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2023/2024  AO-ASTHV1013U  Changing Touristic Behaviour

English Title
Changing Touristic Behaviour

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 26-06-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
The aim of the course is to introduce students to theories and methods of sustainable tourism behaviour and especially about implementing change in such a behaviour. 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 tourist behaviour and behavioural change.
  • Apply these different theoretical concepts and frameworks on some typical phenomena in the tourism and hospitality industry.
  • Identify and analyse elements of the service ecosystems and their influence on behavioural change for tourists.
  • Identify appropriate research methods to understand tourist behaviour at various touch points, servicescapes and through the design of tourism and hospitality services.
  • Critically reflect on theoretical and practical aspects of touristic service ecosystems and their influence to adjust touristic behaviour in a sustainable way.
Course prerequisites
Changing Touristic Behaviour:
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
Release of assignment An assigned subject is released in class
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 changing tourist behaviour in a more sustainable way. 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 will provide an advanced level of understanding tourist behaviour with the specific focus on behavioural change, with the aim to understand how to implement change to a more sustainable tourist behaviour. This also includes aspects of change management and how to conduct measurements of changing behaviour (e.g., experimental design).

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 tourist behaviour and behavioural change 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.

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 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

Course literature links to selected readings and cases:

12-15 academic research articles. 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.
  • Haq, G., Cambridge, H., & Owen, A. (2013). A targeted social marketing approach for community pro-environmental behavioural change. Local Environment, 18(10), 1134-1152.
  • Hsu, C. H., Cai, L. A., & Li, M. (2010). Expectation, motivation, and attitude: A tourist behavioral model. Journal of Travel Research, 49(3), 282-296.
  • Hummel, D., & Maedche, A. (2019). How effective is nudging? A quantitative review on the effect sizes and limits of empirical nudging studies. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, 80, 47-58.
  • Mariani, M. M., Buhalis, D., Longhi, C., & Vitouladiti, O. (2014). Managing change in tourism destinations: Key issues and current trends. Journal of Destination Marketing & Management, 2(4), 269-272.
  • Tombs, A. & McColl-Kennedy, J. R. (2003). Social-servicescape conceptual model. Marketing Theory, 3(4), 447-475.
  • Wilkinson, T. M. (2013). Nudging and manipulation. Political Studies, 61(2), 341-355.


Module 1. Introduction to Tourist Behaviour and Behavioural Change (3 hours in class)

Introduction to the course, its learning objectives and format

Explaining how this course builds on the previous course (Advances in Tourist Behaviour, first semester)

Identifying key topics of tourist behaviour and behavioural change


Module 2. Change and Visitor Management (3 hours online)                             

Understanding key concepts and tools of change management with the specific focus of managing visitors/tourists


Module 3. Sustainability Goals for Tourist Behaviour (1 online + 2 hours in class)

Discussing fitting sustainability goals for tourist behaviour


Module 4. Servicescapes (3 hour online)

Identifying key topics of servicescapes and the impact of physical surroundings on behaviour


Module 5. Fieldtrip (4 hours study tour)                                          

Study tour to case

Understand the real-life environment of tourist and hospitality firms as well as their impact on tourist behaviour


Module 6. Interventions and Measuring Behaviour (1 online + 3 hours in class)

Discussing research setting and design (e.g., experiments) to measure success of behavioural interventions


Module 7. Wrap-up (2 hours in class)                         

  • Wrap up and exam information             
Last updated on 26-06-2023