The International Tourism industry needs skilled and creative managers who:
- understand how to tackle sustainability challenges of tourism impacts on societies,
- master various ways of critical thinking needed for solving complex problems,
- change quickly between perspectives of tourists, residents, and service providers,
to create a sustainable future of travel and tourism.
Would you like to master:
- communication and business skills specifically applied to the international tourism industry?
- cutting-edge tools to successfully interact in an ever more digital tourism environment?
- the intercultural sensitivity needed for a high-level career in the globalized tourism market?
Highlights of the USI Master in International Tourism program:
- Gain practical hands-on experience in tourism at a university level
Various labs, applied team projects, international study trips, participating in international conferences on e-Tourism and Corporate Travel, Study Tour week to a European city destination, tourism internship, company visits, Tourism Capstone Project
- Sharpen essential interdisciplinary & soft skills
Acquire toolkits of Economics, Communication Sciences, and Management, specialize yourself during your Minor in eTourism or Minor in Sustainable Management, the World Challenges Programme, a semester abroad at one of our selected partner universities, train your intercultural communication skills every day
- Grow personally and professionally thanks to direct & individual support
Small intercultural classes (< 30 students), individual attention of professors, support to participate in tourism award competitions, learn directly from our distinguished International Tourism Alumni in the Tourism Career Lab, dedicated Career Service
- Develop your talent with international expert Faculty & leading tourism practitioners
Tourism professors from all over the world who come to Lugano to teach your courses, guest lectures by leading Swiss and international tourism experts, direct access to the Swiss business community of tourism professionals
- Excellent career placement records
92.9% of USI graduates are employed within 1 year after graduation.* The Master in International Tourism equips you for a high-level career in the International Tourism industry within Destination Management & Marketing Organizations; Transportation & Accommodation companies; (Online) Tour Operators; Event Management & Conferences; Corporate Travel Management; Tourism Research & Consultancy; Governments, NGOs, and Tourism Industry Associations.
Get inspired by the Career Stories of our International Tourism Alumni.
The Master in International Tourism is deeply involved in the UNESCO Chair in ICT to develop and promote Sustainable Tourism in World Heritage Sites – hosted at USI Lugano – through teaching, research projects, internships, and Master thesis opportunities.
Be part of the Master in International Tourism to shape the sustainable future of travel and tourism.
Full tuition scholarship available.
*Source: USI Alumni Placement Survey 2017
Structure and contents
Shape the Sustainable Future of Travel and Tourism
Tourism has grown to become a global economic industry. Managing international tourism means understanding its diversity and requires a frequent change of perspectives between the various stakeholders involved in tourism: different types of tourists, tourism businesses, the local community, tourism employees, governments, NGOs, activist groups, and tourism industry associations – to name a few.
The USI Master in International Tourism responds to this need by offering a multidisciplinary and forward-thinking approach. While acquiring toolkits of Economics, Communication Sciences, and Management, you master different ways of critical thinking which are key to solving complex problems in tourism.
While our core courses give you a helicopter view of the International Tourism Industry, you specialize yourself during your minor in e-Tourism, minor in Sustainable Management, the World Challenges Programme, or a semester abroad at one of our selected partner universities.
You study in small intercultural classes taught by an expert Faculty coming to Lugano from all over the world. Through various labs, applied group projects, conferences, field excursions in Switzerland and abroad, Study Tour to a European city destination, tourism internship, and Tourism Capstone Project, you sharpen essential soft skills and gain valuable hands-on experience in tourism at a university level.
The USI Master in International Tourism is designed to equip learners from a wide variety of educational backgrounds with the toolkits and soft skills needed to shape international tourism in a sustainable way, creating the best possible start for a successful tourism career.
Our graduates are well-equipped for a high-level career in the international tourism industry within Destination Management & Marketing Organizations; Transportation & Accommodation companies; (Online) Tour Operators; Event Management & Conferences; Corporate Travel Management; Tourism Research and Consultancy; Governments, NGOs & Tourism Industry Associations.
Goals and contents
Tourism – the romantic escape from everyday reality to picturesque places has grown to become a major economic sector in itself.
Next to the financial services, it is the only industry that is established in every country around the world. Tourism is produced internationally and fascinates an international clientele that could not be more diverse: Day-trippers, Backpackers, Families, Responsible Tourists, Business Tourists – or rather hundreds of millions of human beings who all approach their leisure time with a different interpretation.
