Tourism Management

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

Bachelor
4 years
Full time
Dutch
English

Dive into the dynamic world of Tourism Management and play a part in sustainable change. This degree programme is all about promoting innovative tourism, focusing on visitor experience and using new technology. Will you become a change maker striving for positive change in tourism worldwide?

You can also attend the Tourism Management programme in Dutch. 


 

What will you learn?

Why choose BUas?

  • You will change the world of tourism and create positive impact.
  • With us, you will look for genuinely sustainable solutions. 
  • You will study on an international campus, with people from all over the world.  
  • Our institute has almost 60 years of experience in tourism, so we know what we are talking about! 

Zoom in on our professional bachelor's programme Tourism Management

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

Study overview

Year 1

Year 1 is made up of two semesters, spread over four nine-week blocks. Each block, you will work on a new project that introduces you to the dynamic field of tourism.

Block 1: Travel Experience Design

In this block, you will learn how to turn travellers' expectations into unforgettable travel experiences. This begins online, where we trigger feelings of 'wanderlust' in holidaymakers looking for travel experiences. 'Wanderlust' stands for the desire to step out of one’s own world for a while and experience something different. It is the urge to travel. If you can turn that into a fantastic product that travellers will want to book, then you are exactly what the tourism industry is after.  

An assignment within this theme may be creating a new, meaningful travel concept for a small travel business or a big one like TUI.

Block 2: Destination Development

In this block, you take the step from visiting a destination to understanding a destination. In other words, during this project, you will do research at the destination itself, which we call fieldwork. You will discover the story behind the destination. And you will present your results in the form of a short film or documentary during the 'Untold Stories' film festival.

Block 3: Travel Mobility

In this block, you will tackle the challenge of how we can travel - discovering the world and ourselves - while protecting the environment. You will explore the current landscape of tourism and travel and brainstorm ways to shake things up. Who and what do you need to consider? What trends and opportunities have the potential to reshape the way we travel – not only at the destination itself, but also the journey to get there? How do we make travel greener without losing the fun factor for everyone?

Block 4:  Tourism Hospitality

You will look for new forms of hospitality in the context of tourism and leisure. We are all familiar with the idea of hospitality, but what exactly is it? What do tourists expect in this area today? Boundaries are blurring, with trends like ‘workation’, blending business and leisure. You will learn to experience the essence of hospitality in order to then use what you’ve learned to create ‘the holiday homes, safari tents or glamping lodges of tomorrow’.

 

Year 2, 3 and 4

In the first semester of year 2, you will work on two tourism projects. After that, you will have the opportunity to determine your own study route by choosing a challenge, an exchange or a placement.
 
A challenge is a form of education in which students, together with lecturers and professionals from the field, work on issues from the world around us. These are mostly real-world issues in society for which they develop solutions, aiming to improve the travel industry. 

Overview of options:

  • Year 2: In semester 3: two tourism projects and in semester 4: challenge, exchange or placement.
  • Year 3: In semester 5: challenge, exchange, placement or minor and in semester 6: challenge, exchange, placement or minor.
  • Year 4: In semester 7: challenge, exchange, placement, minor or graduation project and in semester 8: challenge, exchange, placement, minor or graduation project. 

The ground rules are as follows:  

  • You do a placement of at least one semester. 
  • You may do one international exchange of one semester. 
  • You may do one minor of one semester. 
Placement

You will go on a placement of a minimum of twenty weeks. During your placement, you will gain practical experience, discover what suits you best and prepare yourself for a job in the tourism and recreation field. The programme has an extensive national and international network, offering a wide choice of placements, both at home and abroad. You can make use of this network or look for a suitable placement yourself. The student affairs team will support you in your search for a placement.

Do you think 20 weeks is not enough in terms of a placement? You can also choose to do several placements during your studies. 

