When I did my master’s degree in economics, I strongly considered writing about something related to travel and tourism.
That part of the world has always interested me. I’ve always been a traveler – and will hopefully always be one.
In the process of finding out what to write for my own thesis, I spent probably 100 hours investigating different bachelor/master topics that in some way can be related to the travel industry.
Personally, I went on writing about how Scandinavian companies could benefit from taking their manufacturing process home from SouthEast Asia. But that left me with a lot of travel/tourism-related topics that I want to share with you – for free.
Categories of travel/tourism thesis topics
I’ve divided this article into the following different categories:
|1. Eco-tourism||“Is it really possible to travel without leaving an environmental footprint?”|
|2. Travel marketing||“Out of all the 1000 hotels in New York: what makes YOUR hotel different – and how do you communicate that?”|
|3. Economic development||“How big part of Thailands’ economy is dependent on traveling?”|
|4. Politics||“North Korea…you sure that it’s safe to travel there, honey..?”|
|5. Digital nomads||“Oh, are people really traveling the world without having a real job!? How do they do that!?”|
|6. Domestic traveling||“Should we just skip that trip to Asia and rather take a trip to the countryside this summer? If not: why not?”|
These are the main topics that I will let you know more about in this article.
If you are a student looking for thesis topics related to tourism/travel, I will strongly recommend you to keep reading.
I’ll provide you with unique, high-quality, and very specific thesis suggestions that you can steal (for free). And if you’re not satisfied with the ones I have suggested, feel free to drop a question in the comment section.
I usually answer everyone in between 0-24 hours.
Enough off-topic. You came here for the thesis topics. Let’s get to it.
Eco-tourism: Traveling and its environmental impact
First of all, I’ve written some articles about this that might help you to understand the concept better:
- Ecotourism – How can I travel more environmentally friendly?
- What are the positive environmental impacts of tourism?
Now that you’ve read through those articles (…or have you? 😉 ), I’ll go to some specific thesis topics that I considered writing about.
Specific topic suggestion: What will happen with the new wave of Indian and Chinese travelers?
Many environmentalists are seriously worried about the economic growth in high-population countries like China and India. The reason for that is clear:
The more money people get between their hands, the more likely are they to get on an airplane and fly.
As you might already know, airplanes have been proven to leave a HUGE environmental impact. So should we be worried about the two graphs seen below…?
China GDP growth
Number of international travelers from China between 2001-2015
The answer is: yes. We should be worried. But how worried should we be?
That’s for you to find out. 🙂
PS! If you’re interested in this topic, I would strongly suggest that you read this article published in traveldailynews.com. The author explains how there is a correlation between economic growth in one region and the willingness to travel abroad from the people living in that region/country.
Other thesis topic suggestions related to eco-tourism
- Do most people care at all about the environmental footprint that they leave when going on a holiday? BBC published an article called “Should we give up flying for the sake of the climate?“
- In my article about eco-tourism, I gave loads of examples of places that have been destroyed by mass tourism. It would be interesting to see what the people of Venice, Italy think about the massive number of cruise ships sailing into their city every day….(video can be seen below).
This video had you thinking, right?
I hope so.
Well, let’s move on to our next main topic: tourism marketing.
Tourism marketing: What inspires people to travel?
If you look back at the mid 90s, you would often see ads on TV featuring exotic travel destinations with crystal clear water and white sand beaches.
These commercials don’t appear on the TV anymore.
Now we get inspired somewhere else.
Topic 1: Social media
Social media is now a larger part of the marketing budget for almost every travel company.
This is one of the topics that I was researching the most, and therefore I got loads of specific suggestions:
- Analyze how different airlines use different strategies to get in touch with and interact with potential customers on Facebook.
Pictures above: Instagram pages of KLM and American Airlines. They have a very different strategy on Instagram in regards to the pictures they upload.
Why do they have that? Who succeeds the most? How frequently do they update posts? Do these airlines also comment on other posts?
There are loads of things to investigate on such a topic!
- I would love to contact a big hotel chain and ask how they try to reach their audience through social media.
- How do airlines and hotels work with “user-generated content”? Many backpacker hostels give away free breakfast if someone post a picture of themselves on Instagram “tagging” the official hotel account.
A company called amara-marketing.com has published a case study on how hotels use social media. In this article, they feature the most successful hotel chains.
Might be worth checking out.
Topic 2: Travel “influencers”
There are (loads of) people out there that have a huge follower base on Instagram/Facebook. Many of them are paid by hotels and airlines to promote their products and services.
Is that a good or a bad thing?
Does it make us travel somewhere just to get disappointed?
I mean…it’s quite a big difference between social media and real life sometimes.
You could investigate topics like:
- Can we trust “travel influencer marketing” anymore? Or is it all paid for and fake?
