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

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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.

  • ECTS 120
  • Semester 4
  • Language English
  • Type of Study Full-time
  • Degree Master of Arts
  • Campus Cologne
  • Internship Integrated
  • Semester Abroad Optional
  • Start of Studies Winter Cologne
  • Study Fee* 5.730 €
FINANCIAL AID
RANKINGS & ACCREDITATIONS

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 ? !
  • Analysis of demand, supply, and market equilibrium

  • Theory of consumer choice

  • Theory of the firm, production and cost analysis

  • Market structures: perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, oligopoly, contestable markets

  • Game theory

  • Pricing strategies

  • Factor markets, labor economics

  • Economics of information

  • Industrial organization

  • Limitations of markets and interventions by the government

  • Econometric techniques related to these topics

Empirical Research Methods3 ECTS ? !
  • Development of a research question

  • Primary vs. secondary data

  • Steps of research process

  • Research designs

  • Quantitative and qualitative data

  • Structured methods of data collection: questionnaire and structured interview

  • Un- and semi-structured methods: qualitative interview and focus group

  • Quantitative and qualitative content analysis

  • Ethical considerations of data collection

  • Sampling

  • Data analysis using statistical software programs (SPSS)

  • Univariate analysis, bivariate analysis (crosstab and correlation), multiple linear regression

  • Writing a research report – structural and other formal requirements

Strategic Analysis & Management3 ECTS ? !
  •  Strategy making process and strategic reasoning: cognitive process of strategy 
    creation through the prism of logic and intuition

  • Setting strategic purpose in the context of responsible stakeholder management

  • Advanced external environment analysis: markets, industries and competitive 
    landscapes in static and dynamic perspective in the domestic and international 
    context

  • Diagnosing and managing strategic capability through national borders over time

  • Cultural and institutional context of strategic management: concepts, frameworks 
    and analytical tools

  • Generic and interactive business strategies, inside-out and outside-in perspective on 
    achieving and sustaining competitive advantage internationally

  • Network-level strategies

  • Corporate development and configuration: strategic options and portfolio matrices

  • Strategy formation

  • Strategic change and corporate restructuring

  • Strategic renewal

  • Strategy evaluation and strategic controls: tools and methods

  • Organizing for success

Innovation Management & Digital Transformation3 ECTS ? !
  • Diagnosing the change context: diffusion and dynamics of innovation 

  • Sources & types of innovation

  • Product/service, process & business model innovation

  • Individual and corporate creativity

  • Strategic innovation management & the innovation process incl. New Product Development (NPD)

  • Introduction to digitalization, digital age & digital divide

  • Digital drivers & disruptive forces

  • Technological drivers of digital transformation

  • Socio-technological change associated with the adoption of the mentioned drivers

  • Introduction to the digital organization & digital business models

  • Impact of digitalization on the value chain (Industry 4.0)

  • Digitalization-related innovation theories & technology management

  • Digitalization leadership & organisational transformation concepts

  • Change management & transformational leadership

  • Agility and VUCA world

  • SCRUM and Design Thinking

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

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

  • Legal aspects of event and congress management

  • Event marketing, branding and media interaction

  • Event production and mise-en-scene

  • Event management strategy and planning

Tourism and Digitalisation3 ECTS ? !

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

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

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

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

Tourism, Politics and Societies in Emerging Economies3 ECTS ? !
Business Elective3 ECTS ? !

A business elective is a business or management-related elective course. By choosing Business Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. 

Interdisciplinary Elective3 ECTS ? !

By choosing Interdisciplinary Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. An interdisciplinary elective is an elective from another discipline than your own specialization.

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.

Value Based Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Value maximization and corporate objectives, shareholder value and stakeholder value approach

  • Financial measurement of corporate strategies and competitive advantage: the principles

  • Shortcomings of traditional profitability ratios for a value-based management

  • Economic Value Added, Cash Value Added

  • Identifying the drivers of value creation and investment decision-making

  • Management compensation and incentives for value creation

Sustainable Supply Chain Management3 ECTS ? !
  • Defining the state of a sustainable supply chain based on actual trends

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

  • Defining a “New Normal” of how to do business (e.g. circular economy, regenerative business models, carbon literacy training)

  • Sustainable Marketing (definition, Green Marketing Strategy Mix, Green Washing and Sustainable Consumer Buying Behaviour)

  • Sustainable Procurement (definition, Sustainable Procurement Process Model with a focus on sustainable supplier relationship management; new trends like circular procurement)

  • Sustainable Logistics

  • Sustainable Design

  • Carbon Emission / Human Rights in global supply chains

Interdisciplinary competencies

Event Management (Ted Talk) Seminar2 ECTS ? !
  • Basics of event management

  • Objective of the event and different types of events

  • The event as a marketing and communication tool

  • Planning and preparation

  • Event execution

  • Tasks and role of the event manager

  • Choosing the right venue

  • Personnel selection

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

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

Business Elective3 ECTS ? !

A business elective is a business or management-related elective course. By choosing Business Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. 

Interdisciplinary Elective3 ECTS ? !

By choosing Interdisciplinary Electives in the second and third semester you can personalize your degree course and extend your management knowledge. An interdisciplinary elective is an elective from another discipline than your own specialization.

Venture Lab4 ECTS ? !
  • Discovering and evaluating entrepreneurial opportunities 

  • Developing business ideas from opportunities (e.g. based on using Design Thinking, Personas and User Stories)

  • Feasibility analysis of business ideas

  • Transferring the idea into a Business Model 

  • Business Model and its building blocks (value proposition, customers segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue model, key partners, key activities, key resources, cost structure)

  • Business Plan: Introduction, Sample Case and General Outline

  • Developing the details of the business plan 

  • Finding sources of financing: Business angels; Private equity; Start up financing; Venture capital investors

  • Preparing a pitch deck for successfully presenting the new venture business plan

Integrative Case Studies3 ECTS ? !
  • Focused review of the curriculum content

  • Pre-assessment quiz/ content area assessment as benchmark for students’ status quo

  • Guide and Strategic Plan to Case Study Analysis

  • Writing a proper Case Study Analysis report

  • Developing proper answers to Case questions, applying the relevant theoretical knowledge and frameworks

  • In-depth Case Study Analysis with focus all subject areas of the curriculum

  • In-depth Case Study Analysis with special focus on Strategic Management

Business Simulation Game3 ECTS ? !

In a business simulation game participants have to manage their own virtual company which operates in the same market as other participant-operated competitors. This involves making typical management decisions in realistic environments. Beside the deepening and active examination of subject-specific knowledge the simulation games also include the team environment, where interaction, communication and prioritization are of paramount importance. Participants learn how to manage risk and uncertainty while time is limited and information constrained. Group-reflections help to take over different perspectives and to discuss pros and cons of content- as well as behavior-related actions.

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

Assessment Center Bootcamp2 ECTS ? !
  • Consulting Industry: Sector Overview Company Profiles – Job Opportunities and Consulting Careers

  • Job profile: Characteristics of capabilities and skills needed as a consultant

  • Job application and interview training

  • Consulting (mini) case study training

  • Framework for processing case studies

  • Brain Teaser Training

  • Case Simulation (Individual and Group Cases)

Programme specific teaching units

Master Thesis18 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-tourism-and-sustainable-management

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:

  • International Project Management

  • Event and Congres Management

  • Tourism and Digitalisation

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

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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.

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Mirjam Zimmermann

Mirjam Zimmermann

Study advisory: Campus Mainz
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WhatsApp: Reach us on WhatsApp
E-Mail: study@cbs.de
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Study advisory 
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