module specification

LT5091 - Cultural Tourism Management (2021/22)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2021/22
Module title Cultural Tourism Management
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School Guildhall School of Business and Law
Total study hours 150
70 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
40 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
4 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Photo-essay: an analysis of a cultural tourism landscape using fieldwork and photography
Running in 2021/22
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Spring semester North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

International tourist arrivals reached 1.5bn in 2019 and the proportion of these said to be cultural tourists is 40% and rising. Many more are incidental cultural tourists, engaging with culture on a more casual level. Most governments have specific cultural tourism strategies and are looking to develop their cultural tourism offer and find new ways of communicating that to potential visitors. Cultural Tourism Management explores the growth and increasing diversity of this cultural tourism market, and the governance of cultural tourism at different spatial levels from the global to the local. It examines critical issues related to the cultural tourism product including tangible and intangible cultural heritage, contemporary culture, contested meanings, authenticity, identity and the commodification of culture. It identifies the current trends in creative and experiential tourism and how this impacts communities. It considers the ways in which many cities have reinvented themselves as centres of leisure and recreation consumption using cultural infrastructure investment, heritage commodification, events and festivals to boost cultural and creative industry investment and the potential for cultural tourism. 

This module is a core for BA Tourism and Travel Management students and an option for BA Events Management, and BA Events and Marketing students. As such it provides an understanding of the key role that tourism plays in the cultural and creative industries, how culture is turned into tourism products and how destinations attempt to package those products for the growing cultural tourism market.
This module aims to:

  1. Equip students with a basic understanding of the interplay of culture and tourism, the motivations of cultural tourists and trends in their patterns of consumption and the cultural tourism product
  2. Demonstrate how the arts, museums, galleries, heritage sector, contemporary and local cultures are mobilised for the leisure economy and international tourism
  3. Increase awareness of the sensitive issues surrounding the commodification of culture
  4. Provide an understanding of the practical problems of ‘managing’ cultural tourism in dynamic urban and semi-urban contexts
  5. Develop skills in practical research, observation, creative thinking, fieldwork. recording and communicating findings


  • Defining cultural tourism and the cultural tourist LO1
  • From UNESCO to local partnerships – the key institutions and agencies and their role in managing cultural tourism LO1
  • Commodifying the past – tangible and intangible cultural heritage, contested heritage, social memory and commemoration LO2
  • Ethnoscapes, identity, the commodification of the everyday, authenticity, the invention of tradition LO2
  • The contemporary cultural and creative sector as a tourism product LO3
  • Analysing tourism landscapes LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module comprises weekly lectures delivered by the module tutor followed by seminar sessions to develop, explore and apply the ideas developed in the lectures.  Group and individual tasks in class will give student the opportunity to work with the key concepts developed in the module.  The seminars will also be used to support students in the development of their assignment task (the photo essay). 
A group exercise takes place in week 4 when student explore a London tourism landscape and record their observations photographically.  This forms the basis of an informal presentation analysing the landscape.  The exercise is aimed to develop skills required for the photo-essay  assignment.
The module also makes use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) in order to post material from the lectures, and supply additional teaching material.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module you should be able to:

  1. Identify the ways in which cultural tourism is managed at different geographical scales (LO1)
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the concepts and theories underpinning contemporary cultural and creative tourism (LO2)
  3. Explain how cultural tourism functions in local tourism landscapes (LO3)
  4. Select, plan and manage field research in a tourism landscape (LO4)

Assessment strategy

The assignment comprises a 2000-word photo-essay. The photo essay comprises an illustrated essay on a theme chosen by the student in conjunction with the seminar tutor. The task is to analyse an aspect of cultural tourism using field research. Students select an appropriate tourism landscape (in London, elsewhere in the UK, or any place that can easily be visited).  Credit will be given for original ideas. The student analyses the landscape applying the ideas and concepts developed in the module and supported by the academic literature.  The student must visit the chosen landscape, taking photographs to illustrate the points being made.

This assignment is designed to allow students to demonstrate that they can correctly use the key concepts developed in the module and recognise them in ordinary tourism landscapes and identifying issues and debates surrounding the operation of cultural tourism in real places.

Students have the opportunity to practice the required photographic and observational skills in week 4 and the seminar exercises with familiarise the students with the key ideas and how they can be applied in real locations. In developing this assignment students will address the 4 leaning outcomes – the management of cultural tourism; an understanding of the key concepts, the functioning of cultural tourism in local landscape and the planning and execution of fieldwork and the recording of observations.


Core reading:

Smith M.K. (2016) Issues in cultural tourism studies, London: Routledge 3rd edition.

Smith M, Macleod N, Robertson M H (2010) Key concepts in tourist studies, London: Sage

Additional Reading:

Coehn A, Knifton R. (eds) (2015) Sites of popular music heritage: memories, histories, places London: Routledge

Du Cros H., and McKercher B. (2015) Cultural Tourism, Abingdon: Routledge

Hobsbawm E and Ranger T (2012) The invention of tradition, Cambridge, CUP

McKerchler B, du Cross H (2002) Cultural tourism: the partnership between tourism and cultural heritage management, New York: Haworth Hospitality

Prebensen N.K., Chen J.S., and  Uysal M. (eds),   (2016) Creating Experience Value in Tourism CABI

Raj R., Griffen K., Morpeth N. (eds) (2013) Cultural tourism Wallingford: CABI

Smith L and Akagawa N (2009) Intangible heritage London: Routledge

Timothy D.J. and Boyd S.W. (2003) Heritage tourism, Prentice Hall

Timothy D.J. and Boyd S.W. (2014) Tourism and trails – cultural, ecological and management issues, Channel View Publications

Urry J and Larson J (2012) The tourist gaze 3.0, London: Sage