Which impacts does tourism have on the social, cultural, environmental, and spatial characteristics of an area? How do tourists influence and are influenced by places and cultures?
How can tourism geography with its long tradition in researching human activities, behaviours, and impacts in place, time, and space help in understanding the challenges that contemporary tourism is facing? You will tackle these questions and study the interactions between tourists, visitors, local communities, and the natural, and build environment in detail in the Sustainable Tourism & Society track.
Tourism is a global phenomenon with important regional and local impacts. Due to the large number of tourist trips and the possible economic influences, tourism development is often seen by policymakers as an important strategy for regional development. As COVID-19 has shown, tourism is a fragile phenomenon: it can suddenly come to a grinding halt leaving communities that rely on tourism without means to sustain their livelihood. Moreover, before COVID-19, tourism had reached a level that threatened that same heritage (both human and natural) on which it depends.
The Sustainable Tourism & Society track offers critical insights into the role of the tourism sector in such liveability and identity questions. It offers international, place-based, critical, and research-oriented approaches. In line with the teaching and research philosophy at RUG/Campus Fryslân, the track’s approach to tourism is transdisciplinary involving disciplines such as history, anthropology, psychology, spatial planning, and hospitality studies in the curriculum and dialogue with global and local actors (sustainable) tourism development.
Through these theoretical perspectives, you will develop the capacity to understand, analyse, and evaluate complex problems related to (sustainable) tourism development and planning.
Why study this programme in Leeuwarden?
The University of Groningen is the only university in the Netherlands that offers a Master in Cultural Geography. It is one of the few masters taught in Campus Fryslân. Your compulsory courses are taught in Leeuwarden. Students are trained with the necessary critical, analytical, methodological and theoretical tools to contribute to place-related liveability in society. Career perspectives vary from governments, NGOs and corporate roles.