Tourism Management

4-year professional bachelor’s programme | English-taught

Working on innovation in Tourism

Can you provide people with an awesome travel experience and at the same time be considerate of the natural environment and the local population? Would you like to dive into the adventurous world of tourism, recreation and hospitality? Welcome aboard the professional bachelor’s programme in Tourism Management in Breda! 

Our travel behaviour - as well as the way we organise our holidays - is changing. How is the tourism sector responding to these changes? How can you reconcile environmental interests with local business interests? What can you do with technology and how do you create an optimal customer experience? You will learn all about this in our vibrant international community!

Why choose BUas?

  • Focus on sustainable tourism, social impact, digitisation, and experience design
  • Options, so you can shape your studies to fit your own interests
  • 55 years of experience with an extensive international network for placements and exchanges

Zoom in on our professional bachelor's programme Tourism Management

Programme content

Study trips and work placements

Student city Breda

Campus favourites

Our introduction event

Tourism campus vlog

The right choice?

Do you want to know if Tourism Management is the right study choice for you?

Within five minutes you will find out if this hbo programme is the right fit for you!


Take the quiz

Hospitality, leisure and tourism quiz

Study overview

During your studies, you will work together with industry professionals in an international learning environment. In this ‘learning community’, learning takes place in an active and social process of collaborative learning, in which students, lecturers and industry professionals are the driving force. You will work on real assignments for real companies. What’s more, you will learn how things work in practice through company visits, excursions, work placements and a field trip. 

The world is changing rapidly and as a professional in the tourism and recreation industry, you must be able to apply new technologies in your (commercial) activities in a socially responsible and sustainable manner. With a proactive and inquisitive attitude, you will learn to apply broad-minded and innovative thinking.  

Year 1

Year 1 is made up of 12 modules spread over six six-week blocks. You will also be taught English and one other modern foreign language. You can choose from French, German or Spanish. Your choice depends on your entry level and whether there are enough applicants to offer that language course.

The modules focus on the travel industry, the recreation sector and tourism destinations, covering topics such as sustainability, online marketing, financial management and consumer behaviour. You can find more information about this in the condensed version of the study guide about the first year of this degree programme.

BUas Curriculum ITM year 1

Click image to enlarge

Year 2

In year 2 you will further explore the tourism industry. You will have extensive exposure to the international travel and airline industry, the leisure and hospitality world, and you will deal with all the challenges faced by destinations near and far.  

The year consists of six blocks of six weeks each, with three modules per block. In addition, you will take English classes and one other modern language course. 

In the second year you will delve into subjects such as the impact of tourism on a destination, trends and developments in the field of tourism, marketing and technology, online consumer behaviour with a focus on social media, and you will learn who the aviation and travel industry players are.  

More information about all courses can be found in the study guide.

You will be guided by a coach by means of individual talks and workshops centred on the Student Profile Analysis. This is a report that gives you insight into your behaviour, motivation and talents. As a result, you will get to know yourself and your qualities better, allowing you to make better choices in the future.  

BUas Curriculum ITM year 2

Click image to enlarge

Specialization: Aviation

From September 2023 you can opt for the new Aviation track within the Tourism Management course. Do you want to get started with the challenges in aviation? You will read more here soon.

Specialization: Attractions & Theme Parks Management

In year 2 you can specialise in Attractions & Theme Parks Management. This is an English-taught study track that you will complete in years 2 and 3, together with students from Leisure & Events Management and International Facility Management.

Attractions and theme parks are continuously innovating and diversifying. For instance, attraction parks are evolving into complete holiday resorts offering accommodation and entertainment at the same time. Shopping centres nowadays often have additional attractions such as food courts or simulators, zoos are expanding to include more facilities (e.g. climbing parks), and museums are adding entertainment and experiential elements to their cultural and educational offerings.

If you choose this area of specialisation, you will gain insight into marketing, finance, staff planning, hospitality and security and safety. You will also have the opportunity to do a work placement at leading parks such as Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Europa-Park in Germany and Efteling.

