What is the Study of Tourism and Hospitality Management?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2019
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The study of tourism and hospitality management is the pursuit of knowledge pertaining to the operation of tourism programs or businesses in hospitality, such as major restaurants and hotels or resorts. This is typically part of a business program at a college or university, though it can often be seen as its own school or department. The courses in such a program are usually intended for those interested in working in the tourism or hospitality industries. The degrees awarded by schools of tourism and hospitality management can include an Associate’s in Applied Science (AAS), a bachelor’s degree, a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA), and even a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD).

Tourism and hospitality management are areas of study often offered by colleges and universities. Though many schools may allow students to pursue a particular track, specializing in either tourism or hospitality, many of the courses in these programs overlap and so they are typically grouped together into a single field of study. The study of tourism typically involves a greater understanding of multiple cultures and countries, while hospitality management is usually more concerned with operation of a restaurant or resort. Both tourism and hospitality management are aspects of entertainment, however, and there may be greater employment opportunities for someone with training in both fields.


There are many different courses available for someone interested in the study of tourism and hospitality management, though these will often vary depending on the school. Tourism courses often involve learning about various cultures, typically with a focus on cultural practices and traditions that may be of interest to travelers and visitors to other countries. These types of courses can include the subjects of geography, multicultural studies, sustainable tourism practices, and marketing.

Hospitality management is often related to the operation of a business that is concerned with providing food and lodging for guests, such as hotels, resorts, and casinos. Courses in this type of program focus on food safety practices and regulations, advertising, customer service, finances, and management. Tourism and hospitality management are typically connected in that tourism deals with where people can go and how they want to get there, and hospitality management focuses on their destination and what they will do while they are there. Many schools offer an undergraduate degree, such as an AAS or bachelor’s degree, in tourism and hospitality management, while many graduate degrees, such as an MBA or PhD, are in business administration with a concentration in tourism and hospitality management.


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