Course 2021-2022 a.y.


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
ACME (10 credits - II sem. - OBS  |  5 credits SECS-P/07  |  5 credits SECS-P/08)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (II sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

This workshop is primarily addressed to ACME students. Other students interested in attending the course as an elective should have a strong interest in tourism and in destination management and marketing.

Mission & Content Summary


The tourism industry is globally recognized as a key economic sector with a potential for further growth in the medium-long term. It has positive synergies with the new economy, mainly with cultural and entertainment industries, and it has sizable impacts on destinations. Tourism is a diversified industry, made of various complementary sectors that need to act in a systemic way to maximize their potential, and it is a territorial activity, as most of the travel related phenomena and impacts happen at destination. As a multi-faceted and complex phenomenon, tourism requires specific knowledge and skills both at firm and territorial level. In addition, the outbreak of COVID-19 has put the tourism industry under unprecedented pressure but has also led to transformations in the business models of various companies and places, thus requiring new competences and professional profiles. Tourism, as an image building sector for local places, implies also a specific use of the marketing mix. In this perspective, territorial marketing requires integration of traditional instruments with interactive web tools for communication and transaction services, specifically designed to promote a territory. The mission of the course is to provide students the knowledge and transversal skills required to cope with a very dynamic sector and the practical tools to define proper strategies to leverage on local identities and to compete in global markets.


The course is splet into two modules: the Tourism module in the first part of the semester and the Marketing and Place branding module in the second part of the semester.


Conceived in a sequential and integrated way, the modules allow students to tackle the following strategic issues.

The tourism scenario (how to compete in tourism)

  • Dynamics and trends of the tourism market.
  • Frontier issues and tourism competitiveness.

The tourism industry and the tourism value chain (how to create value on local identities)

  • The hospitality industry (hotellerie and hotel chains, B&B, rural houses, luxury and budget accommodation).
  • Tourism intermediaries (tour operators, travel agencies, GDS, OTA).
  • Key tourism segments (culture and creative industries, fine food and wine sector, lifestyle and traditions,..).

Destination management and marketing processes and practices (how to manage and market territories)

  • Destination policy and management: state of the art and international best practices.
  • Territorial marketing as a tool to manage territories and develop their own value through the promotion of goods, services, work and activities of people and organizations.
  • Define, position, target and improve local identities.
  • Use of integrated marketing communication tools to promote the territory.
  • The place branding process

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

Tourism module

  • Acquire conceptual and practical tools proper of the tourism sector.
  • Identify relevant global tourism industries, players, and strategies.
  • Get a thorough understanding of specific tourism segments (i.e. culture, creativity and luxury; food and wine; ...).
  • Recognize the relationship between tourism and destinations and how tourism is a meaningful means of territorial development.
  • Discuss different tourism cases at global level.
  • Understand the effects and transformations of the COVID19 on the travel industry.

Marketing module

  • Enhance awareness and knowledge about branding issues in places and creative industries.
  • Discuss different place branding cases from around the world.
  • Survey academic research streams addressing branding issue.
  • Conduct case study focusing on branding and marketing for places.  


At the end of the course student will be able to...

Tourism module

  • Understand and predict tourism market trends and interpret different scenarios at national and international level.
  • Develop strategies and actions suitable to grow the competitiveness of the sector.
  • Analyze and compare different business models and destination management approaches to tourism.
  • Use real data to develop market strategies for the tourism industry and for tourism destinations.
  • Develop problem solving capacities.
  • Interact with tourism actors in a constructive and professional way.

Marketing module

  • Assess the branding strategy of a place (city; nation; region).
  • Be able to make strategic decisions on the best branding strategy.
  • Choose the appropriate methodologies related to place branding and territorial marketing.
  • Develop ability to identify strategic issues in branding of places and creative products.
  • Create a place branding strategy.
  • Interact and communicate effectively in multi-cultural contexts.

Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Company visits
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments


The course is based on a mix of lectures, speeches from external guest speakers, company visits and a group assignment (field project). The mix enables students to apply concepts to real-life situations and deals. Students are expected to actively participate to class.

  • Guest Speaker's talks provide the students with the opportunity to get a hands-on approach on specific tourism managerial issues and challenges faced by professionals and managers.
  • Company visits are a chance to see the backstage of some key players and the places where management decisions happen within the tourism industry (the feasability of company visits will depend on COVID restrictions over the semester). 
  • Case studies and class discussions are fundamental to achieve a better knowledge of the topics covered within the course and ensure a proper understanding of different methodologies. They support the students in achieving better interaction in a multi-cultural context and develop critical thinking over the topics.
  • A Group assignment (field project) is used as a final exam for the marketing module and it aims at verifying students’ ability to create a branding strategy for a place and successfully implementing it. A practical approach supports the ability of students of applying the best methodology and achieving successful strategies.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)


Grades for attending students are computed as follows:

  • Written exam (50%) for the tourism module (first possible exam slot during the partial break). The written exam consists of a short answer-essay exam: students are required to analyze or compare-contrast or express a documented opinion on some of the issues treated in the course and in the mandatory readings. No oral integration.
  • Group assignment (50%) for the territorial marketing and branding module. The group project is used as a final exam and it aims at verifying students’ ability to create a branding strategy for a place and successfully implementing it.


Both evaluations must be sufficient (grade ≥ 18). Note: the exam as attending student can be taken until the end of the semester.


Written exam for both modules (100%). The written exam for not attendig students consists of a short answer-essay exam. Students are required to analyze or compare-contrast or express a documented opinion on some of the issues treated in the books for non attending students. No oral integration.

Teaching materials


The reading list is provided in the syllabus at the beginning of the course. It includes readings from academic journals, reports, and slides/other class materials.


In accordance with intellectual property rights rules, different materials are available in different ways


  • On the Bocconi Bboard platform of the course.
  • On the ad hoc web course reserve, provided by the Library


The reading list is provided in the syllabus at the beginning of the course. In addition the following two text books:

  • N. VANHOVE, The Economics of Tourism Destinations, New York, USA, Routledge, 2018, 3rd ed.
  • KOTLER, Marketing Places, Simon and Schuster, 2002. 
Last change 20/12/2021 09:27