Leisure and tourism are complex social phenomena that raise a wide array of important academic and applied issues ranging from questions of the socio-cultural, political-economic and environmental implications of leisure and tourism to those of destination branding and management. The complexity of these subjects means that students interested in studying leisure and tourism at the MSc level can explore, for example, linkages between tourism, sports, culture, and media and are able to do so from a range of perspectives including sociology, psychology, economics, business management and marketing (e.g. MSc Leisure Studies); or they may seek to focus on such questions as how leisure and tourism transforms places and environments through the lens of concepts such as landscape, space, place, locality, authenticity and sustainability (MSc Leisure, Tourism and Environment).
Today we are faced with profound challenges associated with environmental degradation and ecological instability. Tourism is a significant contributor to but is also a potential alleviator of these threats. This relationship between tourism and the environment is a central theme of the BSc Tourism programme. Critical issues are addressed in the programme relating to environmental understandings and decision-making processes, sustainable development, and natural resource management. Alumni of the programme have taken up the challenge of finding innovative means of confronting these environmental concerns by pursuing a range of environment-focused master degrees, including Environmental Sciences, Climate Change Mitigation, Marine Development and Protection, Forest and Nature Conservation, and Disaster Management.
Given the economic magnitude of the tourism sector on a global scale and the increasing importance of tourism to local communities and entire countries in terms of employment and income, it is not surprising that many BTO alumni have chosen masters’ programme related to business and economics. Whether their interests lie in studying the political economy of tourism or developing a career in the business management, BTO graduates have pursued such MSc degrees as International Business Administration, Marketing Management, Consumer Studies, and Economic Geography.