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2022/2023  AO-ASTHV1002U  Touristic Servicescapes and Spatial Design

English Title
Touristic Servicescapes and Spatial Design

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
AO Study Board for cand.soc.
Course coordinator
  • Sebastian Zenker - Department of Marketing (Marketing)
Main academic disciplines
  • Customer behaviour
  • Marketing
  • Service management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 16-06-2022

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to introduce students to the field of touristic servicescapes, especially with the focus on spatial design. Students have to apply these frameworks and critically reflect upon them. More specifically, to achieve the grade 12, students have to meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes:
  • Describe and explain the fundamental theoretical concepts and frameworks within the field of touristic service ecosystems and servicescapes.
  • Apply these different theoretical concepts and frameworks on some typical phenomena in the tourism and hospitality industry.
  • Identify and analyse elements of service ecosystems and their interaction with each other also explaining potential differences in concepts and frameworks between different kinds of touristic services, such as accommodations, cultural or touristic attractions.
  • Identify appropriate research methods to show an understanding of user experiences at various touch points, servicescapes and through the spatial design of tourism and hospitality services.
  • Critically reflect on theoretical and practical aspects the field of touristic service ecosystems and servicescapes and its relation to adjacent fields.
Course prerequisites
Touristic Servicescapes and Spatial Design:
Exam ECTS 5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance, see also the rules about examination forms in the programme regulations.
Individual or group exam Oral group exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-3
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The exam is an oral group examination (based on a written product of a maximum of 10 pages). Throughout the entire duration of the course, students will work on a case within the topic of servicescapes. In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam (by the set deadline). The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

This course introduces you to the theories and methods of touristic service design – i.e. not only the content, but also the process and the way in which touristic service encounters and servicescapes take place. Servicescapes are the physical surroundings and the spatial design as fashioned by service organizations to facilitate the provision of service offerings to customers. Those places for the tourism and hospitality industry range from the accommodations, retailer shops and malls, to museums, theme parks, or – for example – the city as such. They differ not only in size – but also in purpose and complexity. Different concepts, theories and frameworks are needed to conceptualize this touristic service ecosystem, the consumer, culture, consumption and marketing as well as the relationship between them in regarding with services and the place. Also behavioural economics is a central part of this course, as a deeper understanding will be very useful when designing.


Through providing an overview of theories and research from the field, as well as some hands-on insights from practice the course is designed to be highly interactive and build upon principles of active learning. Students are expected to comment on readings, and are invited to do group exercises throughout the course.

Key theoretical frameworks, concepts and issues regarding touristic servicescapes will be presented in learning videos and then discussed in class. Part of the course fabric is also the inclusion of guest speakers from the Danish Industry, as well as a fieldwork assignment done both together as a class, in groups and/or individually. We are going to discuss ideas and ways of doing research in class.


Thus, you will explore topics central to spatial design and touristic servicescapes, such as (examples):

  • technological and business contexts of touristic services
  • journey mapping
  • user experience assessment for touristic services
  • touch-point analysis and design
  • front- and back-stage processing
  • development of service blueprints
  • touristic service prototyping
  • touristic service co-creation
Description of the teaching methods
The course is taught through a combination of (online) lectures, in-class workshops and a case-study (fieldtrip). Thorough preparation and in-class participation is expected.

Through providing an overview of relevant literature about content and methods, as well as some hands-on insights from research practice the course is designed to be highly interactive. The course builds upon the principles of active learning: students are expected to comment on readings, and do group exercises (e.g., Oxford debates) throughout the course.

The course will start with an introductory session at which the course co-ordinator will explain the rationale and structure of the course, the course aims, the literature base, and the structure of the exam.
Feedback during the teaching period
Students will receive feedback in various forms during the course: For instance, through discussions in class, peer-group-feedback from a voluntary case presentation, and oral feedback after the exam.
Student workload
Attending class 22 hours
Preparation 67,5 hours
Exam 48 hours
In total 137,5 hours
Expected literature

This course literature list is not final and should be taken as a general orientation only. The mandatory reading list will be provided as preparation for the course and consists of a compendium of articles.


  • Bitner, M. J. (1992). Servicescapes: the impact of physical surroundings on customers and employees. Journal of Marketing, 56(2), 55-71.
  • Bitner, M. J., Ostrom, A. L., & Morgan, F. N. (2008). Service blueprinting: a practical technique for service innovation. California Management Review, 50(3), 66-94.
  • Dong, P., & Siu, N. Y. M. (2013). Servicescape elements, customer predispositions and service experience: The case of theme park visitors. Tourism Management, 36, 541-551.
  • Gupta, A., Dash, S., & Mishra, A. (2019). All that glitters is not green: Creating trustworthy ecofriendly services at green hotels. Tourism Management, 70, 155-169.
  • Huang, W. J., Xiao, H., & Wang, S. (2018). Airports as liminal space. Annals of Tourism Research, 70, 1-13.
  • Kaminakis, K., Karantinou, K., Koritos, C., & Gounaris, S. (2019). Hospitality servicescape effects on customer-employee interactions: A multilevel study. Tourism Management, 72, 130-144.
  • Su, Y., & Teng, W. (2018). Contemplating museums’ service failure: Extracting the service quality dimensions of museums from negative on-line reviews. Tourism Management, 69, 214-222.
  • Taheri, B., Olya, H., Ali, F., & Gannon, M. J. (2020). Understanding the influence of airport servicescape on traveler dissatisfaction and misbehavior. Journal of Travel Research, 59(6), 1008-1028.
  • Tombs, A. & McColl-Kennedy, J. R. (2003). Social-servicescape conceptual model. Marketing Theory, 3(4), 447-475.
Last updated on 16-06-2022