Here are a few placement examples:  

  • Communication at Landal GreenParks
  • Sun holidays at TUI
  • Sustainability at Transavia
  • Marketing & social media influencer at NBTC Holland Marketing
  • EF International Language School in Madrid
  • Marketing at Corinthia Hotels Malta 
  • Sales at Happy Gringo Travel in Ecuador 

Read Rianne’s story to find out how everything she learned in her studies fell into place during her placement. And check out a day in the life of Jaleesa’s placement at EF International Language School in Sydney
 

Exchange

In the second, third or fourth year of your studies, you can take a semester of Tourism Management at one of our partner universities abroad. We have a total of some 100 partner universities, all over the world. To take part in an exchange programme, you will need to meet several conditions. If you are considering an exchange within Europe, you may qualify for a financial allowance through the Erasmus+ scholarship programme. A few of our partner universities:

  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University in China 
  • Haaga-Helia 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
Minors

In the third or fourth year, you may do a minor of one semester. During this period, you can choose whether you want to explore your current field in more depth or broaden your horizons in another subject. 

You may choose to take a minor at BUas. View all minors offered by BUas here. You can also opt for a minor at another university of applied sciences in the Netherlands.  

Foreign languages

Would you like to spend a block or semester studying a foreign language such as French, German or Spanish? If so, the Languages & Culture minor is right up your street. This minor will immerse you in the country’s culture. You will enter at your own level and learn what you need to be effective and successful in this language.  
 

Attractions & Theme Parks Management

If you are pursuing the professional bachelor’s degree in Tourism Management, you can specialise in Attractions & Theme Parks Management. This specialisation is also offered to students in the Leisure & Events Management bachelor’s programme, so you will be in a mixed class which is super educational.  

Why this specialisation?
The number of attraction and theme parks is still growing and the competition is fierce. It’s not just theme parks that are constantly reinventing themselves; holiday resorts, zoos, shopping centres and museums - to name a few examples from your future field of work - also focus more and more on creating memorable experiences. In addition, there is still much to gain in terms of corporate social responsibility. In short, things can and must change to become more experiential and more sustainable.

A new generation of managers
There is a high demand for a new generation of managers capable of creating successful and meaningful concepts and experiences (concept design) from a business perspective (business design). In this specialisation, you will learn how to innovate the offerings in such a way that it adds value for both the visitor and the company you work for.

The challenge
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all business model in the world of attraction and theme parks. The challenge lies in making the right combinations and coming up with ideas that make you stand out and builds goodwill. An example? Zoos are making a turn towards a more ethical and educational approach, whereas museums are adding more experience and interaction. And theme parks are trying to immerse people in complete thematic worlds.

What will you do?
You will dive into the world of marketing, finance, workforce planning and security, as you need this knowledge. But you will also explore the fields of Hospitality, Imagineering and Storytelling. You will work on your creative leadership skills and learn about change management. Each subject is linked to a real client from the world of attractions. During your studies, you can do a placement at ‘world parks’ such as Walt Disney World in Orlando, Europa-Park and Efteling.  

Why choose Attractions & Theme Parks Management?

  • You learn to look at the business model from different angles 
  • You learn all about operational and business management, as well as Imagineering and Storytelling 
  • During your studies, you will work for major (international) parks or suppliers to the parks  
  • You get a chance to take part in the Disney International Programme in Orlando (USA)
  • You are taught by international lecturers and guest speakers 
  • The programme is recognised by the World Tourism Organization/ World Leisure Organization

More information can be found on the website of Attractions & Theme Parks Management and in the video below.

 

Social Innovation

From the second year onwards, you have the option to pursue the three-year Social Innovation track. This track is about devising solutions not just for people, but with people – that’s the essence and power of Social Innovation. Together with others, you will come up with creative solutions to social issues. Initiatives in the field of Social Innovation are connected to major challenges in society such as sustainability, equality or public perception.   

There are two ways of looking at it: 

  • You use tourism with the specific purpose of trying to solve these social problems.
    • Social problem: today’s busy and rushed society
    • Tourism’s contribution to the solution: facilitating relaxation and slowing down
  • Within tourism, you try to improve the way in which we deal with these challenges.  
    • Tourism problem: profits leaking out to big foreign investors
    • Tourism’s contribution to society: ensuring that profits flow back to local initiatives   

Within the Social Innovation specialisation area, you will engage with practical issues. You will do so for organisations within and beyond the field of leisure, such as sports, theatres, museums, festivals and for care institutions, retail organisations or government authorities. You will mostly operate at the interface of multiple sectors. The knowledge acquired in your courses can be used to create a broad support base among stakeholders involved - citizens, residents and organisations. Everyone contributes from their own background or expertise, which collectively leads to useful solutions. 

