module specification

LT5053 - Niche Tourism (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module title Niche Tourism
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
 
40 hours Guided independent study
105 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
5 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Blog (2500 words)
Coursework 50%   Critical essay (2000 words)
Running in 2018/19
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

‘Niche Tourism’ studies wide range of forms of tourism increasingly vital in the tourism industry due to the growing importance of experience economy. Contents cover an overview of niche tourism concept and distinctiveness of niche marketing approach, to be able to explore various areas of niche tourism, covering the scope of culture- and nature-related forms, together with niche tourism forms of ethical concern such as sex tourism.  

Teaching uses many case studies throughout, aiming to provide students with a realistic understanding of challenges faced by small and medium enterprises and destinations seeking to establish or improve their destination product through niche tourism. Study of niche marketing techniques prepares students to recognise and apply strategies appropriate for particular circumstances and successfully compete for visitors in today's global marketplace. Knowledge of growing in popularity forms of niche tourism enables students to practice application of ‘fresh’ strategic approaches to destination’s planning and entrepreneurship.

Module is delivered as part of the BA Tourism and Travel Management curriculum; however it is also suitable for students with some marketing background, interested in innovative tourism products and niche marketing principles. It also serves as basis for research ideas useful in the dissertation module, and as an opportunity for entrepreneurial activity of alumni.

The aim of the module is to enhance students’ understanding of the scope and role of niche tourism forms in destinations’ development and as an entrepreneurship option, at the same time equipping students with essential transferable skills of social media creation, cross-cultural awareness and creativity and innovative thinking.

Syllabus

The syllabus presents the concept of niche marketing via the introduction of the Long Tail model. An application of the Pareto principle to the niche business concepts is used to demonstrate the unique nature of the niche business environment and the distinctiveness of niche customers and in effect, niche marketing techniques and tools used to attract demand. LO1


The following part of the module discusses a variety of niche tourism forms related to culture (e.g. culinary tourism; movie tourism; ethnic and genealogy tourism; industrial tourism, etc.) and nature (e.g. slow tourism; health tourism; polar tourism; adventure and extreme tourism, etc.). Special attention is given to ethically sensitive or controversial niche tourism forms (e.g. dark tourism; sex tourism; medical tourism; last chance tourism, etc.) LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

A third of the module is delivered via class contact, in the form of lectures, seminars, assignment tutorials and support sessions. Lecture sessions are available online (Weblearn) in written and audio-video form. Lectures use wide range of communication means, including videos, graphics, maps, hyperlinks and social media. Supporting readings (when possible due to copyright) are available in written and audio form.
Syllabus is built on the principle of feed-forward, where contents allow for systematic progress on the blog assignment components and implementation of changes as a result of feedback. Student’s blog activity is monitored throughout the semester – blog entries can be edited until the final submission date, taking into account tutor and peer feedback available.
Peer feedback is an element of closed (available only to students registered on the module) blogging community, as students can follow each other’s blogs and comment on posts during the course of the semester. This approach makes learning more engaging, develops critical skills and communication, but also allows for reflection and stimulates progress.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Debate suitability and application of niche marketing concepts to specific tourism products using social media (blog) as a tool of argumentation
2. Investigate and reflect on the relationship between niche tourism forms and leading principles of tourism studies

Assessment strategy

Assessment strategy incorporates transferable skills essential in contemporary business environment via the utilisation of an online blog as a tool of expression. Students act as bloggers and in consecutive tasks debate various aspects of niche tourism marketing. This form of assessment is chosen to develop social media marketing skills, reinforce awareness of digital marketing as primary tool in niche entrepreneurship and strengthen student’s employability.
1. Individual online blog (2500 words) (50%) debating various aspects of niche marketing in relation to specific forms of niche tourism and reflecting on ethical concerns related to chosen niche tourism forms. Blog tasks are given on weekly basis, subsequent to the curriculum content covered in class.
2. Individual critical essay (2000 words) (50%) discussing the relationship between chosen form of niche tourism and a given concept from the tourism studies. Combination of concepts and niches will be provided to choose from, e.g. culinary tourism + authenticity, or ethnic tourism + globalisation.

Assessment tariff alignment: L5 (15 credits) max. 5000 words
• Blog (2500 words)
• Critical essay (2000 words)
Total word count: 4500 words

Bibliography

Core Texts:
• Dalgic, T. (2006) Handbook of Niche Marketing: Principles And Practice. Haworth Series.
• Novelli, M. (2005) Niche Tourism: Contemporary issues, trends and cases. Butterworth-Heinemann. 
• Papathanassis, A. (2011) The Long Tail of Tourism: Holiday Niches and their Impact on Mainstream Tourism. Gabler Verlag.
• Robinson, P., Heitmann, S. and Dieke, P. (2011) Research themes for tourism. CABI.

Additional resources specific to each niche will be provided via Weblearn.