The tourism industry is undergoing a lot of changes. Successful tourism managers need to anticipate these changes, design innovative products, unlock new markets and create business models that take advantage of new developments. There is a need for well-trained tourism managers with strategic and decision-making skills.
The main strategic challenges of the tourism industry are the focus of the Master in Business Administration with Major in Tourism, making it ideal for those seeking management positions in tourism.
International, strategic, applied
International case studies, an international student body, excursions to international destinations and the experience of your guest lecturers make for an interesting and interactive learning environment. You will learn to identify, interpret and provide solutions for strategic challenges faced by tourism businesses. Last but not least, you have the chance to apply your knowledge. The programme offers opportunities for connecting theory and practice in case studies and in real-life situations.
The tourism industry must think about the future and find innovative solutions to challenges, this is why strategic thinking is the cornerstone of the programme. Applied research projects and case studies will help you to connect theory and practice and to manage change successfully.
Tourism is in a phase of digital transformation and future managers in the tourism industry need to navigate this new world. A strategic and forward-thinking approach is of real importance to shape the future of tourism.
The applied research projects are a great way to gain hands-on experience with real clients. We were not only able to apply theoretical knowledge, but also to improve our project management skills.
The programme has exceeded my expectations in terms of curriculum that covered the most pertinent topics, lectures with international experts and the variety of extracurricular activities organised by the programme team.
Even though the Institute for Tourism and Leisure and classes are small, the level of teaching is by no means provincial – guest lecturers from different fields share their knowledge and enthusiasm for tourism. The size of the university allows for informal exchange with teaching staff, students, as well as employees in all departments.
What does a master's degree in tourism involve?
The master's provides you with a comprehensive understanding of tourism from a strategic perspective. You will acquire the skills to become a tourism manager who strategically turns the challenges of the tourism industry into opportunities.
What are the admission requirements for the programme?
The admission requirements are a bachelor's degree, a good knowledge of English and basic knowledge of business administration. You will be able to make up for missing knowledge in business administration prior to the start of the programme.
What will I learn in this programme?
The programme extends your knowledge of tourism and adds a strategic element. The main focal points are international tourism management, strategic innovation management and sustainable tourism.
What is the process from the programme start through to graduation?
The master's degree programme begins each September and takes three semesters to complete if you undertake it on a full time basis. It is also possible to complete the programme part time, enabling you to work alongside your studies.
Why study tourism at the HTW Chur?
Switzerland is a dynamic tourism destination that has learnt how to reinvent tourism in its urban centres and alpine playgrounds. Learn about innovative tourism strategies and meet some of the leading minds behind these developments. Small class sizes allow for optimal interaction between academics, staff and students.
What happens after I finish my studies?
After graduation, you will possess the foundations to take on responsible managerial roles in the tourism industry. This will enable you to forge a career in a large tourism company, in consulting or in destination management.
How can I apply?
Fill in the application form and return it with the required documents to the HTW Chur.
You must meet the following requirements for admission to the Master of Science in Business Administration with Major in Tourism at the HTW Chur.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the admission requirements. We will be happy to help you.
Do you have one of the following diplomas?
- A bachelor’s degree or equivalent diploma in tourism or other related subject from a university or university of applied sciences
Do you have a good knowledge of English and fulfil one of the following conditions?
- Certificate that proves you have a good knowledge of the English language
- Previous studies undertaken in English
- English is your mother tongue
Basic knowledge of business administration is required. Should you not have prior knowledge of business administration at bachelor level, you will be able to make up for this prior to the start of the programme. We will provide all the literature you will need for your preparation.
In exceptional cases, you may be admitted to the pro-gramme without fulfilling the requirements mentioned above (admission based on your academic record and application). The Prorector and the Director of Studies decide on admissions on a case-by-case basis.
To arrange a transfer from another university, univer-sity of applied sciences or PET college, you must contact the Director of Studies. Credits may be awarded, in consultation with the Director of Studies, for modules already completed at another university.
The Master of Science in Business Administration with Major in Tourism comprises four main module categories: modules in the Major Tourism, in general management, in research methods, as well as research projects. In addition to content, the focus is on developing of personal and social skills, especially strategic, decision-making and project management skills.
Finally, the master thesis provides you with the opportunity to create a distinctive profile and allows you to strategically position yourself for management level positions. The current master thesis brochure gives you an impression of possible topics for your thesis.
In the module category International Tourism Management you will learn about and analyse tourism in an international context. In particular, networks and part-nerships have become important strategic elements for corporate success in the global tourism industry. As future tourism managers, you also need to be aware of the various strategies employed by political institutions to support tourism development.
The module category Strategic Innovation Management focuses on the dynamic nature of tourism. New consumer trends and new relationships between consumers and producers require certain innovative changes and adaptations. You will learn how to develop innovative products and business models, how to unlock new markets and how to refine business processes.
The module category Tourism, Nature and Society focuses on the sustainable management of tourism. As future tourism managers, you will learn to analyse local contexts, to be mindful of changes in social attitudes, norms and behaviours of tourists and locals and to improve the sustainable track record of tourism businesses.
