Olga Milinchuk


In this paper the Swedish higher tourism education is presented by analyzing the development of tourism education. Descriptive information of English taught University programs has been collected with a purpose to gain a deeper understanding of the general features of tourism higher education in Sweden. Methodology. The paper is based on a web-based content analysis of Swedish universities’ web-sites. In total six master degree programs at five universities were analyzed. Results of the analysis showed that the first Swedish academic program in tourism was opened in 1978 and from its inception tourism education is of growing significance. Instead of the higher number of degree programs in tourism, which are taught in Swedish, there is a limited number of those taught in English. Just one Bachelor Programme is taught in English in International Tourism is developed at Dalarna University and one Ph.D. Programme in Tourism is developed at Mid Sweden University. Master programs related to tourism are offered at Dalarna University, Linnaeus University, Lund University, Mid Sweden University, and Umeå University. Based on the curricula analysis of these programs, five main themes are identified: 1) tourism as a social phenomenon; 2) sustainable development of tourism; 3) tourism destination development; 4) economics of tourism, and 5) tourism through service studies. The findings show that the major university programs in tourism adopt an interdisciplinary approach, which combines elements of social sciences, humanities, and business administration. According to the observed curricula, the view on tourism as on social phenomenon prevails. In the studying process, the concept of sustainable development and classical social concepts such as ethnicity, gender, class, culture, and power relations are widely integrated into different tourism courses, making the programs comprehensive, and attractive for international students. The recognition of the tourism programs is supported by the increasing number of international students obtaining degree program in Sweden. Practical implications. This paper presents the Swedish experience of institutionalization of tourism studies into the higher education, which may be interesting for program administrators, faculty, and prospective graduate students. Value/originality. The analysed data shows the specific features of master’s programs in tourism studies and identifies the focusing of Swedish higher education on sustainability.

How to Cite

Milinchuk, O. (2017). TOURISM STUDIES IN THE HIGHER EDUCATION IN SWEDEN: FOCUSING ON SUSTAINABILITY. Baltic Journal of Economic Studies, 3(2), 93-100.
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tourism education, education development, curriculum, master program.


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List of Swedish master programs’ websites:

Master Programme in Tourism Destination Development at Dalarna University –

Master Programme in Economics of Tourism and Events at Dalarna University – Events-60-credits-/

Bachelor Programme in International Tourism Management at Dalarna University – Programme in Tourism and Sustainability at Linnaeus University –

Master Programme in Service Management at Lund University –

Master in Tourism (two year) at Mid Sweden University –

Master in Tourism (one year) at Mid Sweden University –

Master Programme in Tourism at Umeå University –

List of support state institutions websites:

Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR) –

Swedish High Education Authority (UKÄ) –

Swedish Institute (SI) –

Swedish Institute official resource of studying in Sweden –

Swedish Council for Higher Education official recourse –

Central Application Portal of University Admission in Sweden –

The Leading Global Network for Research Universities for the 21st century “Universitas 21” –