More information on this study track can be found on the website Discover Attractions and Theme Parks Management.and in the video below.

Year 3

As from Year 3, you will get to outline your own learning path to an increasing degree. You have meanwhile gained enough knowledge about the tourism industry to determine where your interests. In year 3 you will go on a placement and attend a specialisation track.  

Work placement 

You will do a 20-week work placement. You will gain practical experience and prepare for a position in the tourism and recreation field. BUas boasts an extensive national and international network, which means that there are many options in terms of placement positions, both at home and abroad. You can make use of this network or find a suitable placement position yourself. You will be supported in your search for a placement position by the placement office.  

Possible placement positions:

  • Communication assistant at Landal GreenParks
  • Tikibad Supervisor at Duinrell
  • Sun Holidays assistant at TUI 
  • Sustainability assistant at Transavia
  • Assistant influencer marketing & social media at NBTC Holland Marketing
  • Placement at EF Language School in Madrid
  • Marketing assistant at Corinthia Hotels Malta
  • Sales assistant at Happy Gringo Travel in Ecuador

Areas of specialisation

In this year, you will choose one of the following areas of specialisation areas:

  • E-Tourism: thinking up, implementing and executing digital marketing and  management strategies for organisations operating in the tourism industry;
  • Tourism Design & Development: developing innovations, approaches and strategies for the development of international sustainable tourism;
  • Tourism Business: developing a sense of enterprise, and inspiring employees to offer tourists high quality and services;
  • Tourist Experience: giving advice to organisations in the tourism industry so as to enable them to excel in service orientation.

If you choose the study track Attractions & Theme Parks Management  you do not have to choose a specialisation in year 3.

Year 4

In the fourth year, you start with a minor. This may be a deepening minor in which you further specialise within tourism, or you could look beyond the boundaries of tourism: a broadening minor. A minor usually lasts five months, but we also offer a minor you can take for the whole academic year through our Newways training company. It is also possible to take a minor at another school in the Netherlands or abroad. Or you attend the pre-master’s programme in Strategic Business Management and Marketing in the fourth year. After this pre-master’s, you will have direct access to Master of Science programmes at our partner universities.  
After completing your minor, you will start your graduation project. This involves writing a thesis for a client. You have to find this client yourself and you are free to choose between a graduation placement or a research project. There is a wide variation in thesis topics; below you will find a small list with some examples from last academic year:

  • Exploring and enhancing the motivation of front-of-house staff at the Hyatt Regency Aruba
  • Voluntourism and social impact - negative social impacts and the awareness of backpackers
  • Effects of neo-colonialism on tourism development and community participation of the Maasai community in Kenya
  • Expansion of Kingfisher Tours to the German market
  • Coping with seasonality in ski resorts, a case of Bansko, Bulgaria

You will be assigned a supervisor who will guide you through the graduation process. The graduation process is individual, but you will join a learning community where you and your fellow students and lecturers regularly meet, inspire and help each other. After submitting your thesis, you will defend your thesis in an oral exam. Once you have passed this, you have officially obtained your degree and can call yourself a true Tourism professional!

 

Study load and coaching

The average study load for this programme amounts to, on average, 40 hours a week, during 42 weeks. The number of hours students actually spend on their studies every week depends on each individual student and differs per week. The last weeks of each term and the exam weeks are relatively busy.

Personal and Professional Development programme 

During your studies, you will be supported by a coach of the specialisation area you will choose, for the purpose of your personal and professional development. We will teach you to take a critical look at yourself, and ask yourself who you are, what you want, what you can do, what you do, what your goal is, and what you need to achieve that goal. You will learn to put yourself in somebody else’s position, what it is like to be in another culture and in other situations (ability to empathise). In addition, you will work on a fundamentally critical attitude, learn to make well-founded choices, and further develop your adaptability and problem-solving skills. In Year 2, each student will take part in a unique assessment, which results in a personal profile analysis (based on the DISC method). This analysis will provide insight into your behaviour, talents and how you tackle things and prefer to do things. It will also support you in making choices.
 

