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Masters in Tourism & Sustainable Management

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Tourism & Sustainable Management Master's Degree (M.A.) in Germany


What is sustainable tourism? Why should I study it?

In October 2019 Greta Thunberg rejected the Nordic Council environmental award because “the climate movement does not need any rewards”, she says rather convincingly. At CBS, we applaud her as we believe the climate movement needs stewardship more than anything else. But how do we ensure that tourism business development and sustainable growth can be managed concurrently?

According to the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), sustainable tourism can be defined as:

“Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”

Sustainable tourism at a glance

  • Optimizing environmental resources in ways that constitute a crucial element in tourism development while maintaining essential ecological processes, helping to conserve natural heritage and biodiversity.

  • Respecting the socio-cultural authenticity of host communities, conserving their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values while contributing to transcultural understanding and tolerance.

  • Ensuring viable, long-term economic operations, providing socio-economic benefits to all stakeholders that are fairly distributed, including stable employment and income-earning opportunities and social services to host communities, and contributing to poverty alleviation.

In order to guarantee long-term sustainability, we need to ensure socio-cultural, environmental, and economic sustainability all at once. But how is this possible?

Masters in Tourism with a focus on business administration and sustainability

The Master's (MA) degree in Tourism and Sustainable Management (TSM) at the CBS is a joint programme conceived by the Department of International Tourism Management (ITM) and the Center for Advanced Sustainable Management (CASM) to explore the complexities of putting tourism business development alongside sustainable growth. By incorporating both teaching and research, TSM strives to incorporate current trends and issues, alongside discussions around this current thematic and endeavours to develop new conceptual frameworks collectively.


Study Course Plan

Some information about the study plan for the study programme Masters in Tourism and Sustainable Management:

General business teaching units

Business Economics3 ECTS ? !
  • Demand analysis & estimating demand

  • Supply and market equilibrium

  • Production economics

  • Cost analysis

  • Estimating cost functions and production functions

  • Economies of scale

  • Prices, output and strategy in different markets

  • Game theory models of oligopoly

  • Pricing techniques and analysis

  • Government regulation

Empirical Research Methods3 ECTS ? !
  • Quantitative and qualitative methods

  • Development of a research question

  • Steps of research process

  • Methods of data collection

  • Sampling

  • Data analysis using statistical software programs (SPSS or R)

  • Writing a research report

Strategic Analysis & Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Strategy making process and strategic reasoning

  • Cultural and institutional context of strategic management

  • Network-level strategies

  • Corporate development and configuration

  • Strategic change and corporate restructuring

  • Strategy evaluation and strategic controls

Innovation Management & Digital Transformation3 ECTS ? !
  • Dynamics of innovation & their implications for change management

  • Individual creativity and invention

  • Corporate creativity & intrapreneuring

  • Technology management

  • Innovation and technology strategies

  • Managing innovations

  • Diffusion of innovations

  • Cultural differences in innovation capability

  • Contemporary trends in innovation management

Corporate Social Responsibility3 ECTS ? !
  • Cornerstones of sustainable management

  • CSR as management approach

  • Practical approaches of organizational effectiveness

  • Tools for CSR implementation

  • CSR and financial performance

  • Life cycle assessment

Corporate Governance3 ECTS ? !
  • Historical developments around the world

  • Directors and board structures in different parts of the world

  • Family business governance

  • Role of institutional investors

  • Corporate governance in mergers and acquisitions

  • Socially responsible investments

  • Corporate governance in different regions

Programme specific teaching units

Fundamentals of Tourism3 ECTS ? !
  • Definitions and classifications of tourism

  • History and development of tourism

  • Social, political, and technological trends

  • Tourism: a multi-component service industry

  • Business models and forms of tourism

  • Tourism organisations and lobbyism

Tourism Geographies3 ECTS ? !
  • Introduction to the destination concept

  • Destination Marketing and Management Organisations

  • Geographical Influencing Factors on Tourism Development

  • Tourism and Natural Catastrophes

  • Sustainable and Responsible Tourism

  • Ecologic, economic, and social impacts of tourism

Interdisciplinary competencies

Advanced Cross-Cultural Team & Selfmanagement2 ECTS ? !
  • Cultural theories and models

