Special Interest Tourism - 2016

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Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Undergraduate Level 2
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 13 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP, HECS-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: SP3
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - (20 - 30%) , Assignment 2 - Group (30 - 40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 1,305.00
HECS 1,305.00
International 1,555.00

This unit seeks to provide students with an appreciation of the diversity of tourist motivations and the equally diverse range of specialised tourism products that cater to quite particular tastes and preferences. In particular, content is directed at contrasting special interest tourism with more conventional forms of tourist activity and identifying the challenges and opportunities associated with capturing small niche markets. Current and future forms of special interest tourism are identified and examined in detail equipping students to conceptualise market opportunities in an increasingly competitive environment.

The study of ‘Special Interest Tourism’ highlights the complex issues associated with the diversification of (mass) tourism markets and the development of niche tourism segments. In summary, Special Interest Tourism represents divergence and complexity in the field of tourism from both a consumption and supply perspective. Although the sector’s most significant contribution is the broadening of specialist leisure options it has equally significant management implications which are addressed here.

After successfully completing this unit, you should be able to:

  1. Explain the factors driving the evolution of mass tourism and niche/speciality tourism.
  2. Make conceptual distinctions between Special Interest Tourism and Mass tourism, and identify and discuss key elements in the literature relating to changing consumer preferences.
  3. Evaluate and communicate management and marketing challenges resulting from niche tourism and extend creative solutions.
  4. Analyse the means by which Special Interest Tourism contributes to regional and national tourism identity and acknowledge the facilitators and barriers to S.I.T development.
  5. Work collaboratively to identify and evaluate developments and opportunities in S.I.T. and make recommendations based on this analysis. .
  • Assignment 1 — (20 - 30%)
  • Assignment 2 — Group (30 - 40%)
  • Non-Invigilated Exam — (30 - 50%)

Mandatory prerequisites

You must have successfully completed the following unit(s) before starting this unit:

If you have completed equivalent study at another university, please contact a Student Advisor for advice.

  • Broadband access

This unit addresses the following topics.

1The role of special interest tourism products in the overall tourism system
2Fundamental differences between special interest tourism and the more generic forms of tourism
3Activity/adventure based tourism including activities which involve risk taking as an integral part
4Examination of the 'backpacker' market as an increasingly important contributor to tourism receipts
5Identification of forms of special interest tourism which imply quite particular cultural or social values to potential participants
6Managing heritage and attractions based on death and destruction. Understanding the various motivations of the so-called 'Dark Tourist'
7The sex tourism continuum: what is sex tourism and who are 'sex tourists'
8Exploitation and management: the legitimacy of the sex tourism industry
9Sun, sea, sand and surgery: the rise of medical tourism. Growth, opportunities and touristic concerns
10Emerging and future forms of special interest tourism including space tourism and the use of virtual reality

Each unit offered through OUA provides students with unit information that includes assessment topics and due dates, policy information and contact numbers for university support and academic staff. Study materials will also clearly outline each week's topic, readings, student activities and the format of all assessment.

This unit is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.
This unit does not have a prescribed textbook(s).

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