- What do these travel influencers get paid every time? How big of a business model is it for “influencers”?
- Is this type of influencer marketing more or less efficient compared to the more traditional tourism marketing?
A great way to do research for this type of thesis would be to get in touch with both a travel influencer AND a hotel that uses this type of marketing to reach new customers.
Try to find some good research questions that can discover problems or difficulties in having influencers as a part of your marketing strategy.
Other tourist marketing thesis ideas
- Ask a group of people where they got inspired when they researched their last holiday. Compare a group of 50 year-olds to a group of 18-year-olds. Are there any differences in how they do “travel research”?
- Contact a company that produces and sells physical travel magazines. Are sales declining due to the massive amount of free information online?
- Despite the hype, AirBNB has not totally taken over the accommodation market. According to BusinessInsider, loads of travelers do still prefer to live in hotels. Why? Do most people know about the advantages of using AirBNB?
Instead of giving in-depth thoughts about these sub-topics, I’ll go straight to some research questions that I considered using:
- What happened to the economies of tourist agencies during the Covid-19 pandemic?
- How much of Thailands’ economy is based on tourism? What happens when tourists disappear?
- How much money goes out of Norway every summer due to the fact that 1 million people travel abroad? Does tourism overall have a negative impact on Norway’s’ economy?
- Which nationalities spend the most money when they’re traveling? According to Statista.com, Chinese tourists spend a staggering ~250 billion (with a B) dollars abroad every year. 🙂
In order to do proper research, I would contact someone to make some interviews when you researched this.
These are some examples of people to contact:
- A group of Chinese people to ask why they spend so much on luxury clothing when they’re abroad
- A hotel in Thailand to ask how they survived the Covid-19 crisis
- Some business owner that went bankrupt due to the lack of tourists in 2020
- And a lot more…
Politics: How can people in power determine where tourists go?
Ooooh, this is a topic that I know quite a lot about.
As a previous expat in China, I met a lot of people that had traveled to North Korea to “experience something crazy”.
My first reaction was:
“How can you allow yourself to put money into that country? Do you find that to be OK?”
Surprisingly, a lot of people had no problem supporting North Korea. That’s why this is an extremely interesting topic to discover more.
Tourism Politics thesis topic ideas
- I’ll just continue on my previously mentioned example. Contact a group of people that have been to North Korea. Why did they go? Did they have any problems supporting a regime that spends money on nuclear weapons instead of food for their inhabitants?
- What happens to tourism in a country when they experience a radical and negative shift in power? For instance, you could look at how the 2009 terrorist attacks in Cairo or the Egyptian revolution had an impact on tourism in Northern Africa around 2008-2012.
- Certain countries have super strict visa policies. Gather a group of people and ask them if they refuse to visit certain countries because of expensive visas – or long visa processes with a lot of paperwork. That would be super interesting to find out. 🙂
Digital nomads: Earn money online & travel anywhere
Even though it might be a small topic to write about, I have yet to see someone writing a good bachelor or master thesis about digital nomads.
Most people are not familiar with the concept so I’ll explain it very quick.
Certain people (like me…) have an online income. That means we are not dependent on a physical destination to do our work. All we need is access to the Internet.
As you might already have figured out; that gives a lot of freedom. And a lot of young people use online income as an excuse to travel to low-cost countries and live their life.
Even though this might seem like a niche topic, there are many things you could use as your research question:
- Why do people decide to become digital nomads? High living cost back home? Are they going on an adventure? Do they want to meet people that work with similar online projects as themselves?
- How does the future look for digital nomads? Many shared co-working spaces pop up. In the future, do companies in Stockholm allow their employees to work from a beach in Bali?
- Which destinations seem to be the most popular? And why? What do these places have in common?
Tips: If you find a good research question, I would strongly recommend you to interview several digital nomads. That could easily be done by finding them on groups on Facebook.
Or, even better, fly down to a typical “digital nomad destination” and meet them face-to-face. 🙂
Domestic traveling: Why do people travel in their own country?
For many of us, the world “travel” is connected with somewhere exotic.
A place where people speak another language that we cannot understand. Long, white beaches and crystal clear water. Affordable drinks in different colors.
But a lot of people also prefer to travel domestically. This might sound like a boring topic to choose, but there are loads of variations that might make it interesting:
- Do people prefer to buy a cabin or spend that money on luxurious travels abroad?
- How many people travel by car when they travel domestically. And why?
- Are people from larger countries (The US/Russia) more likely to travel domestically compared to people from smaller countries (Denmark/Austria)?
Did you find something interesting?
I hope you did.
If you didn’t, feel free to add a comment in the comment section below. I’ve been through the exact same struggle that you are currently in – and I’m more than willing to give you my two cents if you message me. 🙂