MASTER IN TOURISM DESTINATION MANAGEMENT - WHAT & WHY ?
When I started this master’s programme as a new chapter in my life, family and friends were getting interested in what's happening. Certainly, questions were asked about where I am going, what I am doing and for which reason. I would like to give you some insights of what my answers look like.
The Netherlands - Breda - NHTV University!
I am studying even closer to home than I did during my Bachelor - even though this was in Germany - but it is another country: The Netherlands. In first place I combine vacation with this country, because I visited several places during school holidays. In Breda I immediately felt comfortable. The city has a lovely, historical centre which is typical Dutch in my eyes. The best aspect of living in Breda is getting to know the "gezellige" mentality of the locals. NHTV may not sound familiar to anyone not working in tourism. Tourism professionals could have heard of the University. Founded as an institute for tourism and leisure, it is still leading in the field of tourism studies worldwide.
I totally took the country, Breda and the locals as well as the Uni to my heart.
I am studying Tourism Destination Management in a master’s programme. I was always wondering how the challenge of matching demand (tourists) and supply (destinations) can get organized better. This programme shows convincing solutions.
I learn to analyse, interpret and apply the global developments and translate these into new opportunities for people and businesses in destination areas. Most interesting to me appears the fact that there are sooooo many different stakeholders within a destination; the government, public and private companies as well as tourists and locals. They extensively have to collaborate for long-lasting success.
It is expected that a shift of power will take place from the tour operators in the market areas towards the operators of tourism products and services at the destination areas. This requires knowledge and expertise, which is closely interwoven with the destination areas themselves. Therefore, I am convinced that becoming a Tourism Destination Manager has huge potential by contributing to this, focusing on practice, perspectives and policies of tourism management at destinations.
Let's take a closer look into the course structure! The programme is subdivided into three phases:
Phase 1 - Theory in Breda
The first phase taking place from September 2017 to January 2018 in Breda is a clear emphasis on theory. During this phase, we gain theoretical knowledge such as destination theories, models, developments and practical cases. We develop our professional skills while working in groups on projects. We interact daily with a specialised team of academics and tourism professionals. It is the preparation for the second phase.
Phase 2 - Practice at three different destinations
In the second phase is from February to May 2018. We carry out assignments in groups at three different locations in the Asia Pacific: Melbourne (Australia), Sri Lanka and Bali. These assignments have a practical basis where we cooperate with stakeholders involved in developments of particular regions. We can benefit from the great familiarity of the staff of the area and get in contact with businesses, governmental institutions and academies familiarity with developments and dynamics.
Phase 3 - Dissertation (Final Thesis)
By writing a dissertation during the last phase of the programme (June to August 2018) everything comes together: applying our research skills, demonstrating a true understanding of tourism destination management and using concepts, insights and practical abilities to develop a better understanding of the subject under investigation.
This programme totally conforms to my image of what working in tourism means: Analysing a present situation, finding out what an optimised perspective can be, who is involved how in establishing it and implementing this new policy that appears beneficial to every party.
The biggest benefits I take for myself from the master’s programme the personal development. Studying together with more than 30 fellow students from 20 nationalities is challenging and inspiring at the same time. Taking many different perspectives into consideration is the strongest resource I can make use of.
My future has manifold opportunities. This master’s programme offers the required qualifications for international managerial and research positions with private, public or non-profit organisations in the tourism sector. I can also work as a consultant – which me be the most suitable opportunity for me.
The most important thing we got taught is: Everything is possible! So, let’s see what the future brings.