Not only is tourism and hospitality one of the fastest growing economic sectors in world economics, tourism is also a multifaceted phenomenon and a crucial catalyst for social changes on a global scale. Tourism studies are therefore directed at different levels ranging from the psychological (e.g. issues of motivation, perception, memory, attitudes, decision making and social cognition), via the sociological (e.g. how tourism influences societies, how cultures are transformed and changed, the issues of sustainable development) to the economical (e.g. planning, distribution and consumption in tourism, economic effects of tourism).
Tourism studies thus tend to consider the broader perspective of “tourism” at the individual, group, institutional and societal levels, while the other broad category of studies in this field, hospitality research, focuses on industrial microeconomics and finance, business administration and management.
This stream of academic work is predominantly directed at issues concerning how to recruit guests, how to receive them, how to provide services and influence experiences, in short; the whole range of management, business administration and marketing pertaining to the host/visitor relation. None the less, both areas are underpinned by societal perspectives such as how tourism and tourists can contribute to sustainable development in local economies, politics, culture and social welfare.
Candidates from this major in tourism and hospitality should be able to initiate and carry out academic research within the field. The sector and contextual international knowledge that candidates acquire during this research training should make them able to enter positions not only in educational and research institutions but also as consultants or other types of employees in various national and international organizations, both in the public sector and in NGOs.