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UofGH Cool Classes: Travel & Tourism

Why is this course interesting?

Through an array of interactive tools and hands-on learning, students at the University of Guelph-Humber will now be able to learn, decode and analyze tourism trends from around the globe.

The newly introduced “Travel & Tourism” Electives course will allow students to understand tourism through historical and contemporary materials such as old train tickets, a page from a guidebook, a poster and more, says Dr. Kevin James, a UofGH instructor and author of Histories, Meanings and Representations of the Modern Hotel.

“I consider this to be an exciting initiative in relation to promoting student mobility and travel,” Dr. James explained.

“I want students to gain an appreciation of the global and transnational character of modern tourism, hone their research and analytical skills and learn to question the obvious when looking at a historical artifact; be it an image or a piece of information.”

What will you learn?

Students will be able to access an immense trove of travel and tourism-related materials through a digital database available through the UofGH Library.

The digital catalogue has several primary sources related to the history of travel and tourism as well as films, printed material, postcards, receipts and more.

“This resource allowed me to design the course around primary sources and original documentary material that students a decade ago would have had to access through archives,” Dr. James said.

“I am hoping students can perhaps take this course in the year of their Study Abroad trip so that they can situate themselves as a tourist and become more self-aware.”

What will you take away from the course?

“Travel & Tourism” allows students to analyze contemporary and historical tourism material, trends and themes so that they can reflect on their own experiences of travel. The course will not just focus on western tourism, but will touch upon groups from across the world, Dr. James explained.

Students will understand, discuss and question concepts and themes such as seaside tourism, dark tourism, or tourism that has a connotation of war on a weekly basis so that they can get a broad understanding of the subject.

The objective is for students to:

  • Gain a global appreciation of tourism, whether it is modern or historical
  • Understand tourist behaviours
  • Develop research and analytical skills
  • Learn historical traditions of travel and tourism
  • Appreciate elements of an intercultural encounter with respect to new cultures
  • Recognize the environmental aspect and footprint of tourism

“I want students to have a genuine interest in their own travel or enthusiasm for the idea of travel,” Dr. James noted.

“No travel is required, but travel is strongly encouraged before or after (taking the course). I hope, if students have already traveled, this course allows them to reflect on their experience.”