When you think of tourism, you think of hotels, flights, New York, Paris and St. Moritz. But this industry offers a lot more than just the conventional travel services. Leisure activities in the areas of culture, music, sport, architecture, design and health have become integral parts of the industry today.
You know from your own experience: the desire to see the world inspires people all over our planet to travel both close to home and far afield. Furthermore, the business world is becoming increasingly mobile. As a result, tourism has become an exciting growth market. A simple comparison illustrates the potential. Today, the tourism and leisure industry is larger than the oil industry or the car industry and currently employs around 11% of the world’s population. The industry certainly offers professionals fantastic career development opportunities – in both ordinary and exotic destinations.
The Bachelor in Tourism introduces you to tourism as a business discipline and helps you to successfully create customer-focused offers that include a consistently high level of service. The HTW Chur draws inspiration from Switzerland’s visionary thinkers, who were the first to recognise our country’s special resources. They created unique tourism opportunities that appeal to visitors from all over the world. Today, committed and cosmopolitan professionals are in high demand in order to ensure that our wide range of tourism offers remains competitive. That is why the HTW Chur – more than any other university of applied sciences in Switzerland – focuses on innovation and an international perspective. As a result, we produce experts who are sought after both at home and abroad.
What does a bachelor's degree in tourism involve?
You are fascinated by travel and languages, are a people person and want to make your passion your profession. You will obtain an international business degree with cutting edge content and methods.
What are the admission requirements for the programme?
You need a vocational business diploma (‘Berufsmatura’). Alternatively, a vocational diploma in a different subject, a high school diploma (‘Gymnasialmatura’) or a specialist secondary school diploma (‘Fachmatura’) is accepted with a one-year internship in a commercial business. Additionally, English, accounting and mathematical skills are important.
What will I learn in this programme?
The tourism degree programme at the HTW Chur is practice-oriented, with an international focus. In the third year, you will be able to choose your own areas of specialisation, so you can focus on the professional path that appeals to you.
What is the process from programme start through to graduation?
The programme begins in September and takes three years to complete. The place of study is in Chur and you will go on several field trips. You also have the option of doing one or two exchange semesters abroad.
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. At the HTW Chur you live and breathe the spirit of the tourism pioneers who brought tourism to St.Moritz. It is the ideal surrounding to become an expert in tourism yourself.
What happens after I finish my studies?
After completing your degree in tourism, you will be able to develop and market holiday offers, organise events or work in project management roles in the tourism and leisure industry.
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 international class of the Bachelor of Science 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?
- Vocational business diploma ('kaufmännische Berufsmatura') recognised by the Swiss Confederation
- Vocational diploma in a non-business field ('Berufsmatura'), high school diploma ('Gymnasialmatura') or specialised secondary school diploma ('Fachmatura') recognised by the Swiss Confederation and a completed one-year internship in a commercial business
- An equivalent secondary school diploma from a foreign country and a completed one-year internship in a commercial business
For the German-English class, we recommend a B2 level in English (Cambridge First Certificate or similar).
For the English class, you must have a language certificate at C1 level (Cambridge Advanced Certificate or similar) which is not older than three years at the start of the studies.
You should be proficient in terms, equations and functions, as these form the basis of the mathematics taught during the assessment year. On our website you can download a mathematics test that will help you to assess whether your proficiency in mathematics is sufficient for this programme.
Basic skills of double entry accounting are required and will be tested at the beginning of the programme. Therefore, we recommend an accounting course prior to the studies. Additionally, a supporting accounting course can be attended at the HTW Chur parallel to the regular accounting module in the first semester.
Work experience of one year in a full-time role must be demonstrated. In cases in which the level of employment is reduced, the required duration is extended accordingly. The work experience must be completed prior to commencing the study course. This work experience may comprise several positions performed with different employers. The director of studies decides which professional experience is taken into account when determining the amount of completed work experience. Both practical and theoretical professional experience are considered here. You are required to prove your work experience by providing confirmation of employment. This confirmation must state the duration of the work experience as well as the specialist activities that you performed during this time.
To arrange a transfer from another university, university of applied sciences or PET college, you must contact the Director of Studies. Credits may be awarded for already completed modules in consultation with the Director of Studies.
