Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Socio-Economic Issues in Tourism

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Institute for Tourism, Travel and Culture

DESCRIPTION This study-unit provides an essential approach to the tourism sector from a macroeconomic point of view. The objective of the unit is twofold: first, to study the economic impact and contribution of tourism at national and international level; and second, to understand the functioning of aggregate markets and how different economic circumstances affect the tourism sector to enhance students' skills to analyse and take decisions in the tourism business environment.

The following topics are covered in this study-unit:

- Sustainable tourism: concepts, indicators and examples;
- Corporate social responsibility in the tourism sector;
- Cost Benefit Analysis of tourism-related projects;
- The tourist area life cycle;
- The socio-economic impact of tourism on local communities;
- The socio-economic analysis of niche sectors in tourism;
- The assessment of international competitiveness in tourism;
- The socio-economic effects of the sharing economy;
- The tourism labour market;
- Trends and prospects for tourism in Malta and abroad.

Study-unit aims:

The study-unit allows for an exploratory approach of the roles of current mixed economies, familiarity with relevant statistical data and theoretical results. Students shall be provided with opportunities to approach tourism from an economic perspective allowing for insights of the complex framework of tourism supply, tourism demand and object of trade within a tourism destination. Awareness of such economic characteristics of tourism resulting from tourism expenditure should prepare students to become more sensitive to the economic functions of tourism and its impact on the national and international economy.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Examine economic characteristics and functions of tourism;
- Analyse the impact of the tourism sector from a socio-economic perspective;
- Analyse policies to enhance the positive effects of tourism and mitigate the negative effects;
- Examine the social, economic and environmental effects of tourism;
- Investigate major principles of destination marketing and marketing;
- Evaluate distribution channels and the impact of new technology.

2. Skills
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- Assess the socio-economic impacts of tourism;
- Interpret quantitative and qualitative data related to socio-economic issues and the tourism sector;
- Assess information from various travel sectors: accommodation, catering, attractions, travel organizations, food and beverage, MICE and transportation;
- Evaluate the pros and cons of particular socio-economic policies in the area of tourism;
- Design basic socio-economic research in the area of tourism.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Text

- Leigh, J.& Webster, C. (eds.) (2012). Future Tourism: Political, Social and Economic Challenges: Routledge.
- Sharpley, R. & Telfer, D.J (eds.) (2002). Tourism & Development: Concepts and Issues: Channel View Publications.

References to journal articles and book chapters are made available on the VLE.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM2 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Malcolm Bray

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.