On this page you can read some details about the contents of the Master of Arts in Tourism Destination Management programme. In general, the programme consists of three major phases, which all have their own characteristics, contents and educational intentions. To give you deeper insights into the actual programme that is being executed for many years already, this website guides you through the process of how to become a tourism destination management expert. The three phases are explained at hand of a short description as well as with some photos to illustrate and support the contents of the programme. Enjoy the read and do not hesitate to contact us for more information directly.
The first phase
Location: the Netherlands
Duration: five months
Contents: theory-learning and first practical experiences
The first phase of the programme usually starts in September with an introduction week. In this week the new students get to know each other and their tutors through workshops and team-building activities. After the initial ‘getting-to-know’ stage the students are familiarized with BUAS facilities and the TDM staff. The programme quickly picks up pace from the beginning to establish a straight-forward and demanding study environment. The many contents of tourism destination management are brought closer to the new students through various courses, such as Destination Development Strategies (DDS), International Tourism Research (ITR), Destination Context Analysis (DCA) and many others. The students will be guided through the phases at hand of their programme handbook that includes goals, objectives and tasks. Although this first phase is devoted to learn the underlying theories of tourism destination management the students are given the opportunity to gain first practical insights as well. Hence, the students usually have to practice field-research in destinations that are close to Breda. In previous years the students went to for instance Amsterdam, where they got to know the local Destination Management Organizations ‘iAmsterdam‘ from up close. Additionally, the students were practicing various research techniques at hand of assignments to get familiar with doing field-research.
The second phase
Duration: three months
Contents: practical research phase abroad in three diverse tourism destinations
The students leave the first phase and the Netherlands behind in order to gain practical insights and experiences into the tourism background of three diverse destinations in the South-Pacific region. These destinations usually have different development stages such as underdeveloped, developed and mature areas. Even though to some this might appear as a sort of vacation, in reality it is not, at all. The students will have to embed themselves into a foreign culture in order to get the desired contextual information. This is done in small groups of usually 3-4 persons with diverse personal and professional backgrounds. The task of doing field-research is challenging for all students. It requires and teaches various skills that are essential to tourism managers such as cultural understanding and sensitivity but also learning to work and progress as a team by reaching mutual goals and research objectives. This phase is of course challenging but if managed well by the students it is also one of the most rewarding phases on many levels. Here are some potential destination examples: Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka …
The third phase
Location: students’ choice
Duration: three to six months
Contents: final master dissertation
The last and final phase of the Master of Arts programme of Tourism Destination Management takes you deep into the realms of being a researcher. This phase is solely devoted to the planning and execution of your final master dissertation. Generally, there are two ways to write your final thesis: firstly you are free to pick a tourism-related topic of your own choice or secondly, you are allowed to write your dissertation with an external commissioner such as a tourism-related organization, which is interested in a topic that is proposed by either you or them. There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both methods but in any case you will have to decide on a thesis topic that suits your interest, since you have to work on it from beginning to finish. In this phase all the experiences and research expertise that you have learned over the course of the first and second phase will essentially come in handy. It is important that you do not see the dissertation as a hurdle as such but more like a chance to show what you have learned and to prove yourself as a proficient tourism destination management student.