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Making Places and Shaping Destinations


Geographical areas (cities, but also natural areas, beaches, etc.) are physical places where residents and visitors meet and interact. The examples of Amsterdam and Barcelona show that this interaction leads to tensions, but also offers possibilities. The minor will focus on the interaction between these actors and zoom in on the way in which geographical places develop and destinations are created and shaped.

It includes topics on management, sustainably placemaking & branding, urban design, technology, governance, economics hospitality, digital storytelling and visitor experiences. The minor touches specifically on understanding cultural identities in places, as well as management and online marketing of destinations.


To be successful in placemaking and destination management, good analytical skills, a critical sense and understanding of context-related issues, and the ability to deal with that in a strategically way, are crucial.

Tourism interacts with (urban) societies at multi-sectoral and interdisciplinary level. Tourism services are the result of combined efforts of different stakeholders or actors (private and public), a complex phenomenon with many interdependencies.


The course will be bringing a real-life case study (Brazil, Antwerp, Rotterdam) into education and connect with business partners in cities (experts) to involve their professional expertise. This course will widen and broaden the knowledge of students interested in taking this minor related to placemaking and shaping (tourism) destinations.


  • examining the relationship between tourism businesses and the geographical space in which they develop from an economic, environmental and socio-cultural perspective
  • understanding the complexity of destination governance (theory and practice)
  • applying place-making concepts to cities and tourism destinations,
  • analysing and identifying the reasons why places need to adopt different place-making strategies
  • understanding the impact of digital technologies of Destination Management Systems (DMS), related to effective customer journeys
  • acquiring depth of knowledge with regard to internal and external environmental issues and their impact(s) on destination branding strategy
  • to define the public space by mapping its functional and social use - to address shortcomings and improvement plans in public space.

Aanvullende informatie


In this minor you will work on the following competencies:

  • Assessing and evaluating expected benefits and costs of tourist destinations
  • Being able to apply methods to analyses public space as an Urban Designer.
  • Being able to define the public space by mapping its functional and social use.
  • Being able to apply concepts and principles of the governance of tourism cases around the world, using analytical tools that highlight the role of actors/stakeholders and their characteristics
  • The student is able to apply empirical models to evaluate specific aspects of (tourist) destinations.
  • Have a critical understanding of theoretical concepts and models of destination marketing and placemaking;
  • Apply the theoretical knowledge of destination marketing and place making to a case;
  • Acquiring communications skills in presentations

Working in a group (skills: respectful listening, active participation, teamwork)



In addition to project-based education, the minor covers the following subjects:

  • Sustainable placemaking principles and practice
  • Residents identity and visitor experiences within places and destinations
  • Destination governance and economics
  • Functions of urban spaces
  • Urban design
  • Digital storytelling
  • Branding


Structure of Minor:

The total study load of the minor is 30 credits (840 hours)

Term 1 focuses on theory and practice, Term 2 focuses on theory and application as well as a final field-research


Teaching Methods:

Working methods include:

  • Lectures
  • Workshops/seminars
  • Consultancies
  • Field research
  • Practical assignments


In the minor, students work on research projects in multidisciplinary teams.


Important part of the minor is a fieldtrip to Brazil. This can be Rio de Janeiro & Silva Jardim or Sao Paulo & Sorocabe/Ipero. A 2-3 weeks fieldtrip is part of the program (additional costs ± € 1350,-)


Effective communication skills in written and spoken English are required.

If the maximum number of participants is exceeded, admission will be determined by drawing lots.


The quality of assessment is ensured by the board of examiners of the academy offering the minor. Types of examinations:

  • Students running a seminar
  • Presenting academic papers and debates
  • Assignments (individual as well as in a group)
  • Research project assessments