module specification

LT6082 - Visitor Attraction Management (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Visitor Attraction Management
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
36 hours Guided independent study
30 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
78 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
6 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Audit report (1500 words)
Coursework 60%   Consultative report with recommendations (3000 words)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

‘Visitor Attraction Management’ considers visitor attractions from the perspective of the tourism industry – as a product that is managed and marketed to tourists to meet visitor expectations and maximise visitor satisfaction while ensuring financial security in a dynamic external environment.
The module covers visitor attractions in the commercial, pubic and not for profit sectors. In order to understand the operation of these attractions, consideration to the main management functions including finance, marketing, visitor experience management, facilities management, interpretation and education is given. Specific issues related to the management of sensitive sites (such as sacred sites and dark heritage sites) are considered. Ethical issues in the management of visitor attractions are dealt with in areas such as the handling of live collections (zoos and aquaria), the treatment of human remains, the provenance of collections, restitution and repatriation.
Whatever the attraction (theme park, museum, temple or battlefield) - they all need to maintain the appropriate balance of visitor engagement, enjoyment, excitement and enlightenment. In addition, they need to continually adapt to the dynamic social, economic and political environment in which they operate. To that end, the module emphasises the need for organisations to think ahead strategically and develop plans to build on their strengths and exploit the opportunities in the wider environment in order to retain and improve their market position.
The module aims to give students the analytical skills to evaluate a visitor attraction and apply management principles to devise strategic options for organisations that will address internal and external challenges.


The syllabus presents the place of visitor attractions and their management within tourism; visitors as consumers, visitor demand and motivation. Among key management functions within visitor attractions the following are discussed: funding and revenue management; marketing, branding and public relations; interpretation; education; facilities management; visitor experience management. LO1

Managing sensitive sites (sacred and dark heritage) and ethical issues are debated before the wider social, economic, political, technological and environmental context in which attractions operate. Finally, the module analyses strategic thinking and planning in visitor attractions. LO2

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The lectures will deliver the core ideas, concepts, and theories. The seminars will explore through discussion, workshops, visits and guest speakers the application of the conceptual material to practical case studies. The role of the classes is to define the parameters of the module subject matter, to identify materials for student research and to provide guidance and advice for the student to develop an analytical case study of a visitor attraction of their choice.
A formative, non-assessed presentation will provide initial guidance on the case study feeding forward into assignment 1 (the audit), which in turn will be developed into a strategic plan for the chosen organisation. Weblearn is used to provide supporting materials – academic sources and industry case studies.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal management functions within visitor attractions
2. Identify the key strategic options available to visitor attractions and recommend the actions to be taken in the light of the internal and external environment analysis


Core Text:
• Swarbrooke, J., Page, S. (2015) Development and Management of Visitor Attractions, 2nd ed., Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Other Texts:
• Edelheim, J. R. (2015) Tourist attractions – from object to narrative, Channel View Publications
• Du Cros, H., McKercher, B. (2015) Cultural Tourism, 2nd ed., Routledge.
• Fyall, A., Garrod, B., Leask, A., Wanhill, S. (Eds.) (2008) Managing Visitor Attractions: New Directions, 2nd ed., Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann
• Hassanien, A., Dale, C. (eds) (2013) Facilities management and development for tourism, hospitality and events, Wallingford: CABI
• Scott, N., Gao, J., Ma, J. (eds) (2017) Visitor Experience Design, Wallingford: CABI
• Shackley, M. (2001) Managing sacred sites, service provision and visitor experience, Continuum
• Stein, A. (2015) Attracting attention: promotion and marketing for tourism attractions, New York: Peter Lang Publishing
• Weidenfeld, A., Butler, R., Williams, A.M. (2016) Visitor attractions and events: locations and linkages, Routledge

• Annals of Tourism Research
• Cultural Trends
• Journal of Cultural Heritage
• Journal of International Heritage Studies
• Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship
• Museums Journal
• Tourism Management

• Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA);
• English Heritage;
• Historic England;
• International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS); 
• International Council of Museums (ICOM);
• National Trust;

Electronic Databases:
• Business Source Ultimate
• Emerald Management E-Journals
• Ingenta Connect
• Leisure Tourism Database
• Mintel Reports
• Passport
• Science Direct