CCGL9021 Global Issues

Globalization and Tourism

[This course is under the thematic cluster of ‘Sustaining Cities, Cultures, and the Earth’.]


Course Description

The issue of whether globalization is beneficial remains controversial, particularly since globalization policies are often examined without consideration of their interactions with key sectors of economy, notably tourism. Tourism is one of the world’s largest industries and is considered to be a promising means of fostering economic development by the governments of many developing countries. However, it is questionable whether income generated through tourism can deliver improved economic independence and higher quality of life to the developing world. This course aims to use tourism as a lens to explore key issues of globalization and economic development and critique how tourism, a global phenomenon, influences local people’s lives. Course objectives are to 1) introduce key concepts relevant to tourism and globalization; 2) apply theoretical frameworks to the analysis of contemporary issues of the globalization of tourism, and the complex relationships that link local, regional, national and international processes and patterns of tourism development; 3) explore the relationships between the forces of globalization, multinational tourism corporations, and the state and civil society; and 4) interrogate the economic, political and social ramifications of the systemic sources of power and inequality which are reflected in and sustained by international tourism. Finally, this course will also consider the future of tourism with regard to new sectors and trends such as ecotourism, adventure tourism, and the effects of social media and the Internet, along with what travel will look like in a post-COVID-19 world both in and beyond Hong Kong.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Critically apply theories of tourism and globalization to an understanding of the social, economic and political organization of the international tourism system.
  2. Comprehend and evaluate the changing relationships between states, civil society and markets, and their influence on the relations of power and inequality in international tourism.
  3. Use relevant information about globalization to evaluate the influence of international tourism on economic development, employment, migration and notions of citizenship in a global society.
  4. Identify and devise effective strategies to regulate processes of tourism development that are compatible with notions of social justice and fair trade, particularly in poorer regions and states.
  5. Apply intellectual skills with particular emphasis on the analysis, synthesis and evaluation of ideas, concepts and theories relevant to the study of globalization and tourism.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 8
Fieldwork / Visits 10
Reading / Self-study 48
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 20
Assessment: In-class quizzes (incl preparation) 10
Total: 120

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Tutorial presentation and participation 20
Individual essay 20
Field visit report 30
In-class quizzes 30

Required Reading

  • Bauman, Z. (1998). On glocalization: Or globalization for some, localization for some others. Thesis Eleven54(1), 37-49.
  • Bianchi, R. (2018). The political economy of tourism development: A critical review. Annals of Tourism Research70, 88-102.
  • Briedenhann, J., & Wickens, E. (2004). Tourism routes as a tool for the economic development of rural areas—vibrant hope or impossible dream? Tourism Management25(1), 71-79.
  • Buckley, R., Gretzel, U., Scott, D., Weaver, D., & Becken, S. (2015). Tourism megatrends. Tourism Recreation Research40(1), 59-70.
  • Cater, E. (2006). Ecotourism as a western construct. Journal of Ecotourism5(1-2), 23-39.
  • Gössling, S. (2002). Global environmental consequences of tourism. Global Environmental Change12(4), 283-302.
  • Hall, C. M., Williams, A. M., Lew. A. A. (2014). Introduction: Tourism – conceptualizations, disciplinarity, institutions, and issues. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Tourism. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons. [pp. 1-25]
  • Hopkins, D., & Becken, S. Sociocultural resilience and tourism. In A. Lew, C. M. Hall & A. M. Williams (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Tourism (pp. 490-499). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Lansing, P., & De Vries, P. (2007). Sustainable tourism: Ethical alternative or marketing ploy? Journal of Business Ethics72(1), 77-85.
  • Lenzen, M., Sun, Y. Y., Faturay, F., Ting, Y. P., Geschke, A., & Malik, A. (2018). The carbon footprint of global tourism. Nature Climate Change, 1-10.
  • Morgan, N. (2014). Problematizing place promotion and commodification. In A. Lew, C. M. Hall & A. M. Williams (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Tourism (pp. 210-219). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons..
  • Mostafanezhad, M., & Norum, R. (2016). Towards a geopolitics of tourism. Annals of Tourism Research61(C), 226-228.
  • Pearce, P. L. (2014). What motivates tourists? In A. Lew, C. M. Hall & A. M. Williams (Eds.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Tourism (pp. 45-54). Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Quinn, E. (2018, May). Arctic tourism in the age of Instagram. From http://www.rcinet.ca/arctic-tourism/
  • Robbins, T. (2018, Nov. 9.) Glamping in Greenland: The ultimate getaway. The Financial Times. From https://www.ft.com/content/e5314b60-e1e9-11e8-8e70-5e22a430c1ad
  • Rowen, I. (2016). The geopolitics of tourism: Mobilities, territory, and protest in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Annals of the American Association of Geographers106(2), 385-393.
  • Stone, P., & Sharpley, R. (2008). Consuming dark tourism: A thanatological perspective. Annals of Tourism Research35(2), 574-595.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr M.M. Bennett
Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 7451
Email: mbennett@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr M.M. Bennett
Department of Geography, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 7451
Email: mbennett@hku.hk