Pre-master's

BUas offers its own pre-master's programme Strategic Business Management and Marketing (SBM). If your academic results are good, you will be offered the opportunity of attending this pre-master’s programme in your fourth year. Successful completion of this track will give you direct access, after Breda University of Applied Sciences, to various Master of Science programmes in business-related studies in management and marketing at several partner universities. A few examples are the universities of Maastricht, Amsterdam and Rotterdam. In this way, it will be possible for you to earn an academic master's degree within five years' time or, after having completed an accelerated three-year track, even within four years' time.

After your fourth year, you can also opt for a pre-master’s programme of a Dutch research university to gain direct access to their master’s programmes.  

 

The regular track of this programme takes four years. However, with a appropriate pre-education a three-year track is available.

  • The 3-year track for students who already have a vwo diploma, a ‘Hochschulreifezeugnis’ (Abitur) or a comparable pre-university education
  • For Dutch students only: The tailor-made track for havo graduates: you will start your course of study at De Rooi Pannen (mbo level) in Dutch and you will proceed to Breda University of Applied Sciences in year 2 of the regular 4-year programme.
3-year track

If you have graduated from vwo (pre-university education) and meet the admission requirements, you may qualify for the three-year Tourism Management track (accelerated programme). If you have a hbo or wo (higher professional/academic education) (propaedeutic) certificate or degree of an economic degree programme, you may also qualify for this accelerated track. In this case, you can contact ATapplication@buas.nl if you would like further information.

Structure of the programme

The three-year track of the Tourism Management degree programme is structured as follows:

Year 1
You start in the 2nd year of the 4-year programme. Here, you will further explore the tourism industry. You will be extensively exposed to the international travel and aviation sector, the leisure and hospitality world, and you will get to work on all the challenges that destinations, both near and far, are facing. Emphasis will be placed on sustainability, social impacts and developing your digital skills.

Apart from subject matter courses, you will attend English classes and a second modern language. You will work on your Personal & Professional Development under the supervision of a coach.

In year 2 you can specialise in Attractions & Theme Parks Management. This is an English-taught study track that you will complete in years 2 and 3, together with students from Leisure & Events Management and International Facility Management.

Year 2
In Year 2, you will further specialise, just like the students from the regular third year. As from this year, you will outline your own learning path to an increasing degree. You have meanwhile gained enough knowledge about the tourism industry to determine where your interests lie. You will do a 20-week work placement. You will gain practical experience and prepare for a position in the tourism and recreation field. BUas boasts an extensive national and international network, which means that there are many options in terms of placement positions, both at home and abroad. You can make use of this network or find a suitable placement position yourself. In this year, you will choose one of the following areas of specialisation:

E-Tourism: thinking up, implementing and executing digital marketing and  management strategies for organisations operating in the tourism industry; Tourism Design & Development: developing innovations, an approach and strategies for the development of international sustainable tourism; Tourism Business: developing a sense of enterprise, and inspiring employees to offer tourists high-quality and services; Tourist Experience: giving advice to organisations in the tourism industry so as to enable them to excel in service orientation.


Year 3
The third year will be similar to the last year of the four-year degree programme. You will either start to gain more in-depth knowledge of your area of specialisation or choose a broadening minor, which will be followed by a graduation track during which you will write a thesis. Every area of specialisation offers a number of deepening course modules. In addition, you will work on a practical assignment for a commissioner in the Tourism Impact Lab during three terms, where innovation and impact are central. It is also possible to combine your graduation track with a year’s work experience at student training company Newways (see below). As you will work for the student training company three days a week and work on your graduation assignment two days a week, you will have many contacts with industry partners.

I
f your academic results are good, you will be offered the opportunity of attending the pre-master’s programme Strategic Business Management and Marketing. This degree will give you access to several universities where you can subsequently earn your Master of Science (MSc) degree within one year.

