RE6-2003 Special Interest Tourism

Course description for academic year 2020/2021

Contents and structure

Content and structure

Travelers' expectations of tourism destinations and experiences are increasing and their demands and tastes are changing.

Alongside this, international competition continually increases and puts pressure on places to differentiate their victims. This course deals with how various organizations and actors seek to meet these requirements, as travel suppliers, marketing organizations, social media clusters and destination management groups.

Furthermore, the course will provide considerations of the resources available for different types of theme or niche-based tourism. The course will give students insights into key issues related to the development of different SIT products, ie with a focus on co-creativity, environmental sustainability and the effects of social networking on place identity via reviews and online discourses.

Key course topics are: basic understanding of the concept of Special Interest Tourism with emphasis on presenting niches and SIT, as well as how to develop new products and experience scapes. Also, a critical interrogation of the purpose and effectiveness of niche, or SIT promotion from a destination perspective will be considered. What are the pros and cons of 'theming' places?

Learning Outcome

Learning outcomes

After completing the course the student will have/be able to:


Knowledge about

  • the diversity of thematic and niche-based tourism, such as health tourism, transport tourism, food and drink tourism, photo tourism, tourism motivated by genealogy, cultural and natural heritage, amusement parks, man-made tourist attractions and festivals
  • the role of such a theme or niche from a destination perspective
  • thematic tourism from a global perspective including current trends
  • some definitions of themed tourism: from wine to death, from gastronomy to adventure



  • How to critically analyze and be acquainted with products in thematic tourism and align these with extant market demands
  • How to develop new products / experiences and develop strategies and tactics accordingly
  • Critically assess and balance the drive toward specialism and the overall appeal of a place or experience


General qualifications

  • Understand the potential connection between thematic tourism and sustainable development principles and be able to plan tourist products according to these principles

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge


Teaching methods

Case study analysis, discussion, lectures, videos, presentations, study visits, interrogation of peer reviewed and other materials

Course requirements

Course work requirements

  • Students will present (in English) a group assignment (3-4 persons in each group) including a detailed critical interrogation of the concept of special interest (or niche) tourism in the literature.
  • Written assignment regarding product development

Students must pass both assignments in order to take the exam


Written home exam. 1 week allowed (60% of final grade) 

Oral presentation, in groups 3-4 persons (40% of final grade). 

Examination support material

Home exam: all aids allowed

Oral presentation; all aids allowed 

More about examination support material