Bethlehem University Graduate Catalog 2021-2022

Institute of Hotel Management / Department of Hotel Management/ Course description

MRTS510 - THE TOURISM SYSTEM - 3 credits

This course introduces students to tourism and its many constituent and interrelated components, such as the relation between travel, tourism, recreation and leisure. Tourism always involves mobility – travel, but travel does not always fall into the category of tourism. Holidays are always about recreation, but the purpose of tourism is not always recreational.
Tourism is commonly understood within an economic framework, in terms of supply and demand. A complex of factors shape demand for specific tourism products. Gaining insight into demand is essential for success for suppliers of tourism products and tourism organisations, which comprise the ‘tourism industry'. Yet, while it is perfectly understandable to speak of the ‘tourism industry', it does not adequately or fully capture the tourism phenomenon. Thinking about tourism from a systems-based perspective, allows us to be alert to the myriad exchanges and impacts generated by tourism for those both directly and indirectly involved in its pursuit and provision.This course, therefore, introduces students to the economic, environmental and socio-cultural impacts necessary to fully comprehend tourism as a system and its place within a complex global context.

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This course consists of three modules:1-History of Tourism (1 credit hour)
This module looks at the history of tourism development in several areas of the global north and global south – including Palestine. Histories of pilgrimage, scientific expeditions, and VFR (visiting friends and relations) will be outlined in addition to contemporary leisure tourism.
2-History of Hospitality (1 credit hour)
Hospitality has ancient roots. The module will outline a general theory of hospitality and
provide ethnographic examples from around the world. There will be a special focus on
Mediterranean hospitality, much of which is founded on Abrahamic principles within a unity of the three monotheistic religions.
3-Tour Guiding (1 credit hour)
The tour guide module aims to introduce the students to one of the most important components of tourism, often referred to as the orphans of the industry. The students will study in depth the origins of that profession, its traits and required skills, responsibilities and importance towards sustainable tourism.
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MRTS512 - PILGRIMAGE - 3 credits

This course consists of three modules: 1- Jewish Pilgrimage (1 credit hour)
This module explores the development of the concept of Jewish pilgrimage from ancient to modern times. It aims to build on students' prior knowledge of Jewish history and Jewish Festivals. It will focus on the aspects of historical and theological implications of the three Pilgrimage Festivals. Various types and traditions of Jewish pilgrimage in their historical context will be presented, including visits to tombs and sites of holy people in Europe, North Africa and Israel. Typology of sacred sites and their venerations in modern Judaism will be proposed. Types of modern Jewish pilgrimages will be discussed as well.
2- Christian pilgrimage (1 credit hour)
Christian pilgrimage has, of course, formed the historical backbone of Palestinian tourism in general, tourism to Jerusalem and Bethlehem in particular. The roots of the Christian pilgrimage in the Holy Land will be considered. The present place of Christian pilgrimage will be examined, its institutional structures (pilgrimage operators, agents, church networks) analyzed, and pilgrimage sites identified.
3- Islamic Pilgrimage (1 credit hour)
This module will consider the main forms of pilgrimages including Hajj and pilgrimages to Jerusalem, it will investigate the role of the religious doctrine in motivating travel, while pilgrimage is usually seen as travel with a uniquely religious purpose this module will explore the possibilities for, and modalities of, integrating Islamic pilgrims and the countries from which they come from into the Palestinian tourism strategy.

