Tourism Planning and Economic Development

Governments around the world seek to leverage economic development by increasing their share of the global tourism market.  This course introduces students to tourism as an emerging niche of planning expertise.  Students are exposed to the variety of strategic elements that inform contemporary tourism planning including city branding, destination portfolio theory, historic preservation, environmental tourism, event tourism, medical and religious tourism, among others.  Through a combination of lectures and international case studies—including the Olympic Games, the UNESCO world heritage sites program, and the casino industry in Macau, China—students explore the institutional context of tourism, the planning and financing of its specific infrastructure, and the economic development frameworks commonly used to evaluate public investments.  While there is no formal pre-requisite, previous coursework in economics is recommended.