ESA-11806 Tourism Geographies

Vak code vorig jaar: (SGL-12306)


Studiepunten 6.00

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:



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 inherently geographical phenomenon; it involves the movement of millions of travellers across the world, seeking tourist experiences on both local and global scale. Geography is a scientific 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 the new patterns of production and consumption driven by tourism, as well as the environmental changes brought on by tourism. The plural, geographies, as used in the course title expresses the diversity of perspectives that the discipline of geography can offer to the study of tourism. In this course we consider two main branches: human geography and physical geography. The goal of this course is to introduce the basics of geography as a whole, but also to introduce and apply key methods related to human geography and physical geography and how they relate. By gaining hands-on experience with concepts and methods from both geographies, you will also be able to take an integrated perspective between the social sciences and the environmental sciences to understand contemporary tourism.

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 the 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


The course runs from week 5 through 14 with one full day of lectures and/or practicals every week. In general, course days consist of either full day excursions/practicals or days with lectures in the morning and practicals in the afternoons. In the first weeks, activities related to human geography and physical geography are largely separate, and we will test your individual understanding of both geographies. In the second half, most of the work will be in groups related to the case study of beer geography.


- an examination (40%)
- a fieldwork-based group project (60%), with a presentation (15%) and a fieldwork report (45%).


The course uses a number (e-)books from which the relevant chapters will be made available:

Patterson, M. and Pullen, N. Eds. 2014. The Geography of Beer: Regions, Environments, and Societies. New York: Springer. The book is available to download as a PDF through the WUR library.

Pidwirny, M. 2010. Understanding Physical Geography, 1st Edition. Free download available from:

Williams, S., Lew, A.A. Eds. 2015. Tourism Geography: Critical understandings of Place, Space and Experience, 3rd Edition. Routledge, New York.

Verplicht voor: BTOTourism (joint degree)BSc3WD+4WD+5WD