University of Florida


The 100% online, instructor-led MS in Tourism and Recreation Management with a specialization in Hospitality Business Management is offered in a convenient format that enables working professionals to earn their degree and apply what they learn in the classroom to their current and future work environments.

The Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management (THEM) developed the HBM curriculum to inspire students to develop upon their unique strengths in order to establish and further develop business and management roles within the field of tourism and hospitality.

The curriculum was developed to meet industry needs, and many of the projects included in the coursework have been vetted by tourism and hospitality professionals from leading corporations such as Universal Parks & Resorts and The Ritz-Carlton. Thus, students graduate with a unique toolbox of skills and experience that can’t be learned elsewhere.

Learning Outcomes

Graduates of this program will be able to:

  • Understand the nature and dynamics of the tourism and hospitality industry including demand and supply, politics, the environmental and socio-cultural impacts of the industry, and organizational structures at the community, state and national levels.
  • Develop a unique toolbox of skills to implement programs, policies and plans that will enable businesses to respond to planned and unplanned business events.
  • Execute a strategic management perspective within the context of a hospitality firm, including how to distinguish and create strategies that garner competitiveness in the hospitality industry.
  • Gain an enlightened understanding of the available research in hospitality and tourism businesses including the ability to understand and use big data to help identify and solve problems in the industry.

The HBM curriculum includes a prescribed course schedule and students are required to fulfill 30 credits to complete the program.

Research Design & Tourism Core Courses (12 credits)

LEI 5188 Trends & Issues in Tourism and Recreation Management (3 credits)

This class will introduce students to some of the issues and trends pertinent to hospitality businesses. Materials will be drawn from relevant theories, empirical research and contemporary articles on a range of issues that affect how hospitality organizations do business and plan for the future.

LEI 6336 Tourism Planning & Development (3 credits)

This course will provide an examination of the planning and development functions of the hospitality and tourism industry. The course will cover backgrounds to tourism planning, planning hospitality attractions, development and design standards, planning resorts, and impacts of the industry and how to plan to minimize these impacts. Case studies will be used to help students develop an understanding for the interrelationship among the concepts. This course collectively addresses the numerous components as it relates to increasing livelihoods, developing businesses and creating resilient communities.

HLP 6515 Evaluation Procedures in Health and Human Performance (3 credits)

This course consists of two parts – theoretical and practical. From the theory perspective, this is an introductory course in descriptive and inferential statistics. The course approaches the abstract concepts in a systematic and logical progression, so that they are easily attainable. The topics include levels of measurement, frequency distributions, measures of central tendency and dispersion, probabilities and normal distribution, sampling distribution of the mean, and confidence intervals, among others. Students will learn the logic of hypothesis testing and have a general understanding of how the statistical procedures – t-test, one-way ANOVA, chi-square, correlations and regression – work. They will learn how to select an appropriate statistical test for a given research question. From the practical angle, the course teaches basic data analysis skills through hands-on lab assignments involving real data, mostly from social sciences, sports, and tourism. The lab part of the course has a steep, but manageable, learning curve when students get to know SPSS software, its interface, and main commands. Throughout the course, students should allocate the appropriate amount of time for SPSS assignments.

HLP 6535 Research Methods in Health and Human Performance (3 credits)

This course introduces students to research methodology and application of social science research. Areas covered include the study of the research process, research designs, proposal writing, sampling procedures, measurement, survey research, hypothesis testing, and the research presentation.

Hospitality Business Management Courses (12 credits)

LEI 6931 Tourism & Hospitality Business Perspective (2 credits)

This course is designed as an introductory subject to provide students with a broad understanding of the tourism and hospitality industry, sectors, businesses and their roles and impacts in the wider economic and social environment. Although the tourism and hospitality industry encompass a multitude of operations, this course will largely focus on promotions, lodging management, and meetings & conventions market segments. In addition, case study analysis will be largely used to enhance communication of concepts, ideas, and problem-solving abilities through individual and group decision-making in oral and written form.

LEI 6931 Strategic Hospitality Business Management (2 credits)

The hospitality industry is comprised of business firms, that in order to be successful, must properly manage the perishable nature of core products that are: service-based commodities, labor intensive, face fierce competition levels, and exist within ever changing marketplace conditions. The business landscape in the hospitality industry changes dramatically as consumer tastes and preferences evolve and micro trends reflect volatile macro conditions. This course assesses the nature of hospitality products and addresses the unique challenges hospitality professionals face in managing their firms. The focus of the course involves the translation of those strategic managerial ideas into the context of hospitality business management thereby providing a better fit to a service-based industry as opposed to ideas found in general strategy literature.

LEI 6931 Revenue Management in Hospitality Business (2 credits)

Hospitality and tourism managers are responsible for making strategic and proactive decisions regarding how to optimize firm revenues that are dependent upon the sale of a relatively fixed product supply and varying consumer demand.

LEI 6931 Brand Strategies in Hospitality and Tourism (2 credits)

This course aims to empower students with knowledge and capacities to understand and analyze brand and branding management in the hospitality industry, from both a corporate and consumer perspective. This objective will be learn key concepts surrounding the subject: corporate perspective; the development of brand and brand architecture; the definition and role of marketing mix; the integrating marketing communication and brand management; the consumer perception in branding; etc.

LEI 6931 Destination and Hospitality Crisis Management (2 credits)

Hospitality Crisis Management is the process by which the industry deals with major unpredictable events that threatens to harm tourists, industry stakeholders, and the destination. Three elements are common to most definitions of crisis: (1) a threats, (2) the element of surprise, and (3) a short decision time. Many organizations feel that crisis types are limited to natural disasters not realizing that there six other categories of crisis that can affect their destination. In this hospitality management course, you will be required to apply your crisis management knowledge and skills in the development of a Crisis Management Plan and Communication strategies for a real-world situations.

HMG 6747 Marketing in Hospitality and Tourism (2 credits)

This course will provide a marketing analysis for the hospitality and tourism industry and give you the opportunity to create profitable marketing and brand strategies by building, measuring and managing marketing plans and brands. The course will cover key marketing principles, practices and strategies as applied in the tourism and hospitality industry. This course will also provide knowledge and application of steps to develop powerful tourism and hospitality products and make decisions to manage or solve tourism marketing problems.

Applied courses (6 credits – choose 1)

LEI 6944 Practicum (6 credits)

The practicum provides students with an opportunity to engage in professional settings to enhance academic learning and further employment readiness upon graduation. Students gain experience and enhance skills through experiential learning. This opportunity helps students to bridge the gap between course materials and real-world settings, furthering both academic and applied/business skills.

LEI 6905 Professional Paper (6 credits)

Through this culminating experience, students will complete a professional paper derived from a real-world hospitality business management industry-related issue. Examples of appropriate professional paper topics include, but are not limited to, developing a marketing plan for a hotel, resort or destination, analyzing secondary data to address an issue for the industry, and working with an organizational client to address a client-identified issue.


All non-thesis students majoring in Tourism and Recreation Management must work directly with an M.S. advisor to complete a Capstone Project, which serves as the exit requirement for the Tourism and Recreation Management degree. Four major sections of completion for the Capstone course include a statement of purpose, professional documentation, an application of scholarship to practical setting and the completion of an alumni information sheet. This project is the final step in the degree process and must be completed in the student’s final semester prior to graduation. The purpose of the Capstone Project is

  • to assist students with the identification of personal and professional goals,
  • demonstrate that students are able to take newly acquired knowledge and skills and apply them to professional practice,
  • help students understand their weaknesses and strengths when seeking employment,
  • prepare them to seek employment by effectively promoting themselves.

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