header 2011

Tourism & U: 
teaching resources you can use

The Tourism Center is a collaboration of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and the University of Minnesota Extension.

September 2011

Teaching Resources
Case Study FILM
Community Tourism Development guide
Classroom Activity
Additional Resources
Tourism Fact
Each U.S. household would pay $1000 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by travel & tourism  

U.S. Travel Association, 2011)


Quick Links



September Greetings!  For many, this is the start of a new school year.  We hope your summer was relaxing.  Now, as you are jumping in to new classes with a renewed vigor are you looking for tools and materials to energize your classes?    


If you use real-life case examples, applied research or experiential projects to develop your students' understanding of tourism at the local level, we have several resources that can help.  Check them out below.   

Have a great school year!



Cynthia Messer
Extension Professor
612-624-4947, cmesser@umn.edu

NEW Film:  Weaving Tourism into Community:  four stories over time (2010) 


Weaving Tourism Into CommunityA longitudinal case study of four communities--Dahlonega, GA, Sandpoint, ID, San Luis, CO  and Villages of Van Buren, IA. 

Community leaders describe the changes, benefits and challenges their communities have experienced from tourism development over nearly two decades.      

 These case studies stress five core values for tourism development:

1) maintaining authenticity and sense of place;  

2) delivering quality service and products;  

3) using tourism as a diversification strategy;  

4) encouraging local control; and  

5) assessing the true benefits and costs of tourism.    


DVD format / 65 minutes long and divided into segments on each community.   Extension Store item # 08662    To View a sample  or to order    


Price:  $24.95 (+S&H)  


Community Tourism Development  (3rd edition)  

CTD 3rd edition cover


This guide applies theory to real life -- delivering the essentials of planning, developing and managing tourist destinations from a community standpoint.  Based on extensive research, this comprehensive, 250-page manual provides a step-by-step process of developing local tourism.  Community examples and case studies drive home the concepts and share how communities have found success with tourism.     


Guide includes a CD-Rom of 30+ worksheet and assessment forms presented in an interactive format.   


Great for applied learning, student projects and fieldwork.  Use as a required reading to give students a applied tool that is affordable and practical.    


To View the Table of Contents and sample, or to order 


Price:  $ 69 (+S&H)   Volume pricing available.


ISBN #  9781888440515         Extension Store item # 08665   





Tourism impacts everyone in a community - either directly or indirectly.    

The "web of tourism" helps students visualize this.   



Begin with a brief lecture/discussion of tourism in a community and how it impacts everyone.  Explain that you are going to have them participate in an activity to illustrate this.  They are to think of how a tourist interacts with, and moves through a community during a multi-day stay --- perhaps from their own experiences. 


Use a ball of string.   Unwind a length about 10 feet long.  Ask for a student volunteer to be the tourist.  Have that student come to the front of the class.  Instruct him/her to hold the string end tightly.  Ask him/her to identify something a tourist needs during their visit.  Once they identify something (lodging, food etc) have the tourist/student "get" the service.  Holding the end of the string, the "tourist" gets the service by tossing the ball of string to another student.  Have the students identify another service, product or aspect tourism / community intersection.  


Ask the student who received the ball of string to unwind a length and then holding onto the string, toss the ball across to another student.   Repeat this process multiple times as students identify how tourism involves both the private and public sectors of the community.  (Note: be sure students identify public infrastructure components or you may need to coach ideas a bit).    Each student who receives the ball must hold onto the string after they toss the ball.   They are all connected to the tourist.    


Note:  this activity illustrates that tourism touches all aspects of community. It can also be used to illustrate a number of additional concepts such as "my guest is your guest" and the importance of quality customer service across the community.    

Research:  Paul Bunyan Scenic Byway
Pleasure driving is engrained in U.S.travel and scenic byways are part of that pleasure driving.  A 2010 study shows how one scenic byway impacts both the quality of life and regional economy  in Central Minnesota.  Read the report


Additional Resources

The University of Minnesota Tourism Center offers additional research and educational programs on community tourism, sustainable tourism, customer service, and festival and event management.  Visit our website at www.tourism.umn.edu