Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedNot offered in 2012
Coordinator(s)Agnieszka Sobocinska


Previously coded AUS3040


This unit explores the many impacts of the world's largest industry. It traces the rise of tourism in Australia, Asia and the Pacific, untangling the connections between travel and colonialism. It places this rise within its social, cultural, political and economic context. It then explores key issues facing tourists and the industry. Is tourism a form of imperialism? How does it affect international relations, international business, trade, economics and migration? Is it possible to have 'authentic' travel experiences? Finally, students debate the future of tourism, exploring whether it can contribute to foreign aid and development, or if it leads to cultural and environmental degradation.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  1. Develop an understanding of the history of travel and tourism, and the development of the tourism industry in Australia, Asia and the Pacific;
  2. Gain an understanding of the complex relationships between travel, tourism and politics, including colonialism and international relations;
  3. Examine the sociocultural issues surrounding contemporary tourism, including the motivations for travel and its impacts on both hosts and guests;
  4. Explore the concept of authenticity in travel, coming to a personal view about the value - or otherwise - of travel and tourist experiences;
  5. Gain a deeper understanding of the tourism industry, including its place within the international economy;
  6. Develop knowledge in specific topics including the growth of colonial travel, travel and migration to Australia, Cold War travel, the overland hippie trail, the emergence of independent travellers/backpackers and the growth of travel writing and guidebooks;
  7. Explore the potential of tourism as a form of foreign aid and sustainable development;
  8. Examine how tourism contributes to environmental degradation and climate change, and understand current efforts to mitigate this contribution.


Tutorial Paper: 20%
Research Essay: 50%
Exam: 20%
Tutorial Participation: 10%

Contact hours

One 2- hour lecture and one1- hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Australian studies


First year Arts sequence or equivalent