What will our tourism business students know after finishing Master’s Degree in Tourism Marketing and Management?

The second year of Tourism Marketing and Management programme is about to start soon. We had a successful first year, but that does not mean that we can stand down and relax. Our goal is to continuously develop our programme. Based on our Business School AACSB Accreditation membership, experiences from the first year, input from our advisory board and other stakeholders as well as our perceptions of what will be required from the experts of tourism business in the future, we have developed a new curriculum for the years 2018-2021.

We have two years with each of our students before they graduate and want to prepare them for the future as well as we can. Our mission is to make tourism better. We have about a dozen courses as well as our master’s thesis process to make sure our students are able to do all this. These are the skills and knowledge that we aim our students to have once they have graduated from our programme.

What kind of knowledge tourism business students have after graduation

  • Understand the role of research, data, and information when making decisions and plans in the tourism business
  • Understand the iterative nature of a research process
  • Understand the relevance of combining analytical and creative thinking throughout the research process
  • Identify and be aware of the good scientific practice
  • Understand theoretical perspectives on tourism, understand and evaluate the linkages of the central concepts related to tourism research (e.g. Theory, paradigm, model).
  • Understand the interdisciplinary nature of tourism research.
  • Understand and explain current issues and methods used in tourism research including a wide range of theories, approaches, and practices used in tourism research.
  • Analyze and identify potential research topics for future tourism studies based on current tourism literature.
  • Understand and explain the main theoretical concepts and theories of consumer behavior in the tourism context
  • Understand the powerful connection of customer insight and marketing activities in the context of tourism businesses
  • Analyze his/her own behavior as a tourist and develop his/her ability to behave in a responsible manner.
  • Understand, explain, criticize and develop destination strategies, missions, visions, and values.
  • Understand how the destination brand and image are built through communication, interaction and relationships in various marketing and communication channels.
  • Understand tourists’ destination choice process and frameworks and models connected to it.
  • Identify the central concepts in destination marketing research and apply them to practice.
  • Understand and explain the concepts of a tourist destination and destination competitiveness.
  • Distinguish the key stakeholders of a tourist destination and understand their role in destination development.
  • Distinguish between the concepts of destination governance, management, and leadership and understand the role of collaboration, competition, and coopetition in tourist destination context.
  • Understand the requirements of sustainability in the development of a  tourist destination.
  • Understand the environmental, economic and socio-cultural impacts of tourism in a destination.
  • Understand and explain the main theoretical concepts regarding service experience, tourist experience, and design of experiences, including experience theory, consumer value, customer involvement and product/service development
  • Explain and criticize main experiential theories and apply them to analyzing and interpreting consumer experiences
  • Understand the practical adaptations of the theories including consumer involvement process in service development
  • Understand the different ways how diverse service design tools can be applied and utilized
  • Understand the role of information technology as part of the tourism industry both from the customer as well as business perspective.
  • Know how to market and manage a tourism business in a digital world and understand central concepts, models, and frameworks connected to digital technologies.
  • Familiarity with risks and possibilities digital technologies create for tourism businesses and destinations.
  • A vision of how technologies will develop in the future and can adapt in the constantly transforming marketplace.
  • Understanding what is tourism research in practice.
  • Using theory as the base of tourism research.
  • Choosing research questions based on various research approaches.
  • Evaluating suitable methodological approaches to solve the chosen research questions.
  • Utilizing various research approaches to solve academic and practitioner problems.
  • Conducting tourism research ethically.
  • Understand the concepts, functions, and skills required for establishing a new tourism business
  • Understand the basic concepts and procedures of financial accounting
  • Understand the economic principles behind tourism business operations
  • Explain the determinants of profitability in tourism businesses, and how operational profit is generated
  • Explain the role of budgets and performance reports in planning and control
  • Understand the requirements of different kinds of legislation in the hospitality and tourism industry
  • Know central theoretical frameworks, models, and tools of tourism business and how to apply them in practice to develop the field and businesses in a sustainable way
  • Understand and explain a procedure of a marketing project
Tourism services at Etelä-Konnevesi
A typical day for Tourism Marketing and Management students

