Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Contemporary Case Studies in Tourism
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 1 Hour Seminars
Lecture 11 x 2 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Coursework assignment portfolio (to be built up of work prepared for and completed in the weekly workshops, e.g. notes on class debate, qualitative data analysis summary, graphs, community map, written summary, spreadsheet, PowerPoint slideshow)  70%
Semester Assessment Group presentation (10 minutes each)  30%
Supplementary Assessment Repeat failed element  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

* Identify a range of forms of tourism and the factors leading to their growth;

* Explain how new ways of experiencing tourism have impacted on the 'mainstream' tourism industry;

* Outline the costs and benefits of such forms of tourism in comparison to conventional forms such as mass tourism;

* Draw and apply lessons from case studies on the planning and management of tourism operations and destinations;

* Synthesise findings from case studies in order to illustrate contemporary issues in the marketing and management of tourism organisations.


This module introduces students to a range of contemporary forms of tourism, such as rural tourism, backpacker tourism, food tourism and dark tourism, as well as considering more conventional 'mass' forms of tourism. In doing so, the module will examine current issues in the planning, management and marketing of tourism. The module is delivered through a series of lectures, which will serve to introduce the cases, followed up by workshops. The workshops will encourage students to open out the material and deepen their appreciation of it. Students will also have an opportunity to further develop and apply key learning, research and employability skills, building on those already developed in the pre-requisite module. This will include students working on their own and in groups, applying their oral and written communication skills, further developing their debating skills, improving their problem-solving abilities, working with numbers, gaining further library and research skills, and the making use of information technology.

Brief description

This module focuses on contemporary case studies in tourism. These cases will cover 'mass' tourism as well as new forms of 'alternative' tourism that are now beginning to challenge the supremacy of mass tourism. Such alternative tourism forms include farm tourism, backpacker tourism, volunteer tourism, food (gastronomic) tourism and wine tourism, dark tourism (thanatourism), adventure tourism, ecotourism and heritage tourism. Emerging variants of mass tourism, for example low-budget tourism and all-inclusive tourism, will also be considered. The cases will emphasise contemporary issues in the strategic planning, operations management, marketing, product development, human resource management, financial, economic, community and policy aspects of tourism.


The module will comprise a series of lectures, in which cases will be introduced and discussed. Each lecture will then be followed up by an interactive workshop, where the cases will be considered in greater depth. The purpose of the workshops is also to develop key learning, research and employability skills, such as group working, making presentations, the application of information technology, debating skills and working with numbers.

The module will seek to remain up to date and relevant by selecting contemporary cases that have a strong relationship with real-word practice. The precise mix of topics will therefore change from year to year. Topics could include:

  • The mass tourism model and the notion of alternative tourism;
  • Farm tourism, with a focus on farm diversification strategies;
  • Backpacker tourism, focusing on community impacts;
  • Dark tourism, looking particularly at tourist motivations;
  • Food and wine tourism, emphasising product development considerations;
  • Heritage tourism, examining visitor management aspects;
  • Ecotourism, analysing its environmental impacts;
  • Volunteer tourism, with an emphasis on operational management issues;
  • Adventure tourism, investigating the visitor experience;
  • All-inclusive tourism, measuring and analysing tourism impacts;
  • Low-budget tourism, highlighting implications destination marketing.
A concluding lecture will serve to pull together the various issues and themes that have been identified in the series, to draw out lessons and to form conclusions about the contemporary nature of tourism.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number At least one workshop will require students to work with numbers and to manipulate numerical data in a spreadsheet. Assessed in assignment portfolio and feedback given.
Communication Students will prepare and deliver a group presentation based on a specific tourism case study. This will be assessed and feedback given. Students will need to communicate clearly in writing in the assessment portfolio.
Improving own Learning and Performance
Information Technology Students will be expected to use information technology in making their presentation. The assignment portfolio will require students to use word processing and spreadsheet skills. Assessed in assignment portfolio and feedback given.
Personal Development and Career planning
Problem solving Some of the workshops will be based around solving a particular problem or set of problems relating to contemporary tourism and its management. Assessed in assignment portfolio and feedback given.
Research skills Workshops will typically involve students being asked to prepare by researching material on the subject.
Subject Specific Skills By extending students knowledge of particular forms and cases of tourism, this module will serve to equip students to work in the tourism industry.
Team work Students will prepare and deliver a group presentation based on a specific tourism case study. This will be assessed and feedback given. Students will also be expected to work together in teams during the workshops (not assessed).


This module is at CQFW Level 4