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Tourism Service Management


Laesser C.

Course director


Service activities are not restricted to the service sector. In any economic sector, service activities contribute to an increasing share of value added. Due to increasingly homogenous products and production processes in the industrial sector - on behalf of core activities - there is a decreasing potential for differentiation. Therefore, additional value is being created based on services added. This is especially true in tourism.

Thus, more and more product systems consist of services. Services underlay different and specific effects. For example, assuring service potential determines the major part of the customer value, thus leading to a dominating share of costs. The actual consumption leads to close to no additional costs. Therefore, new revenue models have to be applied. Due to the inherent lack of transparency, service goods need specific communication strategies and tactics. Problem solving service goods very often involve different independent service providers (like in tourism, health sector etc.).

Unlike the industrial sector, in the service industry in general and in tourism in particular there is no focal company coordinating the network of service providers: Persons or objects most of the time pass different service activities with independent service companies. It is the customer who bundles those different services. Service companies therefore have to rely on differentiated cooperation concepts. The definition of the right business model is therefore of major importance for the success of a service company.

The content of the course includes, among other, the following modules:

  • Introduction: The nature of (tourism) service activities, service management models, and key issues in tourism service management
  • Service design: creating an optimal interaction between aesthetics, functionality, and communication
  • Service marketing and customer value: creating service value and manage service quality and customer perception
  • Quality Management: Measuring and managing quality in a service environment.
  • Management of service capacities: dealing with fixed supply and volatile demand
  • Service culture and leadership: manage – most important - the service frontline
  • Rethinking business models (in tourism)
  • Term paper presentation

According to lecture content (different document which also includes specific program). 
Materials include lecture presentation and scientific papers.


The course „Tourism Service Management“ tries to combine content and methodological goals:

  • From the content side the course aims at creating a sensitivity for the specific conditions and requirements of service activities. This includes special trends in service demand and on the supply side. In addition, the students should be able to apply specific methods and models for strategies and operations for service activities. Special attention is given to the structure and content of business models in the service sector.
  • On the methodological side, the course focuses on qualitative methods (especially in the field of case study research).

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

Teaching, discussion/ reflection, application (stationary; conditions permitting)

Examination information

Group term paper (application case)

Closed book essay