SGL-12306 Tourism Geographies


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper2
Excursion (one day)16
Course coordinator(s)dr. K Doughty
dr. K Kok
Lecturer(s)dr. K Kok
dr. K Doughty
S Pedde
Examiner(s)dr. K Doughty
dr. K Kok

Language of instruction:



Note: This course is part of the BSc Tourism, a joint degree programme of Wageningen University and Breda University of Applied Sciences. This course is open to students from other programmes. The course is not delivered at Wageningen University, however, but at Breda University of Applied Sciences. You can register for the course by contacting the course coordinator before the start of the course. The schedule for the academic year at Breda University of Applied Sciences differs from the schedule of Wageningen University. The periods mentioned are the periods of Wageningen University.

Tourism is an intensely geographical phenomenon; it involves the movement of millions of travellers across the world, seeking tourist experiences on both a local and global scale. Tourism creates distinctive relationships between people and places that have a range of economic, social, cultural and environmental impacts. Geography is a discipline that seeks to interpret and understand our changing world - a world in which geographical patterns are constantly reworked by powerful forces of change. These forces include new patterns of economic production and consumption, new forms of mass movements, globalisation, and the increasing time-space compression of new media, but also environmental changes brought on by the impact of human activities on the earth. Tourism is one of these major forces of change, with many places and landscapes across the globe being transformed by tourist development. Both socio- cultural and natural phenomena influence and are influenced by the growing spatial impact of tourism. Geography is articulated into two main branches: human geography and physical geography. The plural, geographies, is used in the course title to express the diversity of perspectives that the discipline of geography can offer the study of tourism. The overall goal of this course is to introduce the basics of geography as understood by human and physical geographers, and to show how an integrated perspective between the social sciences and the environmental sciences is of great help to understand the actual geographies of tourism. The lectures introduce concepts and models that are then further worked out through empirical cases and technical methods addressing actual tourism practices during the workshops and excursion.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- understand the fundamental concepts and principles of human and physical geography in relation to international tourism;
- gain a critical understanding of the interrelationships between humans and the environment in relation to international tourism;
- identify and explain how aspects of tourist development - the economic, the environmental, the political, the social, and the intercultural - are tied up with questions of space, place, landscape and region;
- understand how global places, landscapes and regions are socially and culturally constructed and negotiated, and how they are changed by tourism;
- identify and explain how aspects of the physical world (soil, vegetation, water, atmosphere) can determine spatial patterns of tourist development;
- explain how changes in spatial patterns of tourist development, in turn, drive biophysical changes in the landscape;
- analyse the way in which global cultural economies of tourism both consume and create places;
- describe the spatial differentiation of global tourism flows, tourism destinations and tourism industry operations and the ways in which it has been transformed in recent decades;

- reproduce and apply methods of organising group work.


- lectures;
- assignments;
- workshops;
- excursion.


- an examination (40%)
- a fieldwork-based group project (60%).


Select journal articles available on N@tschool indicated on reading list.
Select chapters from books, websites and other media materials indicated in reading list.

Compulsory for: BTOTourism (joint degree)BSc3WD+4WD+5WD