  • The influence of culture on behaviour

  • Team typologies

  • Phases of team development

  • Trust and control

  • Emergence and avoidance of conflicts

  • Leadership verses management

  • The impact of leadership behaviour on teams

Advanced Negotiation & Influencing Skill2 ECTS ? !
  • Positional and principal negotiations – advanced strategies and tactics

  • Identifying the opponent’s negotiation profile

  • Understanding the personal negotiation profile and preferences

  • General persuasion techniques

  • Negotiation maneuvers and tactics for advanced players

  • Techniques for opponent engagment

  • Managing emotions and self- programming for defending your point of view

  • Cialdini’s 6 principles of persuasion

Language & Communication Skills2 ECTS ? !

The “Scholarly Writing and Analysis” course is offered for German native speakers. German as a foreign language is offered as an obligatory course for Non-native German speakers.

General business teaching units

International Economics3 ECTS ? !
  • Globalization and income

  • Globalization and international trade

  • Trade and comparative advantage

  • Trade barriers and trade policy

  • Firm location, distance and transport costs

  • Currency crises and exchange rate policy

  • Financial crises, firms and the open economy

Applied Management Accounting3 ECTS ? !
  • Managerial accounting and global business environment

  • Cost term, terms and classifications

  • Systems design: Job-order costing

  • Systems design: Process costing

  • Cost-volume-profit relationships

  • Sustainability and ethics in accounting decision making

Programme specific teaching units

Sustainable Business Models in Tourism3 ECTS ? !
  • Historical approach

  • Impacts on ecological, economic and social/cultural aspects

  • Mass tourism and its possibilities of a sustainable evolution

  • Sustainable Tourism Measurement

  • Fair Tourism

Social Entrepreneurship3 ECTS ? !
  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship

  • Social Innovation

  • Social entrepreneurship

  • Global ecological trends

  • Relevant academic fields and major models

  • Social entrepreneurship in tourism

International Perspectives on Sustainable Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Definitions and classifications of sustainable management

  • History and global development of sustainability

  • Comparing different perspectives: Global North and South

  • Systemic perspectives: Politics, businesses, and society

  • Stakeholders: Social, political, and technological trends

  • New narratives of doing business

Tourism, Politics & Societies In Emerging Economies3 ECTS ? !
  • Tourism as political platform

  • Tourism and indigenous rights

  • Globalization, ethnicity, and tourism

  • Dark sides of tourism

  • Existing concepts and theories related to cultural, socio-economic, and environmental impacts

  • Political, social, and economic challenges that confront society and tourism by embedding it in the broader environmental context

  • Recent tourism trends in emerging economies

Business Project6 ECTS ? !

The overall objective of this course is to provide students with possibility of applying their business knowledge on concrete business situation, related to the field of their specialization.

By the end of the module students should be able to:

  • Define project goals for the “client”.

  • Work under the set timeframe and agreed project scope.

  • Cooperate in the international project teams.

  • Evaluate markets/ industries/ competitive landscapes.

  • Develop possible strategic directions for the “client” business.

  • Formulate recommendations.

Interdisciplinary competencies

International Project Management2 ECTS ? !
  • Social competence: Communication, motivation, groups and team structures, leadership, conflict management

  • Methodological competence: Structural aspects, time management, cost management, human resource management, creativity and problem solving

  • Organisational competence: Quality management, documentation, risk management, project start and closure

Emotional Intelligence 2 ECTS ? !
  • Different Inteligencies – IQ vs EQ

  • The role of emotions – daily and work life

  • The construct of Emotional intelligence

  • Emotionally intelligent competencies & skills

  • Skills acquisition – Experiential/action learning

  • Reflection & reflexion

  • Encouraging engagement

  • Developing trust

Language & Communication Skills2 ECTS ? !

The “Scholarly Writing and Analysis” course is offered for German native speakers. German as a foreign language is offered as an obligatory course for Non-native German speakers.