The General Management modules concentrate on the topic of corporate management at three different levels: stakeholders, organisations and people. You will learn to deal with conflicting expectations of stakeholders, to strategically develop organisations and to motivate employees for common goals.
The modules in the research methods category will help you understand how practical challenges can be explained and resolved following scientific principles.
The interaction between academic studies, research and industry is an important element of the master’s programme. Applied research projects give you the opportunity to apply the knowledge acquired in your studies to real-life problem situations. You will work in small groups on consultancy projects for external clients. These clients will expect you to develop solutions relevant to their particular challenges.
Flexible study plans
Many of the students work in the tourism industry while studying for the master’s at the same time. Your study plan can be tailored towards your individual requirements as long as your studies do not exceed eight semesters. Should your situation change during your time at the HTW Chur, it is possible to switch between full-time and part-time study.
Fundamental knowledge in business administration and research methods form the basis of the interdis-ciplinary programme. It is complemented by specialised modules dealing with various aspects of business administration as they relate to tourism. The modules of the Major Tourism take place across all three semes-ters, creating the necessary professional identification at an early stage.
The master-level research methods modules take place during the first semester so that you are prepared for the practical projects in the second semester. The master thesis is the capstone of the programme.
More than lectures
Recent research has shown the limitations of conventional lectures. We agree and offer active learning both in and outside of the classroom.
- You will be taught by international guest lecturers who are experts in their field. Learn from their experiences and from the experiences of the student body.
- Through the use of practical case studies, simulations and role plays, you will acquire knowledge and learn new skills that you will be able to transfer to similar situations and challenges in your career.
- We are able to use the service innovation lab of the HTW Chur with its advanced visualization and prototyping techniques in order to explore, visualise and test possible innovations.
We also offer a variety of different opportunities to engage in active learning outside the classroom. This is a very important aspect of the programme as we think that you learn best by applying knowledge and skills!
- Mentoring programme: We pair our students with experienced managers from a variety of different tourism sectors (e.g. airlines, destination marketing, event management etc.) and these mentors support the student with career planning, networking, personal development etc.
- Networking opportunities: We offer a number of networking opportunities such as the Tourismus TrendForum, an annual event organised to bring together leading tourism stakeholders and discuss trends and research undertaken at the institute. Another homegrown networking opportunity are our alumni who have found jobs in the various fields of tourism all over the world. You will join this network upon graduation.
- Field trips: Every October, students in the third semester organise a field trip for all the Master students. The destination in 2017 was Morocco! These fieldtrips offer the opportunity to experience tourism in new destinations, to learn outside the classroom and for the new incoming students to get to know each other and the students from the previous cohort.
- Learn a language: The HTW Chur offers language courses in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and Chinese. Learn another language and improve your employability.
- Speaker’s series: This series of guest lectures by eminent national and international speakers feature unconventional, innovative and creative thinkers in order to provide you with the newest trends in the tourism industry.
- International exchange opportunities: A semester abroad provides an ideal opportunity to immerse oneself in a foreign culture, to enhance language skills, to develop intercultural and social competencies and to improve your employability.
How much does it cost to undertake a master’s programme at the HTW Chur? Where does the programme take place? How many ECTS credits will I receive? On what days will I have lectures and seminars? What degree will I be awarded after completing the programme?
There is a one-off enrolment fee of CHF 300, which is deducted from the tuition fee for the first semester. If you do not take up the offer of a place on the programme, the enrolment fee will be forfeited.
The tuition fee per semester is CHF 960 for students who have been resident in Switzerland or the Principality of Liechtenstein for at least two years prior to the start of the programme.
The tuition fee for everyone else is CHF 1,550.
Students not from Switzerland, the Principality of Liechtenstein, the European Union or the European Free Trade Association are charged a deposit of CHF 2,700.
The tuition fees do not include textbooks, travel, food or accommodation in connection with excursions, multi-day seminars and the master thesis.
You will need a suitably powerful laptop (Windows recommended).
The universities of applied sciences are recognised by the Swiss Confederation and the cantons, which means students may be entitled to grants. For information on this, please contact the grants department of the Department of Education for the canton in question.
The study programme takes place in Chur, Switzerland.
The master’s degree programme takes three semesters and can be extended individually up to eight semesters. An academic year consists of two semesters lasting 14 weeks each and three examination weeks following to the semester.
Exact dates and details you can find in the academic calendar.
The master’s degree in tourism comprises 90 ECTS credits. One ECTS credit corresponds to an average student workload of 30 hours.
The programme starts with an introductory, two-day kick-off event. The curriculum is structured into separate modules that may take place as weekly lessons or in a block of lessons, usually only on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturday mornings.
The entire programme is taught in English.
Switzerland is the land of the Alps, Heidi and yodelling, right? If this is your perception, you’re in for a big surprise. Sure, St. Moritz might have been one of the world’s first destinations to develop tourism. But Switzerland is still playing a leading role in defining global tourism as it is today. The University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur is an innovative and entrepreneurial higher education institution with around 1,500 students and places great emphasis on individuality.