Tailor-made track for havo graduates

This tailor-made track is for Dutch students only. If you think the step from havo to hbo is a little too ambitious or if you are inadmissible to Breda University of Applied Sciences, the special tailor-made track (in Dutch: Maatwerktraject) may be a good alternative. Firstly, you will study at mbo level at De Rooi Pannen in Breda for two years. You will complete your studies with an mbo tourism - level 4 diploma: Leidinggevende travel & hospitality. Next, you will proceed to the Dutch- or English-taught [nht:strTMEN] of Breda University of Applied Sciences, where you will earn your bachelor’s degree in three years.

For more information, just watch the Dutch video below.

Please note: If you would like to attend the Attractions & Theme Parks Management track, you will have to apply via Studielink before 1 April to be eligible for the selection procedure.

 

In Year 2 or 3 you will have the opportunity to study abroad for six months. The network of this degree programme consists of 100 partner universities located all over the world. If you want to take part in an exchange programme, you should comply with certain conditions. If you consider going on exchange within Europe, you may be eligible for a financial contribution from the Erasmus+ scholarship programme.

A few examples of partner universities:  

  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University in China
  • Lapland University of Applied Sciences in Finland
  • Università degli Studi di Roma 'Tor Vergata' in Italy
  • Northern Arizona University in the United States 
  • Hanyang University in South Korea
  • Munich University of Applied Sciences in Germany
  • Universidad Politécnica de Valencia in Spain

On-site learning and internationalisation are important - if not indispensable - components of your Tourism Management programme. This means working in professional practice, not only seeing and experiencing destinations/organisations from your classroom chair, but actually seeing them on site, and showing the competencies you have learned at the same time.

With the help of BUas and local companies in the tourism and recreation industry, you will get to know a destination from different perspectives, as you will not only be a visitor and tourist, but also a would-be professional. You will get to know a culture you may not be so familiar with.

The field trip in Year 1 has several European destinations, for instance, Vienna and Bratislava. In Year 2 the trips go to various destinations such as Malaga, Berlin, Split/Zagreb, Lisbon or Bruges/Ghent.

At BUas you are trained to become an entrepreneurial professional. In all the professional bachelor’s programmes, you are given the opportunity to develop your entrepreneurial skills. You will be taught about entrepreneurship in courses specifically designed for this purpose. In your second year, you can take part in an Excellence Track in Entrepreneurship.

And in the fourth year you can opt for a BUas-wide in Entrepreneurship, or you can even graduate in your own business! Perhaps, by that time, you already have a profitable business or have plans to start one? BUas Startup Support can help you.   

More information on how to start your own bussines.

Eye-catchers

Admission

To be admitted to this degree programme, you need a havo or vwo diploma with an appropriate profile, or an equivalent of these Dutch diplomas. You can also be admitted with a level-4 mbo diploma. 

  • Check out the complete admission requirements and the possibilities if you do not meet the requirements
  • Additional requirements have been set for the 3-year track.

Application

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

Study costs

In the academic year 2023-2024 the statutory tuition fee for bachelor's programmes is €2,314. First-year's students pay €1,157. In addition to the tuition fee, you will need to take into account additional costs for participation in the introduction week and the purchase of study materials such as textbooks and excursions. Read more about study costs.

As a young professional you want to grow

During my studies I learned to reflect on my own actions. This is now extremely valuable in my job. After all, as a young professional you want to grow, and with my BUas skills I have plenty of opportunities to develop myself.  I now work as a Junior Programme Manager at NBTC where I am responsible for ‘Digital Experiences’, a project in which we cooperate with BUas. 

Britt de Bruin

Graduate | Working at NBtC (Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions)

BUas - Tourism Management - Susanna

I really enjoy doing group projects, especially with international students

I chose this study programme because I feel happiest when I am travelling. Why is that? This is something you learn, for example, in a course like Consumer Behaviour.

My tips for students who still have to make a choice:   

Susanna

Student Tourism Management

Your career

Tourism is a ‘people’s business’. It’s all about people, hospitality and experiences. But also about business skills, creativity and organisational talent. You can pursue a career as advisor, manager, marketer or purchaser in the tourism industry.

Want to know more? After your degree.