Programme specific teaching units

Tourism Economics3 ECTS ? !
  • Theories and models on the economic effects of tourism

  • Positive and negative effects of national and international tourism receipts in different regions and places

  • Multiplier-effects, direct, indirect and induced economic effects of tourism

  • The leakage effect of tourism earnings

  • Economic dependencies from tourism

  • Social, political, and technological trends influence on tourism economics

  • Developments of prices and value in and through tourism

Sustainable Tourism Supply Chains3 ECTS ? !
  • Defining a Sustainable Supply Chain

  • Discussion of various theoretical concepts (e.g. Stakeholder Theory, Slack Resource Theory) and their implications for sustainablesupply chain Management

  • Green Procurement (definition, Green Procurement Process Model) & green procurement in tourism

  • Green marketing and greenwashing

  • Green Logistics in tourism

  • Supply chains for hotels, airlines, tour operators, travel agencies

Sustainability In Event & Congress Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Importance of events and congresses for tourism

  • Legal aspects of event and congress management

  • Event marketing, branding and media interaction

  • Sustainable event operations management

  • Event production and mise-en-scene

  • Event management strategy and planning

Tourism & Digitalisation3 ECTS ? !
  • Digitalisation processes in tourism

  • Virtual and augmented reality technologies and applications in tourism

  • E-Tourism commerce

  • Online and travel technology businesses and business models in tourism

  • Social media in tourism

  • Mobile technology and applications

Cultures of Consumption3 ECTS ? !
  • Consumer culture (consumerism)

  • Consumer behaviour (through the tourist)

  • Social construction of markets

  • Markets as conversations

  • Embodiment and consumption

  • Field theory

  • Visual ethnography

Tourism Development & Destination Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Tourism policies and planning methods

  • Destination planning and development concepts

  • Destination branding

  • Tools for sustainable destination management

  • The role of tourism for international development

  • Risk and crisis management in tourism

Master Thesis Tutorial2 ECTS ? !

During the Master Thesis Tutorial you will learn the fundamentals for your Master thesis: Defining the topic as well as structuring the thesis and you will learn the theoretical knowledge for scientific working.

Interdisciplinary competencies

Skills Elective2 ECTS ? !

In the Soft Skills Courses you will improve your social, leadership and project management skills. Additionally to the courses in the first and second semester you can choose another one in the third semester. Decide for yourself which of your personal competences you want to push forward.

Storytelling for Marketing & Branding Purposes2 ECTS ? !
  • The evolution of storytelling and branding

  • What storytelling looks like in a world of influencers; social media, cross-channel communications and traditional advertising

  • Criteria for successful storytelling

  • Case studies and successful campaigns

  • Character development

  • What do you want to say?: guidelines for taglines, quotes and copy

  • Storyboarding and plot development

Language & Communication Skills2 ECTS ? !

The “Scholarly Writing and Analysis” course is offered for German native speakers. German as a foreign language is offered as an obligatory course for Non-native German speakers.

Programme specific teaching units

Master Thesis24 ECTS ? !

During your 4th semester you are working on your Master thesis. You have 19 weeks to complete your thesis and the subject is freely selectable. A supervisor from CBS will support you and you can write the thesis in collaboration with a company as well. Or you can write your thesis in connection with a stay abroad.


Master in Tourism: Building up the basics in the 1st and 2nd semesters

Tourism is data-driven. Therefore, in the third semester, you will explore cutting-edge topics like big data and the cloud, analyse data in research classes, and observe how the strengths of traditional sales channels like e-commerce and mobile are combined for omnichannel commerce. To do so, current trends and issues in the tourism industry will be discussed in-depth. CBS’ MA Tourism Management degree will ensure that you will obtain the knowledge and skills that employers are looking for.

For example, hospitality and event management is the art of providing copious amounts of guests with a seamless, perfect experience – an experience which is orchestrated by hundreds of people working smoothly in the background. CBS’ MA Tourism Management degree will teach you the necessary expertise required to improve your skills in:

  • Intercultural team management

  • Self-management

  • Project management

Thus, helping you on your way to becoming an exceptional event and hospitality manager.

Sustainable Tourism management in change in 3rd semester

The 3rd semester will be about integrating sustainable management approaches and reviewing tourism through digitalization, innovation and the ethics of tourism development. Critical approaches will be used to decipher the connections between tourism, culture and sustainable management. The final semester encompasses the development of various skillsets, including international project management, building up to the writing of a Master thesis and its final defence. Upon successful completion, students and their families and friends can look forward to a formal Graduation ceremony in which they will ‘walk’ on stage.

