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 Online 

Professional Concentration in
Niche Tourism Development

Tourism is now one of the dominant global industries, creating $3 billion in business every day.—"Welcome to Tourism," New York Times, 26 June 2009

From traveling to organic farms in Washington to participating in a culinary ramble through the American South, fly fishing in remote areas of Montana, visiting eco-lodges in Central America, and volunteering in poverty stricken areas of the globe—niche tourism is the most rapidly growing area of the tourism industry. In fact, tourism accounts for an estimated $29 billion a year toward the economy of the Appalachians alone.

Learn how tourism can be an effective means for sustainable neighborhood, community and regional development in your locality with a Professional Concentration in Niche Tourism Development. Explore the concepts and processes of market research and positioning, and how to develop your destination's brand.

Gain practical knowledge that matters

  • Gain insights on the niche tourism industry from world-renowned experts.
  • Learn about successful local tourism initiatives.
  • Examine the role of tourism in neighborhood, community and rural regional development.

Designed for professionals like you

This online program is designed for those interested in tourism development at the local and regional levels, including community administrators and developers, municipal planners and tourism industry representatives.

Professional Concentration requirements

Courses may be taken individually or as part of the Professional Concentration in Niche Tourism Development. Tuition for the entire Professional Concentration in Tourism Development is $2,100. The program application fee ($45) and textbooks are not included in the tuition fee.

Quarterly schedule of courses
  UNITS
REQUIRED COURSES Niche Tourism Studies: Theory and Practice 3
Marketing for Niche Tourism 2
Tourism and Economic Development 3
F=Fall W=Winter SP=Spring SU=Summer; Schedules subject to change

Required Courses

Niche Tourism Studies: Theory and Practice

3 quarter units academic credit, X411.1.

Learn about successful local tourism development initiatives and how to inventory existing natural, cultural and historical resources to create a coherent plan for your destination. Special interest or niche tourism is becoming an increasingly popular way to attract visitors and to improve the economy of many locales. This unique course addresses tourism as an effective means for neighborhood, community and rural-regional development. Examine local small- and medium-scale entrepreneurial enterprises and grass roots organizing. Learn to recognize viable existing scenic, historical and cultural attractions in your area. Analyze factors that drive the growth of niche tourism in such categories as agriculture (agritourism), lifestyle, ecology (ecotourism), culture, adventure, culinary and heritage, among others. Case studies provide specific examples of how to develop a niche tourism market. 

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Marketing for Niche Tourism

2 quarter units academic credit, X411.2.

Learn to develop a strategic marketing plan for your niche tourism destination. Explore the concepts and processes of market research and positioning, and how to develop your destination’s brand. Examine issues such as pricing, perception development and customer service. Learn to create an integrated marketing communications campaign for your niche tourism objectives.

This course is not currently scheduled.

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Tourism and Economic Development

3 quarter units academic credit, X411.3.

 Learn to conduct a market analysis and develop strategies for sustainable community development. Gain an understanding of how to build needed infrastructure and attract funding. Using a case study currently in progress in Ghana, examine how to develop tourism in an economically challenged area. Findings and experiences from this study will serve to illustrate and inform discussions. Explore the roles of government and private enterprise in economic development,  and learn to create a comprehensive plan for your area.   

This course is not currently scheduled.

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For More Information


fact sheetNiche Tourism Development Program fact sheet  
pdf (2.6 MB)

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