate a true understanding of tourism destination management from a professional and academic point of view. A final thesis is an individual assignment, carefully supervised by one of our lecturers. 

Subjects 
Writing a final thesis is a major commitment in terms of time and energy. The subject, as a consequence, often personally motivates and interests the student and (new) ideas of students can be openly discussed with our staff. Already in phase I you will be asked to come up with a topic and start writing your research proposal. In principle the thesis subject should be a topic or an issue in an international tourism context. The final thesis should be written in English, unless another language is really more appropriate. Some examples of recent theses: 

  • Strengthening bridges - How a Dutch tour operator can improve its collaboration with their Indonesian partners 
  • Development and Implication of Smart City Practices in Rural Destinations. How can regenerative tourism possibly happen? 
  • Experiences and motives behind tourists' choice of destinations with paranormal activity - a case study of Hoia Baciu Forest, Romania 
  • More examples can be found here.

Cooperation with an external commissioner
You can opt for writing your thesis in close cooperation with an external commissioner. This enables you to closely cooperate with an international tourism organisation, thus adding an extra and professional dimension to the research project. However, many students write an independent research thesis and travel to a tourism destination to study their subject in-depth. 

Research location
Conducting research and writing a final thesis in this third phase can be done anywhere in the world. The final (oral) exam takes place in the Netherlands. The majority of the students graduates by the end of August, which makes this programme a fulltime, 12 months programme.

 

Study load and coaching

The Master Tourism Destination Management is a one-year, full-time programme. The total study load is 60 ECTS credits. To give you an idea: 1 ECTS credit equals approximately 28 hours of study a week.

We offer you a small-scale study environment. The number of students involved in this master's programme differs every year between 30 and 45 up to 50 students. Whenever possible the class will be split up for workshops, consultancy sessions and other group work. For questions on the content of the programme, lecturers can be easily reached. In addition, the master's coordinator is available to help with day-to-day issues. If you wish to discuss personal problems that may be affecting your life as a student, you can turn to the student counsellor.

Learn, grow and reach milestones

The most significant part of the course I teach is that it guides students in critical thinking and makes them aware of what’s going on in the world and in all kinds of tourism destinations. Its goal is to build problem-solving skills in a methodical manner. I teach students to welcome difficulties, learn from mistakes, and perceive mistakes as chances for progress. It gives me great joy to watch students learn, grow, and reach their milestones.

Rami Isaac

Lecturer Master Tourism Destination Management

Maximising the positives, minimising the negatives

“I knew that after finishing my studies, I wanted to return to my home country and actively participate in the functioning of tourism in our capital city. One of the biggest challenges in my work is fulfilling the tourism strategy and values of the city – maximising the positives of tourism and minimising the negatives associated with it. The master’s was an excellent preparation for the intricacies of destination management, introducing me to trends that are embraced by most of the leading European tourist cities. My focus on marketing was significantly bolstered by the course on Contemporary Marketing, Context & Trends, which I found incredibly engaging and which outlined the direction I wanted to take within tourism.” 

Julie Teclová

Marketing Specialist for Prague City Tourism

You learn to use your talents better

I work as a Product Manager at Silverjet Vacations, we specialise in luxury holidays. I am responsible for the hotels in Asia and Malta. I select, inspect, negotiate and ensure proper marketing in collaboration with all hotels. During this master’s, you also work with people with different backgrounds and qualities. You learn to use your talents better, recognise your weaknesses and overall it makes you flexible. You also learn to approach stakeholders for interviews, developing strong networking skills. Very useful in my work environment, literally! I once stood on top of a mountain in the French Alps with my feet in the snow for an interview.

Joost Bouwmeester

Product Manager at Silverjet Vacations

Admission

Students are eligible if they hold a bachelor’s degree (BA, BSc., BBA, B Com), for example in the fields of tourism, hotel management, international business, management, economics, law, e-commerce, urban development, geography, social sciences or finance.

Please check out the full admission requirements.

Application

If you meet the admission requirements, you are invited to apply for this programme. Please check out the application procedure.

Costs 

In the academic year 2024-2025 the statutory tuition fee for master's programmes is €2,530. In addition to the tuition fee, you will need to take into account additional costs for the purchase of study materials such as textbooks. Read more about study costs.

Your career

Graduates of the Master Tourism Destination Management are entitled to the degree of Master of Arts and qualified for international policy and advisory positions, international management positions and research positions.

Like to know more? After your Master Tourism Destination Management.