Build up your expertise with a graduate degree

Online Information Session Master's
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Masters in Sustainable Tourism Management - What are the job opportunities? 

Students find that the Masters (MA) degree inTourism and Sustainable Management’ at the CBS is different from other tourism degrees elsewhere not only because it is taught entirely in English, but because of the open classroom concept. Students and lecturers from all over the world come together to discuss issues of sustainable tourism in class and outside of class. Rather than a top-down approach to teaching, we adopt an integrated classroom in which the discussions inform the complexities of the problem. After which students will have the opportunity to put some of these discussions into practice at conferences, trade fairs, exhibitions, museums, demonstrations, business simulations, study trips, and cultural projects both in Germany and abroad.

What are the requirements for a master's in tourism and sustainable management?

The following requirements must be met to study Tourism and Sustainable Management at CBS:

  • A first academic degree in the field of business and economics

  • Advanced knowledge of English

  • Previous Tourism-specific knowledge is an advantage, but not absolutely necessary.

In addition, tuition fees, the semester fee, and the registration fee must be paid. If you need support in financing your tourism studies, the CBS offers you a comprehensive consultation. You will get detailed information about the CBS Education Fund, BAföG, and possible other scholarship options.







Learn more about us and our graduate programmes

You would like to inform yourself about our Bachelor and Master programs at home in peace? Request your information material now without obligation and free of charge, and we will be happy to send you our study information material by e-mail.

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook, get to know us at one of our Information Events, or Contact our student advisors to learn more about us.

Anika Zaeske

Anika Zaeske

Study advisory: Campus Cologne
Got any questions? We are happy to help!

Phone: +49 (0) 221 93 18 09-31
WhatsApp: Reach us on WhatsApp
Leah Krug

Leah Krug

Study advisory: Campus Mainz
Got any questions? We are happy to help!

Phone: +49 (0) 6131 88055 31
WhatsApp: Reach us on WhatsApp
Ida Möhrke

Ida Möhrke

Study advisory: Campus Berlin/Potsdam
Got any questions? We are happy to help!
Phone: +49 (0) 178 57 61 749
WhatsApp: Reach us on WhatsApp
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This is What Our Students Say

Philip Kollmann
Project Manager
Wayne´s Coffee

"Especially the soft skill courses have been of great help for my performance in job interviews. Through my work in the Finance and Business Club I have built up a broad network and acquired project management skills that have enabled me to score points with companies."

Katrin Rieger
Bereichsdirektorin Reisevertrieb Deutschland / Vice President Sales
HanseMerkur Krankenversicherung

"The practical learning in small groups prepared me optimally for today's project and team work. The CBS provided me with the decisive soft skills and current knowledge from the world of business."

Christopher Rosenbaum
Ernst & Young GmbH

"The Management Studies programme prepares you thoroughly for the tasks of a consultant. In particular, the development of presentation techniques as well as analytical thinking is of enormous importance in the everyday life of a consultant."

Brita Jansen
HR Business Partner
HRS Group

"The CBS is an internationally oriented and very practically orientated university which prepared me very well for the professional world through the compulsory internship, the courses offered and the required project/group work."

Oliver Kiderle
EMEA Regional Product Expert
Google Inc.

"The focus on internationality and practical skills have had a very positive influence on my development at Google. Especially the structured and very versatile project work, which is often found at a private school, was extremely helpful."

Kalle Kenkel
Commercial Excellence Manager
GE Healthcare

"My studies at CBS prepared me for a career in today's dynamic, global work environment. As one's origin and physical location become less and less decisive, it has become increasingly important to have a multinational network and adapt quickly to various cultures and environments."

Neil Jordaan
Global Digital Content Manager

"Many professors shared their professional business experience with us in class and were able to illustrate dry theory with practical examples. I also enjoyed the international atmosphere on campus."

Patrick Stein
Head of Human Resources
Boston Consulting Group

"The strongly practice-oriented studies and the international orientation of the CBS, as well as the lectures held in English, were an absolutely necessary basis for starting a career with a renowned, international company."