What kind of skills tourism business students have after graduation

  • Conduct analytical, methodologically reliable and practically valuable research to support decision-making processes in tourism businesses and academia.
  • Comply with the good scientific practice
  • Write a topic analysis and research plan with a literature review
  • Present their research in public
  • Argue and comment in a constructive manner
  • Identify, compare and explain the most common, current and timely research topics and approaches in tourism
  • Apply the principles of good scientific practices
  • Organize, synthesize, structure and outline scientific information
  • Reflect their own research topic and interest to existing research
  • Utilize the basic theories of tourist behavior in analyzing the customer behavior of a tourist destination and/or a tourism company
  • Utilize the customer insight information in planning and implementing marketing activities in tourism companies and destinations
  • Can act in a responsible manner as a tourist, and promote responsible behavior to other tourists and within tourism businesses
  • Is able to acquire and apply knowledge about future trends on tourism behavior
  • Collaboratively design and create a distinguishable and creative destination marketing plan and evaluate how realistic and suitable it is and implement the plan to practice.
  • Carry out multichannel destination marketing campaigns and work with creative agencies to promote a destination.
  • Assess and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and actions as well as utilize data in making destination marketing decisions.
  • Identify critical destination resources and how those can be utilized in contemporary marketing.
  • Create and manage collaborative marketing campaigns and actions with various partners to develop destination marketing to international customers.
  • In collaboration analyse the tourist destination competitiveness.
  • Analyze the meaning and impact of different kinds of governance structures on the role of DMO and other stakeholders in the leadership of a destination.
  • Utilize the basic tools for analyzing the destination competitiveness.
  • Develop skills in operating in the ethical and responsible manner in relationships with stakeholders in a tourist destination.
  • Develop skills in analyzing the impacts of tourism in a destination.
  • Acquire and apply knowledge about future trends on tourism in destination context.
  • Apply a customer-oriented approach to product/service development in experience industry
  • Use diverse tools for experience design and evaluation of the consumer experience, and evaluate the suitability of diverse tools in different practical development cases
  • Analyse and interpret customer insight gained from the practical cases and compare the information with theoretical knowledge
  • Create in collaboration with peer students a practical experience design case, and reflect his/her own learning during the process
  • Assess the current state of digital business in an organization and create a plan to creatively develop it from the customer value perspective.
  • Run online marketing campaigns in various online channels and create business models and multi-channel strategies for tourism businesses and destinations.
  • Content marketer practices to communicate with different stakeholders and customers via digital technologies.
  • Use various online tools to develop digital business and customer experience.
  • Utilizing customer information search processes and data to create long-lasting and influential relationships with tourists through content marketing.
  • Experimenting and trying out different approaches to develop digital marketing and tourism business.
  • Search for, summarizing, and applying information from academic and industry sources to develop research.
  • Designing a research process.
  • Evaluating various data collection and analysis methods for quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Using data analysis software.
  • Write scientific text.
  • Write and formulate research reports for the industry.
  • Understand the principles of how to generate operational profit
  • Analyze and interpret financial information for both managerial purposes and the needs of outside stakeholders
  • Make a realistic business plan
  • Adapt marketing related theories and tools into practice
  • Plan, schedule, implement, report and monitor a tourism marketing related research or development project
  • Adjust to challenges of strict schedules and collaborative problem solution
  • Take and share responsibilities
  • Work in collaboration and according to the instructions of the client or other principal
  • Creatively suggest new innovative solutions

Study Tourism Business

If these sound like the skills and knowledge you would like to have, you should consider joining our Master’s Degree programme. We are constantly looking for people to make tourism better with us. You can apply to our programme every year around Christmas. For more information see details at http://www.uef.fi/web/tmm/tmm-in-a-nutshell

TMM developing tourism business at Etelä-Konnevesi region

Our International Master’s Degree Programme in Tourism Marketing and Management (TMM) has started a collaboration with municipalities of Konnevesi and Rautalampi and tourism stakeholders in the region. The concrete first step in this collaboration was a two-day workshop on developing nature tourism in the Etelä-Konnevesi region, organized in Konnevesi research station 14.-15.3.2018. Together with Anne Hyvärinen, project manager at a regional tourism development project, two days full of tourism business content were designed and tailored for the region.

Tourism insights and knowledge

The idea of the first day was to bring in all the actors to the same level when it comes to tourism marketing and management in a nature tourism destination. The day started with introductions and three short group work presentations by our students. As a preliminary assignment, our students had examined how the region is represented on the Internet from the perspective of potential tourists, both domestic and international. They also gave a quick overview of the recent development of the region in combination with development possibilities.

Making tourism better
Nature tourism workshop at Etelä-Konnevesi region

From the student presentations, it became obvious that the region has a vast tourism potential, but the problem is that very few know about this hidden gem. Most tourists that come to the region just visit the Southern-Konnevesi National Park, even though the region is full of interesting, high-quality and distinctive tourism businesses. Thus we were able to pinpoint the tourism development problem to marketing and sales, as well as networking between the actors in the region.

Besides our students, there was a wide range of presentations from local entrepreneurs and tourism personnel, Jyväskylä UAS and Visit Jyväskylä, and Johku. The tourism in the region and development possibilities were discussed from many different viewpoints, providing a great overview of the topic.

Networking and collaboration

At the end of the first day, we had the chance to visit a local rural tourism business Suopirtti Highland and meet their “hairy cows” (ie. highland cattle). It was indeed an experience for all of us. Afterward, we had a chance to taste delicious locally produced dishes at restaurant Mierontie. The restaurant also had a unique, wooden interior design made by local Jukola Industries. At the end of the second day, we had the chance to visit the National Park and experience KalajaRetkeily hospitality from Markku Utriainen. These visits only reinforced our view that there are many great and original tourism products and services in the region, but very few have ever heard of them.

Tourism services at Etelä-Konnevesi
Local tourism services

Professor Raija Komppula emphasized at the workshop how important collaboration and networking are for tourism businesses. Not that much can be achieved by doing things alone. Tourists seldom choose a destination based on one tourism business. Tourists are looking for an amalgam of experience that they can enjoy during their trip and only by working together a region can provide tourists what they want.

