Want a career in tourism? This is your boarding call.
Delve into the social, economic, and environmental impacts of tourism in Canada and around the world.
In Tourism Development, which is in the top 20 worldwide for Hospitality and Tourism (Shanghai World University Rankings 2020), you'll discuss the latest issues and trends with internationally recognized professors, and you’ll learn how to plan, implement, and evaluate tourism experiences in environmentally and culturally sensitive ways. And you’ll do it at a university ranked first in Canada for hospitality and leisure management.
Today, tourism is the world's largest industry, accounting for 1 in 10 jobs on the planet. So it’s no surprise that the demand has never been higher for people who can manage and protect tourism destinations — people like Tourism Development grads and co-op students.
Graduate with experience
Gain 100+ hours of experience with a local tourism business as well as analyzing real-world tourism destinations.
Disney World exchange
Take your learning off campus by applying for a study-abroad term at the University of Florida and Walt Disney World Resort. Mouse ears optional.
Waterloo ranks top 10 in the world for tourism research
Take part in the Disney Exchange Experience
Tourism Development admission requirements
Ontario students: six Grade 12 U and/or M courses including
- Any Grade 12 U English (minimum final grade of 70% is required)
Admission average: Low 80s (co-op and regular)
We recommend completing the Admission Information Form once you've applied.
Not studying in Ontario? Search our admission requirements.
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First-year Tourism Development courses
September to December
January to April
After first year
About half of the classes you’ll take will be Recreation and Leisure Studies courses. With your remaining classes, you can choose electives from many of the 100 subject areas at Waterloo.
View all the courses required for your degree.
Sample upper-year courses
Offered by the Faculty of Applied Health Sciences
Apply via Recreation and Leisure Studies
Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Tourism Development
Co-op = relevant paid work experience
By alternating school terms and paid co-op work terms throughout your degree, you can explore new career areas and types of employers as your career interests evolve.
Customize your Tourism Development degree
You can add additional areas of interest and expertise by including one or more areas of focus in your degree.
You can also include one of the minors available to all Waterloo students. Popular areas of focus for Tourism Development students include Event Management, Environment, Resources and Sustainability, and Management Studies.
What can you do with a degree in Tourism Development?
As a graduate, you’ll be well prepared for careers developing, implementing, and evaluating tourism experiences and events in Canada and around the world. Possible careers you could pursue with a degree in Tourism Development include
- tourism development manager
- marketing executive in the travel industry
- outdoor activities/education manager
- regional tourism director
- tourism development planner
- economic development: tourism sector/ development planning
- international travel advisor/manager
While the full range of further education depends on your individual interests, graduates who pursue a master's, PhD, or other professional program often continue their education in tourism or business (MBA).
For more information on potential careers, check out our career page on the future of health and helping professions.