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1– Palestinian Tourism Offer (1 credit hour)
The purpose of this module is to identify with precision what exactly Palestinian tourism is offering the tourist. Holy sites certainly, but what else? Historic sites (including, in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, two of the most famous cities in the world) most with ongoing programs involving the preservation of particular quarters, streets and markets; rural sites and trails (Artas, Battir, Solomon's Pools) ; systems of hospitality with ancient roots; an emerging Palestinian gastronomic offer; a wealth of creative and cultural industries (encompassing literature, dance and other performing arts, museums and galleries); a Mediterranean sea side resort (with potentially unrivalled seafood restaurants)(Gaza); Dead Sea and the oldest city in the world(Jericho);a range of specialist ‘niche' market sites (for those with interests in birds, flowers, and desert flora and fauna), and very significant range of sites, activities, and experiences for the ‘ alternative' tourism market of independent and group tourists.
2– Palestinian Cultural Heritage (1 credit hour)
This module will explore the cultural and creative industries including literature, dance, performing arts, music, architecture, film, theatre and others. Non-material heritage in contemporary and future tourism in Palestine will be considered. The implications for Tourism of the EU's recently completed Delta and MED-VOICES and the extent to which ideas can be taken from them to enhance the Tourism offer: storytelling, family histories, memories including those brought to life photographically), design and fashion ideas and practices, cooking traditions, and other specialist skills.
3– Anthropology of Heritage (1 credit hour)
This module discusses cultural heritage in Palestine, its cities and villages, placing the
conversation within a context of general theories and practices of heritage conservation and
preservation. There will be a special focus on the relation between cultural heritage and
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1– Principles of Development (1 credit hour)
The basic principles of sustainable development will be examined. Reference to global (pace Brundtland) and local (pace Agenda 21 reports from various locations) practices will be studied. Case studies from various parts of the world will be considered and the implications of these for sustainable development in Palestine will be debated. Tourism has long been regarded as a tool for social and economic development. This module will look at the general arguments and theories of sustainable tourism development in both developed and less developed regions and consider what role tourism will play in Palestinian development.
2– Developmental Issues in Palestine (1 credit hour)
The objective of the module is to generate awareness among students to the importance of developing tourism in a sustainable manner. This will include examination of what is really meant by sustainable tourism. This module will help to identify a range of tools that can be used to influence the development and management of tourism and make it more sustainable. The module will concentrate on the special circumstances and opportunities of Palestine in pursuing sustainable tourism.
3– Tourism Sustainable Development in Palestine (1 credit hour)
The course introduces students to the emergence of sustainable development (the so-called Brundtland report, 1987) Our Common Future, and its emergence in relation to tourism and sustainable tourism developments. In addition, it entails the evolution of the concept of sustainable tourism development, its difficulties, and opportunities. The concept of sustainable tourism has attracted a high level of support at the conceptual level, however, there is little agreement in defining it. It has been described as ambiguous, vague, parochial, and mythical, with different perceptions & interpretations of it. This course will introduce students to the complexity of the concept of sustainable tourism, which is the triple bottom line: socio-cultural, economic and environmental dimensions of development.

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1– Tourism Legal Foundation (1 credit hour)
The state of tourism policy and planning in Palestine, in particular Bethlehem, will be critically studied. The contribution (and impact) of tourism policy reports by (largely foreign) consultants will be assessed. The particular needs of, and prospects for, Palestinian tourism for focused policy and planning at all levels will be identified, described, and debated. This course examines the legal foundations of commerce in the tourism and hospitality industry and the components of risk management in tourism at both the macro and micro levels. Law-related topics include national and international laws relating to tourism; legal environment of facilities, agents and operators; interaction of community and developer needs; and consumer rights. Risk management topics range from the protection of the health and physical, psychological and economic integrity of travelers, host communities, and the destination more broadly (including the natural and cultural environment), as well as the safeguarding of the security interests of tourism entrepreneurs and the countries sending and receiving visitors. Risk is considered at both the macro level (destinations) and the micro level (enterprises), and potentially at the visitor level. Models will also be developed to identify the approaches that can be adopted under various scenarios to recover from crises.
2-Tourism Policy and Planning (1 credit hour)
The course Tourism Planning and Development is one of the key-subjects for this master studies. Any form of economic development requires careful planning if it is to be successful in achieving the explicit objectives that underlie the development. TPD focuses on one hand on the planning process as a method for selecting among future alternatives for a destination, the link between tourism development and tourism planning. On the other hand, TPD focuses on the role of the government in regulating tourism, the tourism policy to guide the development of tourism, the tourism development roles of the private sector as well the public sector, their interests, motives and power in the actual process of tourism development. Furthermore, attention will be paid to the reasons of tourism planning, the purpose of planning and its barriers, the governmental frameworks at different levels, roles of global, multi-national, national, state, provincial, territorial, regional and local tourism organisations. In addition, it will also introduce students to the overlap between planning and policy.
3-Governance, Policy and Law (1 credit hour)
The course governance Policy and Law will introduce students in understanding the core concepts in the study of policy, policy-making and governance. Further the course will explain the principles of public policy and related institutions with regard to the tourism domain, apply concepts and principles to the governance of tourism cases around the world, using analytical tools that highlight the role of actors/stakeholders and their characteristics, compare and evaluate policy-making and governance practices, with special attention to the relationship between tourism, nature conservation and development.
Pre Requisite:


1– Tourism in the Eastern Mediterranean region (1 credit hour)
The Palestinian tourism sector will be the central focus point of this course. It concentrates on the assessment of the economic significance of tourism in general and in Palestine in particular and on the methods by which this significance can be measured. In the course a large amount of statistics will be presented to illustrate the economic significance of the tourism sector and to illustrate the other (tourism) economic concepts introduced such as employment, demand and supply, role of the public, private sector and partnerships between the public and private sector, costing and pricing of tourism products, financial and social cost-benefit analysis, development, investments and financing, economic growth versus welfare: GDP versus the Human Development Index composed by the United Nations. The course will be assessed through an individual essay.
2– Tourism in Europe (1 credit hour)
The course takes off with a discussion about the concept of Europe. The continent of Europe constitutes the most important player within the global tourism sector. The continent not only provides the largest amount of outgoing international tourists. It receives the largest amount of incoming international tourists as well. Intra-European international tourism flows play an important role as well together with domestic tourism. This course will provide you with a large amount of statistics to illustratethese phenomenons. Furthermore, the course concentrates on a range of aspects of the European Union as the main economic supranational organization like: its history, its organization and decision making processes, its direct and indirect influence on the tourism sector and its assistance to and cooperation with the Mediterranean Countries, Palestine in particular. The course will be assessed through an individual essay.
3– Contemporary issues in tourism (1 credit hour)
This course will introduce students to various contemporary issues that impact the tourism industry and destinations. Attention will be paid to the phenomenon of Over tourism, which describes the situation in which the impact of tourism, at certain times and in certain spaces, exceeds the physical, ecological, social, economic, psychological, and/or political capacity threshold(s) of a destination. The overtourism phenomenon is associated with tourist numbers, the type and time frame of their visit, and a destination's carrying capacity. Perspectives on overtourism may include those of various stakeholders, such as residents, tourists, or businesses. Some examples of overtourism implications are Anti-gentrification protests in Berlin, warnings from residents' associations in Lisbon, demonstrations by various local groups on the Balearic Islands, the referendum against cruise ships on the Venetian Lagoon, proposals for restricted tourist traffic areas in certain Italian cities Complaints against tourists from the Chinese market (also known in Hong Kong as ‘locust shoppers'), protests against increasing housing prices in cities such as New Orleans and Toronto, criticism of the city of New York's conversion into a tourism brand product and the emerging real estate speculation as the primary driving force of the economy. With the current situation, more attention will be paid about the impacts of Covid-19 on tourism destinations, and tourists' behavior and preferences and the risk perception of travelling.

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This course focuses on a series of technical and theoretical instruments which are used in tourism research. Getting a solid knowledge of the basic research tools represents a valuable asset for all those whose task includes the drafting of reports and dossiers. Students will apply the principles and practices of research for the tourism industry specifically within the context of tourism planning and development. Students will develop and implement a primary research plan related to the tourism industry and present the results of the project as through a written paper and an online presentation. We cover Quantitative Research Methods and Qualitative Research Methods, Information Technology Applications, and management and communications.

Pre Requisite:


1- Strategic Management for Tourism (1 credit hour)
This course examines the practical application of tourism and hospitality policy and planning to the operation of major tourist and hospitality segments and key organizations within those segments. The course involves experiential learning with industry executives in workshops and seminars, debating current issues.
2 Human Resources Management for Tourism (1 credit hour)
This course examines the management of employees in hospitality and tourism operations. It uses human resources, organizational development and services marketing frameworks to understand contemporary and future employment in these sectors. Topics include: recruiting and selection; training and development; leadership; teamwork; stress management and managing turnover; corporate culture and climate; performance evaluation and career path.
3– Strategic Marketing for Tourism (1 credit hour)
This course examines the marketing context of tourism and hospitality. Major topics include marketing of public and private sector tourism products and destinations; global dimensions of tourism; strategic destination marketing; consumer decision processes; strategic marketing systems of multinational tourism companies. The course includes seminars with industry executives and field trips.