What makes this specialisation so special is that you do not attend a fixed curriculum. You will shape your own learning process by choosing certain topics and projects. Each academic year, you will work on about eight real-life projects, using methods from the fields of experiences, community building, facility management, and tourism design. In addition, you will work in self-selected multidisciplinary teams. In other words, you will work together with students from other years and other programmes.

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. 

Specialisations

From semester 4 in year 2, you can specialise further in the themes you were introduced to in year 1. You choose the theme you want to specialise in by working out challenges. This may be a challenge that lasts one block, but you can also choose to specialise in one theme for the rest of your studies. There are four main specialisation themes:  

  • Travel Mobility. Exploring and developing responsible ways of travelling. An example of a challenge is the question: How can you motivate the adventurous traveller to travel by train instead of by plane? What solutions can you come up with - for example, for Eurail - to make rail travel within Europe easier?
  • Tourism Hospitality. Exploring and combining new forms of hospitality in tourism. How can you lift hospitality to a higher level and blend it seamlessly into products like cruises, holiday resorts and day trip destinations?  
    Within this theme, you can also opt for Attractions & Theme Parks Management, an English-taught track together with International Facility Management and Leisure & Events Management. You have the option to participate in this track for either one semester or commit to a two-year programme and graduate in it.  
  • Destination Development. Designing attractive tourism destinations for both visitors and residents. 
    In this theme, you will ‘Rethink Tourism’ during fieldwork. Your task will be to create sustainable solutions for local tourism businesses that have a positive impact on the destination.
  • Travel Experience Design. Transforming travellers’ expectations into unforgettable experiences. 
    Using ‘Design Thinking’, you will solve complex problems for various travel companies, learn to create experience prototypes and do experiments and tests with these. Our Newways training company also falls under this theme. You can opt for a 20-week placement here from year 3. You can also opt for a 40-week placement in your graduation year. At our training company, you will organise a wide variety of trips and events, both business and leisure events.

Study method

During the Tourism Management professional bachelor’s programme, you will work on projects in a ‘learning community’. In small groups together with other students, lecturers and industry professionals, you will work on real-world assignments for companies. With proper support, of course! Not only from a team of lecturers, but also from your fellow students as you are working on the projects. 

In a learning community you learn by doing, exploring and discovering, and by reflecting together. In this way, you will develop skills that you can put to good use later on in your professional career.

You will also learn how things work in practice through company visits and fieldwork.
 

Study load

The average study load for this programme amounts to 40 hours per week per year. The number of hours students actually spend on their studies differs from person to person and from week to week. You will have two to three full days of classes on campus. These are fixed days that remain the same throughout the year. On the other days, you will work on projects either on campus or at home. 

Personal development

With the Lumina Spark method you will discover who you are and what you have to offer. You will gain insight into your personal preferences, your behaviour and how you react in different situations. You will learn to look at yourself and others from different perspectives.

Self-insight is the basis for many personal and professional skills that you can continue to use in your future personal and professional life, such as reflecting, cooperating effectively, giving feedback and dealing with stressful situations. Understanding yourself and others better is key to achieving success.

A typical week

A typical week in year 1 of the Tourism Management programme in academic year 2024-2025 will look like this for you: Monday (full day), Wednesday (full day) and Friday (morning) you will work on a project at school in your learning community. During these days, you will follow a fixed and structured schedule of team meetings and supervised meetings. During these days, your attendance at school is compulsory. The other days of the week you will work independently or with your group on individual and group assignments. You decide for yourself, or in consultation with your group, whether you do this at school or from home. In short, these days too, you will be actively involved in your education.

Daily structure on Monday (full day) – Wednesday (full day) – Friday (mornings):

  • 09.00-10.00: Team meeting
  • 10.00-12.30: Supervised meetings
  • 13.00-16.00: Supervised meetings
  • 16.00-16.30: End-of-day session

In the supervised meetings, you will work together intensively with lecturers and students. You will attend lectures and workshops, providing you with the right guidance to do your practical assignments and project work well. The aim of these supervised meetings is to deepen your theoretical knowledge and develop practical skills that are essential for a career in tourism where you will make the difference!

Please note: This description gives a general idea of a typical week of first-year students in the 2024-2025 academic year. No rights can be derived from it. The final study timetable may vary depending on specific circumstances and organisational changes.

