Tourism Business: Management, Impacts and Evaluation

Module description




The module explores tourism as a distinctive form of economic activity from a variety of perspectives, including geographical scale (international, regional and local), types of business activity (different sectors and business models), forms of business organisation (multinational and SMTE), and the different methods for supporting, measuring and regulating it. The module has a strong applied dimension, and it explores how the many contributions of tourism and tourism businesses to the visitor economy are understood, managed by, and communicated among, practitioners and policy-makers.


Additional Information




Not all tourism is domestic in nature.  The module content reflects this in its discussions of:


  • international trade and tourism services;
  • cross-border production through multi-national enterprises; and
  • multi-lateral relationships among bodies like the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), and the UN World Tourism Organisation who advocate tourism as ‘the world’s largest industry’.


The module discusses issues which will further enhance each student’s knowledge of sustainable development, including such issues as responsibility in business models, the role of business in contemporary economies (CSR), alternative growth models (i.e. green growth), and the economic case for tourism as one of aspect of the ‘triple bottom line’.

All of the resources for this module are available on the ELE (Exeter Learning Environment).

External Engagement

Through our existing UEBS professional networks, at least one industry-based guest speaker will feature in the programme.


Central to this module is the ability to question the texts, arguments and underpinning data that are presented to professional audiences: in this regard, the module enhances critical thinking and decision-making by challenging students to unpack how economic evidence is collected and used to inform advocacy for and against tourism (businesses). Students also develop their digital literacy skills by working on infographics as an alternative medium that is widely used to present data and cases outside academia.

Full module specification

Module title:Tourism Business: Management, Impacts and Evaluation
Module code:BEMM381
Module level:M
Academic year:2020/1
Module lecturers:
  • Professor Tim Coles - Convenor
Module credit:15
ECTS value:






Duration of module: Duration (weeks) - term 1:


Module aims

The aims of the module are to:

  • understand the complex issues surrounding the range of businesses comprising the tourism sector, both now and in the future;
  • examine how economic value is created by tourism businesses, how this is managed, and how it is supported, governed and regulated by government;
  • investigate the range of data sources, approaches and media used to construct, communicate and contest the value of tourism and tourism businesses to the (visitor) economy; and
  • develop your digital skills and proficiency in producing document formats used in the sector

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. demonstrate in text and visually a deep appreciation of how tourism functions as a form of economic activity, business and value creation at the macro and micro scales, now and in the future;
  • 2. identify, appraise and deploy different data sources, resources (i.e. databases and archives) and measures used to construct the economic case for tourism in policy and practice;
  • 3. articulate and communicate effectively in writing and oral presentations, how tourism businesses may be managed to optimise their economic performances.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. use empirical data, especially from the world of practice, with relevant academic theory and concept to develop a deep understanding of tourism businesses and the tourism sector;
  • 5. articulate the many dimensions of the economic as one aspect of sustainable development as it relates to tourism. deploy appropriate media to convey complex evidence and ideas to multiple stakeholders in tourism businesses and the visitor economy;
  • 6. deploy appropriate media to convey complex evidence and ideas to multiple stakeholders in tourism businesses and the visitor economy.

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. synthesise, present and summarise a wide range of data, outcomes and arguments in text;
  • 7. work autonomously to deliver key outputs in terms of time management, working to deadlines, and utilising a variety of sources;
  • 8. use digital media to present short, highly-focused, evidence-based presentations.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity20Lectures and workshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity1Tutorial (Written paper guidance session)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity2Tutorial (Library skills support)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activity2Tutorial (Poster preparation guidance)
Guided Independent StudyScheduled Learning and Teaching Activity2Plenary Poster presentation session (at end of lecture series)
Guided Independent Study124Reading and preparation for classes and assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Infographic presentation5 minutes1, 3, 5Written and verbal

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Issue Paper602,250 words1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8Written
Infographic40250 words2,3,4,5,6,8,9Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Issues paper (60%)Issues paper (60%, 2,500 words)1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8Referral/Deferral period
Infographic (40%)Infographic (40%, 250 words)2,3,4,5,6,8,9Referral/Deferral Period

Re-assessment notes

Students will be asked to resubmit a project paper and an infographic project poster, with a deadline set in July.

Syllabus plan

The following tourism-related topics will be explored in this module:

  • Conceptualising tourism businesses and firms.
  • Tourism products and experiences as value propositions
  • International tourism businesses
  • Small and Medium-sized Tourism Enterprises (SMTEs)
  • The macro-environment for tourism businesses
  • Tourism business models, innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Tourism business regulation and governance, including CSR.
  • Tourism business policy and the role of the state
  • Understanding economic evidence about tourism and tourism businesses
  • The future of/for tourism business

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Available as e-Books

There is no single text which covers the entire syllabus.  The lecture learning materials will draw - where relevant - mainly upon material found in these e-Books.

Printed books

You may also wish to consult these printed books which are available in the campus library and offer further useful insights.

  • Dwyer, L. and Forsyth, P. (2006) International Handbook on the Economics of Tourism. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 
  • Mak, J.? (2004)? Tourism and the Economy: Understanding the Economics of Tourism.? Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
  • Tribe, J.? (2005)? The Economics of Recreation, Leisure & Tourism.? Amsterdam: Elsevier. 
  • Vanhove, N.? (2005)? The Economics of Tourism Destinations.? Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Some of the issues that we will cover in the module are not directly addressed by a single textbook, but you will be directed to the relevant sources on a week-by-week basis.

Module has an active ELE page?


Origin date


Last revision date