Therefore, managing international tourism means understanding its diversity. This requires a frequent change of perspectives between the various stakeholders involved in tourism: different types of tourists, tourism businesses, local residents, tourism employees, governments, NGOs, activist groups, and tourism industry associations – to name a few.
To become capable of solving complex problems in tourism that frequently arise between these very different tourism stakeholders, you will learn how to use insights and toolkits from the scientific fields that are key to finding creative and innovative solutions to major issues in tourism:
- Economics and Management (of tourism, tourism businesses, culture, territory, and the natural environment);
- Communication (in tourism, tourism marketing, information technologies, and new media, eTourism, and human sciences);
- Politics, Institutions, and International Relations.
The international tourism industry needs highly competent and dynamic young people who have a strategic and curious view of tourism and who like to challenge the status quo with a strong sense of responsibility.
Be part of the USI Master in International Tourism to shape the sustainable future of travel and tourism.
During the final semester, as a USI Master in International Tourism student, you can choose to do research and write a Master thesis on a tourism-related topic of your choice.
USI Master in International Tourism students benefit from Master thesis research project support given by Postdoctoral researchers and Ph.D. students affiliated to our Academic Partners:
- Tourism Observatory (O-Tur) Canton of Ticino (USI Lugano)
- UNESCO Chair in ICT to develop and promote Sustainable Tourism in World Heritage Sites (USI Lugano)
- Webatelier.net Research and Development Laboratory for e-Tourism (USI Lugano)
We encourage academic publications and industry articles from Master theses.
Each year, our 2nd-year USI Master in International Tourism learners explore a major European tourism destination during the Study Tour week (5 ECTS), which is one of the many study trips that take you out of the classroom to gain insight into present tourism issues on site.
This educational trip, which our learners consider as one of the highlights of the USI Master in International Tourism program, is offered exclusively to Master in International Tourism students by USI University and is accompanied by tourism professors.
The Study Tour week is fully organized by the Master in International Tourism class: from organizing your stay and selecting tourism topics of your interest for the meetings to contacting local experts, which represents a valuable professional experience for your CV at the same time.
Through various meetings with local tourism professionals, the Study Tour gives you the unique opportunity to observe the ‘’backstage’’ of the international tourism industry and apply all concepts and skills that you have learned during the master.
As a USI Master in International Tourism student, you have the option to do an internship in tourism, which you can choose based on your interest.
The university’s Career Service supports enrolled learners and graduates with tourism internship offers, internship documentation support, and 1-to-1 guidance. The USI Career Service guides you not only to improve your CV and motivation letter but also prepare you for a successful internship or job interview.
The tourism internship is awarded 9 ECTS in the study program and has a minimum duration of 2-3 months at 100% (or an equivalent). You can do the tourism internship between the 2nd and 3rd semester, during or after the 4th semester.
You would like to shape the sustainable future of travel and tourism?
Graduating from the USI Master in International Tourism gives you:
- a strong foundation in communication, economics, and management skills specifically applied to the international tourism industry: new media for tourism communication, intercultural communication, tourism economics, the economics of transport and mobility, event management, aviation management
- an in-depth understanding of various tourism experiences: from the cultural history of tourism to the analysis of today’s tourism consumer behavior, and future sustainable tourism planning and development of places and UNESCO World Heritage Sites; from its design and packaging to digital marketing and service management of tourism experiences
- the cutting-edge tools to effectively interact in an ever-increasing international and digital business environment of tourism: project management, negotiation, e-tourism technology, online communication design, usability, and digital analytics, augmented and virtual reality
…preparing you to work in various functions within tourism businesses and equipping you for a high-level career in the International Tourism industry in:
- Destination Management & Marketing organizations
- Transportation & Accommodation companies
- Event Management & Conferences
- (Online) Tour Operators
- Corporate Travel Management
- Tourism Research & Consultancy
- Governments, NGOs & Tourism Industry Associations
The advanced multidisciplinary and problem-solving skills developed by our graduates are highly valued by employers worldwide. Get inspired by the Career Stories of our Master in International Tourism Alumni.
Successful completion of the USI Master in International Tourism also provides preferential access to the Ph.D. programs in Economics or Communication Sciences offered at USI, in which you can write your Ph.D. dissertation on a tourism-related topic.
Be part of the USI Master in International Tourism to shape the sustainable future of travel and tourism.
The formal requirement for admission to the Master in International Tourism is a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, Business Administration, Communication Sciences, Political Science and International Relations, Transportation Science, Social Sciences, Language and Literature, Tourism, or other related fields, granted by a recognized university.
