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Tourism Economics


Scagnolari S.

Course director


The course begins by introducing students to the fundamentals of microeconomic analysis as it relates to tourism demand, supply, and the market. In the first part, students will explore the microeconomic concepts underlying tourism demand, including factors such as preferences for tourism, income and time constraints, and the role of prices. This section aims to provide insights into the decision-making process of tourists.

The second part of the course delves into the supply side of the tourism industry, examining the economic rationale behind firms that provide goods and services within the tourism product matrix. Students will gain an understanding of the key elements that shape the supply of tourism offerings.

The third part of the course focuses on different theoretical market structures within the tourism industry. Students will explore various models that describe these market structures, gaining insights into how firms compete and strategize to enhance their market power. 

Additionally, selected topics will be discussed to enrich students' knowledge, including product differentiation policies, asymmetric information, the significance of information search for tourists, and the effects of advertising and alternative mechanisms of information retrieval.



The course "Tourism Economics" aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the principles, methods, and approaches of mainstream economic theory as applied to the tourism industry. It is designed to complement the course "Tourism Growth and Economic Development," which naturally follows in the second semester, offering a holistic perspective on the subject.

By the end of this course, students will:

  1. Develop a comprehensive understanding of choice models that explain tourists' decision-making processes related to the length of stay, type of holiday, and destination selection.
  2. Recognize the significance of key factors such as time, habits, and evolving preferences in shaping tourism decisions.
  3. Comprehend the different market regimes prevalent in the tourism industry and their application to sectors where tourism firms operate.
  4. Understand the content and consequences of strategies implemented by tourism firms to increase their market power.

By comprehending the factors influencing tourist behavior, market dynamics, and strategies employed by tourism firms, students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complexities of the industry and pursue successful careers in various tourism-related roles, such as destination management, marketing, policy-making, and entrepreneurship. 

Furthermore, this course offers a solid foundation for individuals seeking to pursue advanced studies or research in tourism economics, enabling them to make meaningful contributions to the field and shape the future of the industry.

Sustainable development goals

  • Decent work and economic growth
  • Indusrty, innovation and infrastracture
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Sustainable cities and communities
  • Responsible consumption and production

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

The teaching methodology employed in this course is optimized and adaptive, tailored to the skills and interests of individual participants.

Students will work on individual dossiers that will be gradually compiled and enriched throughout the course. At the beginning, the instructors will engage in one-on-one interactions with students to assess their prior knowledge in various subjects and establish both short-term and long-term goals. Once foundational activities are completed, students will have the opportunity to choose which topics to "unlock" for access to progressively more advanced and complex content, allowing for a personalized and flexible learning experience. They can decide whether to pursue a more interdisciplinary approach or focus on specific elements of the course.

This personalized teaching methodology, coupled with the flexibility to choose topics and access relevant learning resources, aims to enhance student engagement and foster a deeper understanding of the course material. By actively participating in their learning journey, students can tailor their experience to their individual needs and achieve their learning objectives.


Examination information

For the exact structure of the exam, please refer to the teaching material online (iCorsi).