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1-Site Management (one credit hour)
This module will focus on management of tourist (archaeological and heritage) sites by examining the best strategies and programs that will help these sites to tell their unique story and become an inviting host for visitors. It will examine issues such as preventative preservation, conservation, interpretation and display strategies, sustainable tourism development, management and marketing, cultural, environmental, and economic impacts and trends. It will equip students with the tools they need to recognise and develop tourism products, creating visitor markets, minimizing the potentially negative effects of tourism and enhancing the sustainability of destinations so that they remain viable and attractive to visitors, and support their local communities. It will also feature case studies where site management plans have been developed and implemented, and the guidelines for enlisting archaeological sites for UNESCO's World Heritage List.
2- Museum Management (one credit hour)
This course will focus on museums as tourist destinations, explore a range of inspirational case studies and thought-provoking ideas, and examine how modern museums seek to impact our contemporary world, using the most updated information and communication technologies. It will familiarise students with three major topics: the purpose of the museum and how it functions, including methods and tools of management; museums as tourist attractions; museum branding and marketing strategies and how it can communicate and engage with its audiences and visitors.
3-Destination Management and Marketing (one credit hour)
The course focuses primarily on the basics of Destination Management, its structures and main elements as well as specific features of Destination Management and Marketing which are relevant to the needs of all kinds of destinations (cities, regions, enterprises e.g.resorts or cruise ships which also can be seen as “destinations“).Students will have a deep understanding of destinations as systems,their interrelations with the elements of business environment and should be able to apply methods and instruments of marketing management in tourism.

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MRTS525 - SOCIAL ISSUES - 3 credits

1-Sociology of Tourism (one credit hour)
The main aim of this module is to enable students to understand the “Tourism System”, to identify all those who work in tourism – from tour operators to hoteliers to chefs to cleaners to those working in transportation – and to become familiar with the academic literature ontravel, tourism, and society.
2-Anthropology of Tourism (one credit hour )
This module will introduce students to the most significant and influential anthropological theories and ethnographies of tourism (using examples from Turkey, Slovenia, Japan, India, Ethiopia, and elsewhere including Palestine). Students will be encouraged develop practical projects involving tourism development.
3– Photography and other Visual Representation (one credit hour)
Tourism everywhere depends on the deployment of images. The module will consider the role in tourism of paintings, photographs, literary descriptions, tourist brochures, ideas about the images and ‘brands' of places, regions, and countries, and the more general role of the ‘ visual' in tourism and tourism attractions.

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Field Visits and Reporting
The aim of this course is to summon all what the students have learned during their studies and apply that knowledge on the ground. The students will visit as many touristic and religious sites as possible including churches, museums, parks and national parks to evaluate the existing situation and suggest improvements that will improve and sustain tourism in these sites.

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MRTS610 - THESIS - 5 credits

A list of topics will be provided by the school, and students will be able to select a topic of their interest. Topics will be determined by the school after proper consultation with the various institutions and organizations involved in the field of tourism in Palestine.
Each student will be assigned a supervisor from the School teaching staff and a tutor from the supporting organization. These figures will help him/her in developing a thesis project, which should be related to the Palestinian tourism sector.
The final thesis is a written paper focused on some tourism sustainable development issues. The paper will follow the following criteria:
Students can choose the topic on the basis of their preference. They can directly refer to the work done in the place where they work (if related to tourism), or alternatively, choose some interrelated issue and analyze it from a theoretical perspective. In this latter case some references to the issues examined during the courses would be useful and appreciated. In any case, topic, content and structure must be discussed with the supervisor;
The supervisor will be a representative of the School teaching staff. The supervisor follows the student's work step by step and gives him/her all needed support: references, comments, suggestions. A co-supervisor will be chosen according to the subject of the thesis among the Master's teachers;
The paper shall be at least 40/50 pages long;
The typical style is that of a paper, and the formal structure will show: title, name of the student, name of the supervisor and co-supervisor, index, introduction, chapters, logical structure, footnotes, conclusion and bibliography.

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Bethlehem University Foundation
Phone: +1-202-526-6097
Fax: +1-202-526-6096
Washington, DC USA
Bethlehem University in the Holy Land
Phone: +972-2-274-1241
Fax: +972-2-274-4440
Bethlehem, Palestine