module specification

LT5053 - Niche Tourism (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Niche Tourism
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
108 hours Guided independent study
42 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Individual portfolio (blog)
Coursework 60%   Individual (2500 words) case study
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester City Thursday Morning

Module summary

Niche Tourism’ studies wide range of forms of tourism that are becoming increasingly important for tourism industry due to growing importance of experience economy. Contents cover an overview of niche tourism concept and distinctiveness of niche marketing approach and further explore various areas of niche tourism, such as medical, industrial and dark tourism.

Teaching uses many case studies throughout aiming to provide students with a realistic understanding of challenges faced by 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 an option for level 5 BA Tourism and Travel Management but is also suitable for students from other courses, interested in innovative tourism products and niche marketing principles. It is delivered in the Autumn semester and introduces online blog and individual case study as assessment components.

Module aims

This module aims to:

  1. Enhance students’ understanding of the scope and role of niche tourism forms in destinations’ development, marketing effectiveness, efficiency and return on investment;
  2. Provide students with a portfolio of case studies serving as a basis for further dissertation choices and opportunity for entrepreneurial activity of alumni
  3. Implement range of appropriate learning technologies and supporting resources that enable students to develop mix of appropriate transferable skills; in particular: researching, social media creation, cross-cultural awareness and creativity and innovative thinking.


The syllabus covers niche marketing specifics and variety of niche tourism forms, including:

  • Introduction to the niche tourism and its role in experience economy
  • Niche tourism marketing – the Long Tail concept
  • Culture-based forms of niche tourism, which may include: Culinary tourism; Movie tourism; Ethnic and genealogy tourism; Industrial tourism, etc.
  • Nature-based forms of niche tourism, which may include: Slow tourism; Wellness tourism; Polar tourism; Extreme tourism, etc.
  • Controversial forms of niche tourism, which may include: Dark tourism; Sex tourism; Medical tourism; Last chance tourism, etc.

Learning and teaching

Teaching will be divided into lectures and seminars. Weekly lectures, via series of case studies, will introduce students to the topic, which will be discussed further during seminars. Each, weekly seminar will focus on a chosen aspect of niche form of tourism – often in relation to local/regional tourism product portfolio - and will cover subjects of market research, tourist motivations, new product design and  implementation and promotional strategy, illustrated by international case studies. Seminars will also work as tutorial sessions for preparation of all items of final assignment.

The module will use a blended learning strategy where student learning is supported and enhanced by both classroom contact and on-line support.

Learning outcomes

Module learning outcomes has been designed to cover three areas: knowledge, understanding and subject-specific competencies; work and life experience capabilities and generic skills. On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate ability and knowledge necessary to target niche markets in a more effective manner, according to business needs and market demands;
  2. Research and interpret market trends in order to match and (re)design niche tourism products appropriate to particular destination;
  3. Understand and evaluate specifics of social media marketing in niche businesses and manage (design, create, edit, market) an online blog

Assessment strategy

Module assessment comprises of two components:

  1. Individual portfolio (blog) – tests student’s ability to discuss the role and effects of various forms of niche tourism. Students are required to set up an online (Weblearn) blog where they discuss (on a weekly basis) given aspect of particular form of niche tourism
  2. Individual case study (2500 words) – Aiming to critically discuss opportunities for development of chosen (currently underdeveloped) form of niche tourism in small destination. Case study will provide specific niche marketing suggestions for one of the areas chosen from: A) targeting and positioning; B) promotional strategy; C) differentiation strategy and USP


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.  (ed)  (2011) The Long Tail of Tourism: Holiday Niches and their Impact on Mainstream Tourism. Gabler Verlag.
Robinson, P., Heitmann, S. and Dieke, P. (eds) (2011) Research themes for tourism. CABI.