In exceptional cases, you may be admitted to the programme 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.
On the assessment level (first year of study), you acquire a foundation in business studies and self-management skills and are introduced to the basic methods of (academic) problem-solving.
On the bachelor level 1 (second year of study), you receive a comprehensive introduction to the tourism industry and further develop your understanding of business studies. You also learn how to think and act in a more international context.
On the bachelor level 2 (third year of study), you build on your knowledge of the tourism industry and develop targeted professional skills for your chosen major. You also broaden your knowledge through a wide variety of elective subjects, chosen according to personal preference. In your third year, you spend six months writing your bachelor’s thesis for a client on the subject of a practical issue faced by the company or organisation. The current bachelor thesis brochure gives you an impression of possible topics for your thesis.
Proficiency in modern languages has an important place in the bachelor’s degree programme in tourism at the HTW Chur. Students with an international background who are interested in an international career or who have a good command of English can attend international programme where all modules are taught in English. In the German-language programme, students are taught partly in English starting in the second year, and the majority of the classes are taught in English in the third year.
We teach you the skills you need to turn your fascination for travelling and your interest for people into a professional career in the tourism industry.
Thanks to their expertise in the areas of e-business, marketing and leadership, tourism graduates from the HTW Chur are also valuable employees for hotels.
The tourism industry is going through a fundamental digital transformation which is not going to end any time soon. Tourism professionals of the future need to orient themselves to this new world and form it. The bachelor's degree at the HTW Chur is setting the stage for it.
In the third year, you choose one major subject. All majors are taught in English except for Leadership.
You learn the role and importance of tourism as a tool for sustainable economic development, be it in a general business context or related to international development cooperation.
Your first job function will be
- Product manager for sustainable destinations
- NGO employee
You learn how to actively develop offers, prepare them in a timely manner and allow customers to book them directly. You are taught the strategy and basic principles of the hard sell, both in theory and practice.
Your first job function will be
- Content manager
- Sales representative
- Social media manager
You learn how to develop and market innovative, practical tourism offers through creative techniques and communication strategies.
Your first job function will be
- Marketing project manager
- Product manager
- Content manager
You learn the commercial marketing and business aspects of sport. Moreover, you are taught how to successfully manage sporting events and sports clubs.
Your first job function will be a marketing function with
- Sports associations/clubs
- Sports rights agencies
- Sponsorship departments
You learn how to plan and run events and to develop concepts for exciting events. Further topics are team leadership, production planning, venue layout and event staging.
Your first job function will be
- Project coordinator
- Event manager in the tourism industry or at events agencies
You learn specific methods essential for managerial staff in small and medium-sized businesses that allow you to deal with a variety of management situations, including employee management, conflict resolution and stress management.
Your first job function will be
- Initial management roles
- Project management roles
- Personnel management roles
You choose a minimum of three minor subjects. In general, all minors are taught in English, although there may be some exceptions.
You learn how to develop new services in a sustainable manner to create thrilling, unusual and profitable experiences for tourists.
You learn about the importance and drivers of health tourism, how to develop health tourism strategies and how to design and implement suitable offers in tourism companies.
You explore the hotel industry in all its different forms and learn the basics of hotel management. You are prepared specifically by the minor for a career in the accommodation sector.
You acquire specific methods to motivate employees and teams. Furthermore, you develop result-oriented leadership skills.
You learn about the fundamental drivers of demand in the leisure industry and the associated challenges faced by service providers in this field with interesting inputs from practice.
You receive an introduction to how the media work. You learn about the latest developments in the industry and in active corporate PR management.
You learn to identify innovative niche tourism products, to understand the environment in which they can exist and how to successfully assess the challenges involved in turning them into reality.
You analyse a wide range of quality management models and learn how to design and implement quality structures and processes
You study and apply basic concepts in retail management and learn how to position shopping as an important part of the tourist experience.
You master the challenges of marketing and managing Alpine destinations and cable cars with corresponding solutions learnt in practice.
Using theoretical knowledge, you learn about the aviation industry from a practical perspective and obtain a better understanding of the special characteristics of this industry. You will also get to know how companies in the aviation industry are managed.
