Information for

Tourism Development at Waterloo

Are you an explorer who loves to travel? Make it your career.

In Tourism Development at Waterloo, you’ll delve into the social, economic, and environmental impacts of tourism in Canada and around the world.

Ranked #1 in Canada for hospitality and leisure management, Waterloo has a lot to offer. You'll discuss the latest issues and trends with internationally recognized professors, and you’ll learn how to plan, manage, and fund tourism experiences in environmentally and culturally sensitive ways.

You’ll get loads of practical learning opportunities as well, including 100+ hours volunteering for a local tourism business and analyzing real-world tourism destinations. You can even take your learning off-campus with a study-abroad term at the University of Florida and Walt Disney World Resort.

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 Waterloo Tourism Development grads.

Students smiling at camera at Disney

Take classes and earn credits during an exchange at the University of Florida and Walt Disney World Resort. Learn about tourism, hospitality, destination and event management in one of the world’s leading tourism destinations.

About the program

briefcase Available as a co-op and regular program

Arrow pointing up and clickingApply directly to this program on your application

Graduation cap Earn a Bachelor of Arts in Tourism Development


First-year courses

September to December

REC 100 - Introduction to the Study of Recreation and Leisure
REC 101 - Introduction to Recreation and Leisure Services
REC 120 - Program Management and Evaluation
AHS 107 - Sociology of Activity, Health, and Well-being
PSYCH 101 - Introductory Psychology

January to April

REC 105 - Interdisciplinary Approaches to Leisure
REC 280 - Introduction to Tourism
SOC 101 - Introduction to Sociology
1 Tourism Development elective
1 elective


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.

Customize your degree

You can also add additional areas of interest and expertise by including a minor/minors as part of your degree.



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.

Careers and further education

As a graduate, you will be well prepared for careers in the planning, management, and funding of tourism experiences and events in Canada and around the world.

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 administration (MBA).


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