To guarantee the optimal ratio between learners and the Master in International Tourism faculty, the places offered are limited. Therefore, selection can be effected on the basis of academic results. Admissions will be treated on a case by case basis.
For Bachelor degrees obtained in Switzerland, USI accepts Bachelor degrees from recognized Swiss Higher Education Institutions (Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences) listed by Swissuniversities.
Master in International Tourism candidates usually receive the outcome of their application within 10 working days from the day they submitted their application.
Applicants with a Bachelor’s degree granted by a recognized University of Applied Sciences – in Switzerland the so-called ’Fachhochschule’ (FH) – may be admitted.
In this case, candidates need to obtain 30 additional ECTS during the Master in International Tourism in elective courses that they can freely choose from all Master level courses in English offered at USI.
The admission to English-language Master programs at USI requires a good command of English. Non-native English speakers applying to the Master’s or whose previous degree was obtained in another language, are required to provide an internationally acknowledged language certificate equal to the B2 level as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for language learning (CEFR) or equivalent (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.).
The B2 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:
||FCE (First Certificate English)
||Listening & Reading: 785
Students admitted under the above-mentioned condition must achieve a C1 competence in English within the maximum time required to obtain the Master's degree.
The level can be certified either by attending a language course offered at USI during the Fall and Spring semester, and by taking the final exam, or by providing an internationally acknowledged language certificate*.
* The C1 level on the CEFR corresponds to the following scores in internationally acknowledged exams:
||CAE (Advanced certificate), grade C or above
BEC (Business English), grade C or above
||Listening & Reading: 945
Free Language Courses
The Master in International Tourism is completely taught in English. As Lugano is located in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, students might be interested in acquiring basic Italian language skills.
USI offers language courses in Italian, German, French, and English – all free of charge – to enrolled Master in International Tourism students.
For Master in International Tourism students, these courses are not part of the curriculum but are intended to improve your command of another language if you wish.
To submit your application, please refer to the indications for filling out the online form available here: http://application.lu.usi.ch.
How to apply for a Master's program in Economics
Applications to the Master program can also be submitted with the application form and required paper documents (email or fax submissions will be rejected) to the following address:
Università della Svizzera italiana
Faculty of Economics
Via G. Buffi 13
Applications by email or by fax are not accepted.
The following pieces of documentation have to be sent in paper form:
- The completed application form (you may download it in pdf format)
- Photocopy of past diplomas (Bachelor, licentiate, four-year degree, maturity);
- Official transcript of results of university examinations;
- Certified translation of any diplomas written in a language other than Italian, German, French, English, or Spanish;
- Curriculum vitae (Resume)
- Personal letter of motivation drafted by the candidate;
- Official certification of proficiency in English;
- Photocopy of an identity card or other documents;
- Photocopy of residence permit for foreign nationals already domiciled in Switzerland.
Photocopy of past degree certificates
Where a candidate has not fulfilled all the requirements for the Bachelor's degree, licentiate or other, copy of the diploma may be sent at a later stage, but in any case no later than the beginning of the matriculation period. If so, please indicate the expected date of the award and enclose an official document issued by the awarding institution confirming these terms.
Letter of motivation
Candidates are required to draft a letter (not more than one page) introducing themselves and explaining their particular interest and reasons for seeking admission to a given Master's degree.
The Lisbon convention regulates the recognition of university degrees between signatory countries and considerably simplifies the administration of admission procedures. For this reason, candidates whose previous degree studies were completed in countries outside this Convention (see list below) are invited to pay an application fee of SFr. 100 accounting for the higher administrative costs of processing more complex files. If the candidate is admitted, the fee will be deducted from the amount of the tuition fee for the first semester. The administrative fee is not refundable in other cases: if admission is not granted, or if the candidate decides to withdraw or fails to matriculate.
- Applications for the Fall Semester will be accepted starting from mid-November.
The application deadline is June 30.
The application deadline for candidates who need a visa is April 30.
Late applications will be considered only in case of available places.
- Applications for the Spring Semester will be accepted starting from September, applications will be considered only in case of available places.
The application deadline is January 15.
The application deadline for candidates who need a visa is November 1st.
Tuition fees for the Master's degrees amount to CHF 4,000 per semester. Applicants whose official residence was in Switzerland or Liechtenstein at the time of the final high school exam (Maturità) pay a reduced semester fee of CHF 2,000.
Tuition fees are payable at the beginning of each term, by the deadline indicated on the invoice; fee payment is an essential condition for matriculating or renewing one's enrolment.