 
 

Three-year and tailor-made tracks

The regular study programme takes four years. If you have the right previous education, you can also take the three-year programme/track.

With a vwo diploma, certain international diplomas, hbo or wo propaedeutic diploma

When you have a vwo diploma and meet the previous education requirements, you can do the Tourism Management programme in three years (fast-track). This is also possible with certain international diplomas, a propaedeutic diploma of an economic professional (hbo) or academic (wo) programme. If you would like to have more information, check out the admission requirements or send an email to ATapplication@buas.nl.

If you take the fast-track programme, you will start in year 1 and from the second semester in year 2 onwards, you will skip two semesters. Since you can decide on the structure of your study programme, you will have the freedom to structure the other three semesters according to your wishes. You will do a work placement of at least 20 weeks (one semester) in the accelerated programme, too.

With this background, you will also be eligible for our three-year academic programme Bachelor of Science Tourism.

With a havo diploma

Only for Dutch students: The tailor-made track for havo graduates: firstly, you do a Dutch-language programme at De Rooi Pannen (mbo level) and then you will enter year 2 of the regular (four-year) programme at BUas. 

With a havo diploma, you can also choose to do an mhbo track. If you are thinking of continuing your education in tourism, media or the events industry, consider this option: Mhbo Tourism | Leisure | Creative Business.
You will take this level 4 accelerated programme at De Rooi Pannen in Tilburg or Breda. After two  years, you will obtain your mbo diploma and have a choice of three professional programmes at BUas. Here you enter in the second year: 

  • professional bachelor’s programme Creative Business
  • professional bachelor’s programme Leisure & Events Management  
  • professional bachelor’s programme Tourism Management

So you will have a little more time to discover your talent: only after two years will you choose your professional bachelor's programme.
 

Field trips and excursions

On-site learning and internationalisation are important - if not indispensable - components of your Tourism Management programme and super valuable in terms of your own personal development.  

Fieldwork means working in professional practice; not only ‘seeing’ destinations and organisations from your classroom chair, but actually experiencing them on location, while demonstrating the competencies you have learned at the same time. 

With the help of BUas and local players in the tourism and recreation industry, you will get to know a destination from different perspectives. After all, you are not only a visitor and tourist, but also a professional-to-be. You will get to know a culture you may be not so familiar with. You will face dilemmas that you and your group will have to overcome. This will make you stronger in many respects.

In year 1, you will travel in the Netherlands or Europe (e.g., Bruges, Berlin or Malaga), but also visit, for example, the Holiday Fair (Vakantiebeurs) in Utrecht or an international fair in London. In year 2, you have the option to travel further, for example to Bali or Turkey.


 

Entrepreneurship

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. Alongside your studies, you can join BUas Startup Support, BUSS. BUSS organises (networking) events and connects student startup entrepreneurs, there is even the possibility to apply for guidance from your own startup coach.

You can also graduate within BUas with your own company! Every academy offers this opportunity, though a selection process may apply. Maybe, by that time, you already have a small profitable business or have plans to start one? BUas Startup Support can help you.

More information on how to start your own business.

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 2024-2025 the statutory tuition fee for bachelor's programmes is €2,530. 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)

I love the international vibe

I love the international vibe on our campus. In two hours, I can have a chat with an Italian student about her thesis, a coffee break with a Brazilian colleague and a project meeting with colleagues from Barcelona. But what I enjoy the most is discussing with students, hearing what they think about topics, such as sustainability, intercultural understanding, and the impact of tourism. It also allows me to keep up with the line of thinking of younger generations.

Simone Moretti

Researcher and lecturer Tourism Management

It’s a cool job, which I owe to my work placement

“I am operationally responsible for the Symbolica attraction and for the 50 colleagues working there. I organise Recruitment & Selection events, make sure the planning is right and that my team can work well and enjoyably. With the Strategy & Innovation department, I look at what we can do to make the guest experience even better and what investments are needed for this. It’s a cool job, which I actually owe to my work placement. After that I applied for this position of Operational Team Lead. I hadn’t finished my studies at the time, which was quite tough, but I managed!” 

Naomi Tang

Alumna, studied Attractions & Theme Parks Management

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.