Tourism business development

Our students are now working with individual tourism businesses as their second assignment. Each student was assigned with a tourism business with their own development possibilities. The businesses gave our students practice-oriented tasks connected to topics such as marketing mix development, service packaging, experience design, technology adoption and new-service development. Our students will provide each involved business a short report that guides the businesses to take the next steps.

Students in a nature trail
TMM students and staff at the Etelä-Konnevesi National Park

Collaboration with TMM

We have built our programme so that this kind of destination and business collaborations are possible. Our students performed really well during the workshop and have clearly learned a lot during this past year they have been studying with us. We will continue our collaboration with Etelä-Konnevesi region and are also open to new possibilities to make tourism better. If you are interested in collaboration, please contact me at juho.pesonen[at]uef.fi.

Using Pixel Hotel idea for entrepreneurship

Can we own a hotel or start hotel business with our limited money? You may think that the answer is no. But, I would say Yes, and you will probably agree with me if you take a closer look at pixel hotel business idea in Austria.

Pixel hotel is a new form of hotel business which I recently learned while studying tourism destination marketing course. I got so interest to this idea that, I wanted to learn more about this and share my thoughts.

Whenever we think about a hotel, what usually comes to our mind? A nice tall building with lot of rooms in different floors with many other facilities. But, Pixel hotel is just the opposite. “The city is the hotel” which is the slogan of pixel hotel and it works like that. This new idea of hospitality industry came into existence in 2006. The idea originated from a concept made by a group of young architects and designers in Linz, Austria.

Pixel hotel is a cultural enterprise in Linz, with the aim of giving guests a direct experience of unusual accommodation with certain particularities. Another aim of this association is to utilize unused properties in urban and rural areas in profitable way. This also gives an opportunity to their guests to stay close to their travel destination. Hence, tourists get more time to travel. Targeted tourists are those people, who love watching things a bit slower and bit closer. As an accommodation project, it has become an international recognized brand which was cited as an example of innovative tourism in 2009. Rooms of pixel hotel are scattered in whole city which can be an old building, workshop or basically anything which can be used as accommodation.

Picture of the first prototype Pixel Hotel which was in an empty garage.

Similarly, for pixel guests, there is not any certain restaurant to offer lunch and dinner. Rather guests are invited to discover the local food and culture and to know the story of that place.

In my opinion, this is a very nice business idea to learn from. This idea can be utilized to start hotel business with very little money and with minimum preparation. Another competitor in the market is Airbnb, but people who rent apartment there usually own only one apartment and that is not their main source of income. On the other hand, an establish hotel is always more reliable to the guests and more profitable.

How Pixel hotel idea can be utilized in Finland

Finland is a big country with very little population. Most of the tourists’ services like hotels and transportation facilities are available mainly in big cities and in the center areas. So, when tourists visit Finland, they tend to stay in those places which are close to their hotel and where public transport are available. Because of this, attractions in small towns and places remain unknown and undiscovered by most of the tourists. But, we can utilize pixel hotel idea here to arrange accommodation and other facilities for the tourists in all over the country, then it may appear as an attractive tourists’ service for those who will plan to visit Finland in future.

Idea: A simple house can be used as a hotel

Moreover, there are many empty houses and apartments in every cities and towns which are ready to use or with little arrangements can be made ready to rent to make money. People can use this idea to start their own business with a limited money and minimum risk.

Source: http://www.pixelhotel.at/index.php?id=1&L=0

The world’s greatest traveller

What if Santa Claus would travel by plane?

Who is the world’s greatest traveller? As the holiday season is about to start we gather to celebrate Christmas all around the globe. Santa Claus has become one of the main characters of Christmas, bringing joy and wonder to kids and grown ups everywhere. However, we rarely realize that Santa Claus is actually the world’s greatest traveller. I doubt there is a single person on this planet who would travel more during a year, albeit Santa does almost all his travelling in 36 hours.

A few years ago The Telegraph did some calculations about this magical day when Santa flies around the globe. According to the calculations Santa travels around half a billion kilometers. That is almost 13 000 times around the globe or 32 500 times from Helsinki to Tokyo (8000km) and back. Finnair is the official airline of Santa Claus as Santa lives in Rovaniemi, Finland. If Santa would use Finnair to deliver his gifts, he would get, based on Helsinki-Tokyo calculations in Basic class, he would get around 260 million Finnair points. For 3000 points and 74,52€ you could get a 100€ tax-free award voucher. By this calculation single points is worth 0,95 cents. Surprisingly, Santas points would be worth only little more than 2 million euros. So you won’t get rich with these points, not even if you are the world’s greatest traveller.

We can also look at the environmental impacts of Santa travelling Finnair. Using carbon calculator and Helsinki-Tokyo calculations Santa would create almost 70 000 tonnes of CO2. Average Finnish household produces 10 tonnes per year, so Santa flying with Finnair would correspond to 7000 households.

We do hope that Santa Claus has figured our an environmentally friendly way to travel the world but until he gives away his secrets we have to stick with more traditional transportation methods for our Christmas travelling. We wish you all happy holidays and look forward seeing as many of you as possible next year in Joensuu!