The university’s counselling service provides internal and external support for personal problems and issues, while the Career Center offers assistance with regard to professional development. The sports programme features awide range of courses and sporting activities.
Studying and living in a Swiss tourism destination
Did you know? Tourism is Switzerland’s pride. Destinations like St. Moritz, Zermatt and Gstaad already intrigued international visitors in the 19th century. However, the locals learnt fast that the natural beauty alone would not do it in the end. Long before the term ‘location marketing’ was created, they got James Bond to promote skiing in major movies. Later they created events like the Montreux Jazz Festival or the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, which attract visitors, business people and celebrities from all over the world. Today, Switzerland is a dynamic tourism destination that has learnt how to reinvent tourism in its urban centres and alpine playgrounds.
With a population of 37,000, Chur might sound like a small city, but historically the capital of the region has played a major role in linking northern with southern Europe. This has resulted in an open-minded, charming atmosphere in Switzerland’s oldest town. Surrounded by the spectacular Swiss Alps, Chur boasts its own ski resort. You can take the gondola directly from the city to the ski slopes of Brambrüesch.
Moving around in Chur and Switzerland is particularly easy as you can rely on the world’s leading transportation system. If you want to visit one of Europe’s main cities, they are never far away. There are regular train and bus connections to Zurich (1 h 15), Milan (3 h), Munich (4 h) and Paris (5 h 30).
Institute for Tourism and Leisure
The transdisciplinary research of the Institute for Tourism and Leisure applies and develops inter- and transdisciplinary methods and converts the obtained findings into practical services and consultancy projects.
The synthesis between the application and recombination of established qualitative and quantitative methods, practical and participatory problem-solving approaches and close linkages to education and training are cornerstones of success within the institute. In this context, the institute focuses on four main overlapping thematic aspects.
The institute supports destinations in the (re-)positioning of services and products on the national and international market. Researchers design strategies and carry out feasibility studies for tourism projects, develop business models and engage in market analyses and market research – innovative, business oriented and efficient.
Continuous observation and analysis of both consumer behaviour and satisfaction are vital for the tourism sector. Researchers in the institute analyse and model the behaviour of current and potential guest segments, support service providers with several metrics on quality, value and customer satisfaction, perform choice experiments, do mystery checks and offer in-house training.
Researchers in the institute create, support and guide four-season sales strategies for better performance. Following the concept of sustainable accommodation, attention is focused on the development, implementation, operation and marketing of new products, including business planning. The institute supports a process-oriented supply design.
Researchers conduct impact analyses of tourism as a human-environment system in its economic, environ-mental and social characteristics. Sustainable development requires a comprehensive understanding of the tourism industry and its systemic embedding in the environment, for example regarding adaptation and mitigation strategies towards environmental change or regarding the contribution of tourism to sustainable (regional) development.
The tourism industry is subject to a pronounced dynamics of change, which requires strategic thinking and the utmost professionalism at all levels. Required are graduates who not only have profound knowledge in their respective fields, but who understand tourism in an international context and are able to devise appropriate strategies for the future.
The Major Tourism provides this expertise and thus prepares graduates for the tourism labour market, either as responsible employees at middle management level in larger tourism businesses or as consultants. As a graduate of the Major Tourism, you will also have the necessary strategic knowledge in tourism to assess the potential of tourism, for example in destination management or regional development, and to be able to harness its impacts.
- Chief administrative officer, small tour operator in South America
- Assistant to the Executive Board, regional tourism organisation, Switzerland
- Account manager, global construction technology company
- Consultant, market entry of a travel agent from Switzerland into Germany
- Buyer and business development manager, wholesale trade company, Switzerland
- Hotel reservations executive, wholesale tour operator, Rumania
- Hotel manager, Switzerland
- Graduate programme Marriott Hotel, near London
- Manager PR an communications, regional tourism organisation, Germany
- Alumni director at a tourism school, Switzerland
- Project leader mountain bike infrastructure, destination in Switzerland
- Management and marketing consultant, specialist for risk management, consultancy in Switzerland
Studying the programme in conjunction with my role at the Waldhotel Davos was an ideal preparation for my future career. After graduating, I assumed the management of the four-star superior Hotel Vitznauerhof on the shore of Lake Lucerne. As the hotel is only open during the summer season, my husband and I also manage the Waldhotel Davos during the winter season. I am very happy to have made the decision to study the MSc Business Administration at the HTW Chur as it has enabled me to achieve continued success in the hotel sector.
The MSc Business Administration with Major in Tourism has been enriching both from a professional and personal perspective. I am sure the friendships I have made during my time at the HTW Chur will last a lifetime and will prove to be a good initial network for my career. My decision to attend the HTW Chur has already paid dividends as my former employer offered me an interesting position even before I graduated.
If you would like to apply for a place on the programme, please send your completed application form and the required documents to the HTW Chur.
The deadline for applications is May 31st in the year you intend to start your course of study.
Applications received after the application deadline may also be considered if there are still places available on the programme. Please contact the programme administrator for information.
Do you have any questions about the study programme? Would you like any advice, or are you still unsure? Do you have any administrative questions? We will be happy to help you.