Special interest tourism & Sustainable destination development

The Western Norway University of Applied Sciences and Skills Norway (part of the Norwegian Directorate for Higher Education and Skills) are happy to offer free online courses for persons working in the tourist industry. Do you want to learn something new? Do you want to know how to develop new experiences within special interest tourism and storytelling? Or maybe sustainable destination development? If yes, you should apply for our courses offered online now.

The tourist industry in Norway as well as the rest of world has been challenged since Covid-19 was introduced. One main precondition to keep and stimulate to growth for a sustainable tourist industry is relevant and a competent workforce.

These two courses may help you increase your turnover and value creation. We offer both national and international guest lectures and you will meet lecturers with work experience from the tourist industry.

Target group

Main target group is for you who work in the tourist industry today. The content may be relevant for all parts of the tourist industry; accommodation, restaurants, attractions or activity-based companies, transportation, sales, tour operators or destination companies.

The courses may also suit persons who work in public organizations with business development or tourism or for entrepreneurs who run their own business with an desire to increase their knowledge.

You will have to inform about your current work position and what part of the tourist industry you work with in the introduction of the course.

Course overview

You apply for admission to one course at a time.

Special Interest Tourism & Storytelling

Special interest tourism is defined by those who travel for the sake of a special interest. This may be unusual hobbies, activities, themes, or destinations which also tend to attract niche markets. Some suggest special interest tourism as an alternative to mass tourism. A special interest tourist chooses to engage and seeks learning experiences and is therefore close related to sustainable tourism.

The course will cover introduction, market trends, experience and service escapes, product development and storytelling in tourism businesses (i.e., hotels, restaurants, attractions). Special interests like sports tourism, gastronomy and wine tourism, dark tourism and health tourism will be covered.

We also include storytelling as a tool in experience development, both as part of an experience or as the main experience. We will take a look at good and bad examples of storytelling at both the business and destination level.

See the course plan «Special Interest Tourism & Storytelling» 

Wednesday 2nd of February 2022, 1800-2000 o’clock. Then 10 lectures each Wednesday.
The lectures are held digitally, at Zoom platform. The students will receive information by email, and on the learning platform Canvas.
It may occur changes in time during the course, then students will be notified.
The teaching is in English

Organization and teaching methods

All lectures will be held in English and online via Zoom or Teams. Both individual and assignments in groups. Visits to businesses and some fieldwork may be included. You may choose to take an exam and receive credits or just receive a diploma for participation. But mandatory assignment must be approved in order to receive a diploma.


The courses are financed by Skills Norway and the main aim of the program is to offer these course to persons who are laid off, unemployed or workers from the tourist industry who wants to learn something new.