You obtain background information on the relevant aspects relating to mobility in the tourism industry. This minor course covers, in particular, land-based transport systems and explores the challenges faced by integrated mobility systems.
In addition to sound professional expertise, the job market also requires excellent social and personal skills. For this reason, the HTW Chur also helps you develop your proficiency in social interactions, presentation skills and public speaking. This allows you to develop into a person who is able to assert themselves successfully in their everyday working life.
Completing the course in an international class means I am in contact with fellow students from around the world each and every day, enabling me to improve my social skills and language expertise on an ongoing basis. My personal highlight was the exchange semester. I studied in Hong Kong for a half a year and not only learnt a great deal from an academic perspective, but also from a personal perspective.
During the programme, we explored tourism in all its aspects. Along with the practice-oriented project work, this was the ideal preparation for my current job as Manager UK & Ireland at the SCIB in London. What I benefited from the most was my area of specialisation in the third year. This set me up perfectly for my current role in terms of teaching me how to develop and implement all kinds of marketing activities.
How much are the study fees for the bachelor’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 field trips, multiday seminars and the bachelor 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 further information, please contact the grants department of the Department of Education for the canton in question.
Students from outside Switzerland can contact the relevant public funding institutions in their home country.
The study programme takes place in Chur, Switzerland. Individual events may take place in other locations and will be communicated in good time.
The bachelor’s degree programme takes three years when completed on a full-time basis. The programme begins in September (week 38). An introductory week will take place prior to the official commencement of studies. One study year comprises two semesters, generally made up of 14 weeks each. There are also examination weeks and individual block weeks.
Exact dates and details can be found in the academic calendar.
The bachelor’s degree programme comprises 180 ECTS credits. One ECTS credit corresponds to an average study workload of 30 hours.
Lectures are given from Monday to Friday. Some classes are held in blocks or on Saturdays. Lessons are held between 8.15 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. Exceptions are possible.
Successful graduates of the bachelor’s programme are awarded the ‘Bachelor of Science FHO in Tourism‘ degree, with the specification of the respective major. FHO means ‘Fachhochschule Ostschweiz’, the University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland, to which the HTW Chur belongs to.
Spending a semester abroad can open up new horizons for you. International exchange is, of course, a tremendous asset to tourism and leisure. The HTW Chur maintains close ties to a network of universities, technical colleges and other educational establishments worldwide and would be pleased to help you organise one or two semesters of study abroad.
Semesters abroad generally count as full or partial semesters of your prorgramme, enabling you to complete your studies within the planned period.
In the following you can find an overview of the partner universities where you can spend a semester abroad:
Double degree with the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia
Whoever wants to collect more experience abroad can apply for a study year at our partner university USC in Australia. Every year, five students get the opportunity to get one of these study places. You complete (with special conditions) the second study year at the USC and, if you pass all the exams, you will receive the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration of the USC in addition to the Bachelor of Science in Tourism of the HTW Chur after the third year.
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).
A degree in tourism will open up many opportunities for you: you could take on roles in marketing such as managing projects, products, content or social media. You could work for an agency as a sales manager or a consultant. You could become an event manager or a project coordinator in the tourism industry or at an event agency. Or you could go into management in a sports association or sponsorship department. Your degree will also make you eligible for positions in corporate or price development, or for managerial roles and jobs in HR management.
Following the bachelor’s degree programme in tourism, you also have the option to complete a master’s degree either in Switzerland or abroad. The Master of Science in Business Administration with a Major in Tourism offered by the HTW Chur is aimed at highly motivated graduates of the bachelor’s programme with a very good degree.
After my studies I started to work in Marketing and Public Relations at Location Hunter in Beijing.
Today I am an employee in MICE and Special Groups at Kuoni in Zurich.
After by bachelor in tourism I've started to work as a project manager at Pointbreak Events GmbH in Zurich.
I am a marketing assistant at BEET Language Centre in Bournemouth.
My job as Sales & Marketing Coordinator at Hotel Einstein in St.Gallen is great fun!
Today I am employed as a key account manager at Six Payment Services in Zurich.
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 30 April 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.
Our information events are held in German. You can find all dates on the German website.