TM9641 - Global Challenges and Tourism Futures

What will I learn on this module?

This module explores the uncertain futures of tourism by encouraging in-depth discussion and critique of key tourist questions and challenges facing communities, industry and governments. Tourism can only exist in the long term if it is managed responsibly. And yet the industry faces short demands for profits in a dynamic and challenging environment, which creates negative impacts that compromises its very own future. The module seeks to develop both theoretical and practical knowledge on how best to develop tourism potential without endangering the surrounding infrastructure and environment.

The module will cover four distinctive areas of study.

Firstly, sustainable tourism as the objective of both tourism industry and destinations. You will gain a critical appreciation of theoretical approaches to sustainability and will critically discuss the implementation of sustainable tourism policies and practices.

Secondly, the impacts of climate change and other risk factors in tourism. Climate change is arguably the single most important global environmental issue facing the tourism sector. Tourism both contributes to, and will be notably affected by, climate change.

Thirdly, transport, human mobility and globalisation. These issues are considered in terms of social, physical, virtual, cultural and historical aspects of the movement of people, artefacts, goods and ideas. Increased restrictions to global mobility will be also considered.

Finally, the challenges of an ageing population for tourism. Some of the many emerging consequences of economically successful societies and its changing demographics will be unpacked as new strategies are needed for dealing with the modern propensity to travel.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through a combination of class-based lectures and seminars, online delivery and independent learning. The two weekly lectures will provide you with a theoretical underpinning of the module content, relating theory to practice through an extensive use of case studies. The weekly seminar will encourage in-depth discussions and critique to key questions and challenges facing tourism, using empirical and media evidence.

The module will include a range of tutor-guided student-led activities, online content and guest speakers, which will help you to appreciate key issues and challenges that tourism is facing both regionally as well as internationally. Through these activities you will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to engage with complex and open futures. The module embraces a student-centred approach to learning that engages all participants as learning and knowledge builders, thus establishing clear links between theory and practice. Critical thinking, intellectual autonomy and authenticity are key to the learning in this module.

Your directed study will support the work you undertake in the contact sessions. You will be expected to keep up to date with recommended readings and workshop activities. The self-directed study will be directly linked to the assignment. The assignment requires you to undertake research and inquiry within the context of the region, thus encouraging a deeper engagement with the topic that you study.

Independent learning time is set aside for learning activities, self-identified by you, to gain a deeper and broader knowledge of the subject. You may complete the review exercises, work with the electronic support tools and attempt to complete past assignments or undertake further reading

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will be provided to you by a member of academic staff leading the module and providing the lecture input. Other members of staff will contribute to the teaching of the module based on their subject expertise. The activities of the teacher and the learner will be aligned towards the co-creation of knowledge. You will take responsibility for your own learning through active and self-directed learning activities that are supported by academic staff.
Your module is supported by an e-learning portal, which houses lecture materials, seminar exercise, alongside assessment details and various support facilities such as recordings of certain lectures and IT applications, alongside other electronic support facilities such as indicated above.

You will be provided with a wide-ranging electronic reading list that comprises of academic reports, books sections and journal articles. The readings have been carefully selected to help you better understand the main concepts and ideas in tourism and events.
The module assessment will be based on a 3000-word essay. Your assignments will examine key issue and problems that tourism sector is facing. Your assignment will require research and application skills as well as an understanding of theoretical issues and concepts. A series of seminar activities will support the writing of the assignment. All the necessary information for the assessment will be available to the e-learning portal. Specific time will be allocated in class to support the assessment.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

• To demonstrate a critical understanding of key questions and challenges tourism is facing (MLO1)

• Apply and critically evaluate appropriate concepts, theories and models for the understanding of tourism challenges and possible futures (MLO2)

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

• Apply critical thinking and problem-solving skills to the analysis of present and future challenges (MLO3)

• An ability to Identify relevant arguments, interpret evidences, evaluate alternative points of view and formulate conclusions based on empirical evidences. (MLO4)

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• To develop an approach to tourism management and research that is informed by ethical principles and values (MLO5)

How will I be assessed?

The module assessment includes one assignment only, an essay counting for an 100% of the final mark. The assignment addresses all module learning outcomes (MLO1, MLO2, MLO3, MLO4 and MLO5)

You are asked to write a 3000 word essay applying Social science theories to the analysis of a challenge of your choice that tourism is facing.





Module abstract

Tourism can only exist in the long term if it’s managed responsibly, and yet it faces short demands for profit in a challenging environment. This module explores the industry’s uncertain future by encouraging in-depth discussion and critique of key questions and challenges facing
communities, industry and government. You’ll explore four key areas including sustainable tourism development, the impact of climate change on tourism, human mobility, transport and globalisation, and finally how tourism can adapt to the challenges of an ageing population. Once you’ve completed this module, you’ll have an academically rich understanding of tourism as a social phenomenon, with a critical grasp of the global challenges it faces, as well as opportunities for innovation and growth.

Course info

UCAS Code N805

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 year sandwich

Department Newcastle Business School

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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