Geography and Tourism

Universidad de Barcelona

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Geography and Tourism

  • Host University

    Universidad de Barcelona

  • Location

    Barcelona, Spain

  • Area of Study

    Geography, Hospitality, Tourism

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description

    The course Geography of Tourism intends to offer a territorial perspective on tourism. We will explain the relationship between tourism and territory, both as regards the regions of the planet that are more prominent in the industry, as well as what resources are prevalent in the territories where tourism activity takes place, and describe the characteristics of tourist sites by categories. Because of the wide variety of topics to be covered, the course is organized in three units.

    The aim of the first unit is to locate the distribution of tourism flows in space on an international level, regarding both their origin and their destination, as well as identify the factors that influence the location of tourist activity. As with all activity, tourism has an impact on its surroundings, which will be analyzed in this unit.
    The second unit explains the role of territories' resources in delimiting their tourism potential. We also explore the process that allows resources to be put into use for tourism. Theory will be combined with descriptive cases.
    In the third unit, the student will learn about dynamic processes in tourist spaces, their variety of characteristics, their implementation, various interpretive theories regarding their evolution, as well as important tourism categories (coastal, city, nature, mountain and rural).

    Conceive and formulate policies and decisions to encourage sustainability in tourism activities.
    Make decisions and solve problems, interpreting and evaluating the results with a critical attitude.

    Understand the principles of tourism and the importance of its socio-cultural and environmental impact.
    Identify, increase the value of, and manage cultural and natural heritage for its use in tourism.
    Manage tourism spaces and destinations.

    - Distribute tasks and roles among the members of a team, taking into consideration the abilities of the different members to attain objectives or goals:
    - Know the different abilities or skills of each team member and distribute the various tasks to be performed based on that information.

    - Develop the student's self-confidence, which will allow him or her to act confidently in new or challenging situations, making positive, realistic judgments about their own abilities and those of the team. Encourage an interest in the student to get to know himself better and to develop new skills:
    - Let the student channel the abilities that he or she already has, while at the same time, presenting them with new situations and challenges that will allow them to act by facing the risk of making mistakes with the aim of learning new skills.

    - Recognize tourist activity as an ambivalent activity, capable of providing advantages in the socio-economic and cultural fields, while also being capable of contributing to environmental deterioration and identity loss:
    - Develop the student's critical thinking skills as regards the effects of different types of tourist activity, with the goal of the student learning to maximize positive effects and minimize negative ones.

    - When faced with a problem, know how to select the relevant information to solve it:
    - Have the ability to search for the necessary, relevant information to be able to solve the issues or activities posed during the course.

    - Identify the importance of geography in the study and practice of tourist activity:
    - Recognize the territorial facet of tourism.
    - Know how to identify the global distribution of tourism flows, considering both their origins and destinations on an international level.
    - Know and use documentary sources to study tourism from the perspective of geography, including tourism cartography.

    - Understand the determining factors of tourism location:
    - Distinguish factors that influence the location of tourism activity: physical, cultural, and technical.

    - Understand the effects that tourist activity has on the territory:
    - List and recognize all types of effects caused by tourism activity.
    - Understand the concept of sustainability in tourism.
    - Identify elements that could obstruct or modify the globalization of tourism (climate change and others).

    - Systematically structure the knowledge of tourist resources in a geographical space:
    - Distinguish between heritage, resources, attractions and products.
    Understand the role of resources within the tourism system.
    Develop methodologies and techniques to be able to inventory, classify and evaluate tourism resources.

    - Understand the relationships between the different agents who participate in tourism destinations and analyze the connections with other external agents:
    - Explain and know how to apply the process of putting tourism resources to use in the market.
    Understand the role of the different agents involved in the process of putting tourism resources to use in the market.

    - Develop practices based on the main natural and cultural landscapes that motivate tourism movement:
    - Define and characterize the different types of landscapes (based on natural and cultural resources).
    - Recognize the importance of landscape in post-Fordist tourism.

    - Identify the different types of tourist spaces:
    - Explain and know how to recognize the concept of tourist space depending on the scale of analysis (place, nucleus, destination, node, etc.)
    - Identify the different methods of tourism implementation that tourist spaces allow (spontaneous, planned, endogenous, etc.)
    - Understand and know how to apply different models to interpret the dynamics of tourism spaces (evolutionary models).
    - Describe the characteristics of different territory types for tourism destinations: shore, city, mountain, rural, and natural.

    The learning strategies employed are mainly aimed at the student developing the abilities associated with the skills identified. Below we specify the teaching-learning methodologies which will be applied to achieve the skills to be gained, as well as specifying how they will be developed:
    - Theory: master classes, lectures, group projects.
    - Theoretical-practical: application activities, problem-based learning, problem solving, practical exercises, research.
    - Presentations: presentations of results. This will allow the student to receive feedback on how to improve his or her oral communication techniques and become accustomed to using information technology.

    The tools used to evaluate the course are those which allow us to assess the course's contents in both a theoretical and practical way; such as objective tests, development tests, individual projects, group projects, in-class activities, oral presentations using IT, virtual forums, portfolios, practical cases, problem solving, etc.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.


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