Module code: MANM316

Module Overview

The wide application of digital marketing and social media by destinations marketing organizations (DMOs), the hospitality industry and other tourism related enterprises has become a common practice and has led to boost in research and related academic articles. Being aware that consumers become co-marketers, co-designers, and co-producers of travel experiences, understanding basic principles and having knowledge about how to use digital marketing and social media are important for tourism enterprises to compete in an increasingly competitive and transparent environment. As such, awareness about how tourism and hospitality firms and DMOs are transforming their business models and operations to incorporate digital marketing channels is vital to succeed in the social and economic business environment.   

This module provides students with an understanding of the importance and the application of digital marketing in general and social media in particular. It involves a critical reflection on contemporary strategies, concepts and ideas that currently shape tourism practices from a demand as well as a supply side perspective. In other words, the module deals with the impact of social media on travelers’ behavior and how firms can take advantage of digital marketing and social media to enhance networking, collaboration, and travelers’ engagement in marketing. The module also deals with factors that facilitate, or on the contrary, inhibit the usage of various digital marketing channels in the tourism industry as well as opportunities and challenges. In doing so the module discusses research findings and industry examples from various countries and different types of tourism related organizations.

As digital marketing and social media is not unique to the ‘for-profit’ sector, non-profit organizations as well as policy and governmental actions play a crucial role, making the course relevant to all students regardless of their career aspirations.

Students will need to engage with all aspects of learning teaching and assessment in this module: the assessment, of course, is important, but the more students engage with all aspects of learning in the module, the better opportunity they will have to excel.

Module provider

Hospitality & Tourism Management

Module Leader

STANGL Brigitte (Hosp & Tour)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 105

Lecture Hours: 22

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 1

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  1. Impact of social media on consumer behavior and digital channels as travel information source

  2. Opportunities, challenges and risks of digital marketing and social media for the tourism supply side

  3. Digital marketing plan

  4. Search engine optimization and search engine marketing

  5. Banner/display marketing

  6. Social media marketing

  7. Video marketing

  8. Email, SMS and mobile marketing

  9. Digital marketing and social media success measurement

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Project (Group/Individual/Dissertation) Marketing strategy evaluation 50
Oral exam or presentation Group presentation 50

Alternative Assessment

  Assessment 1: Individual report, maximum 2,000 words   Assessment 2: Individual report, maximum 2,000 words

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to gradually build up their knowledge and understanding of digital marketing; demonstrate their breadth and depth of understanding of relevant theories, the application of theoretical knowledge to a real-life organization including the usage of tools to examine existing marketing campaigns, and tools to create social media posts. Finally, the assessments allow students to evidence their achievement of the learning outcomes.


  The assessment strategy has two summative elements which build on each other:

  •   First assessment – Marketing strategy evaluation (group, max 2000 words): Students will have to find a tourism organization which uses multiple digital channels and examine this organization’s digital marketing appearance, by analyzing which channels they use, their market strategy with regards to the 7Ps, and compare it with competitors. Based on the gained insights target persona/s need to be defined and marketing initiatives including SMART goals must be suggested for the next multi-channel social media campaign.

  •   Second assessment – (Group presentation, 15 minutes): Building on the knowledge of the first assignment students will have to imagine they are consultants who develop a marketing campaign which they pitch in a final presentation to their chosen organization. In doing so students will have to develop an editorial plan, prepare actual posts for at least four different social media channels (including video, reel) and a potential budget for the suggested campaign. A separate handout explaining the details of the assignment will be posted on SurreyLearn.

Both assignments count for 50% and both assignments will be group works. The group work will give students the opportunity to show their capability to work in teams and to demonstrate communication skills, both of which are of particular importance in a marketing context. It will allow students to show awareness of, and be able to evidence, active engagement within groupwork/peer-to-peer settings, demonstrating affective attributes which constructively support team cohesion/mutually beneficial learning (e.g., respect and empathy to support other learners and ability to positively respond to team setbacks).


Formative feedback

Students will receive verbal feedback on their performance during in-class activities.

  • During the first seminar, the assignments and the feedback process are explained

  • Feedback is also provided during and after in-class discussions

  • Seminars are built around tool-specific exercises, thus, students will receive feedback during class e.g., for created videos/posts

  • Students are provided with explanations about the second assignment

  • Pre-assignment feedback is an integral part of this module. Lectures and seminars will provide input directly linked to the assignments

  • As the seminars are designed to introduce tools and applications, students do not only benefit from gaining hands on skills but learn how to prepare the different aspects required in the assignments

  • As some seminars are built around group exercises and the requirement to prepare presentations, students do not only benefit from lecture’s feedback but also receive peer evaluations.

  • Once marking is completed, students will be able to access an online report which contains generic feedback as well as a breakdown of marks. This enables students to assess their own performance compared to their peer students.


Summative feedback

  • A general report concerning the outcome of the first assignment will be written by the markers and presented in class within three weeks after the exam date.

  • The insights gained through the first assignment and the summative feedback received for it, will help students to have the basis for the group presentation, allowing them to improve their performance as they progress through the semester

  • For the second assessment, students receive written feedback for their submitted presentations. More specifically students will receive formal feedback in SurreyLearn that outlines the presentation’s strengths, limitations, and suggestions on how to improve students’ performance for future assignments.

Module aims

  • develop a critical appreciation of the nature, role and importance of digital marketing and social media in tourism, drawing on a variety of perspectives
  • critically discuss facilitators of and inhibitors with regards to the usage of various digital marketing channels as well as opportunities and challenges
  • critically investigate contemporary strategies, concepts and ideas related to digital marketing and social media in tourism
  • critically evaluate the impact of digital marketing and social media on traveller¿s behaviour
  • understand the influence of digital marketing and social media on business strategies and operations
  • After participating in this module students will be able to discuss the impact of digital marketing and social media on both the supply and the demand side of tourism. Students will also be able to critically appraise the role of digital marketing and social media in creating value propositions for customers and competitive advantage for organizations in the tourism industry. The module provides insights with regards to understanding the benefits and risks of digital channels for stakeholders in the tourism sector. The examination of digital channels and campaigns from different standpoints and from the perspective of various stakeholders will shape students¿ understanding of the factors crucial to deal with changes of the business environment in tourism. Finally, by discussing knowledge in appropriate forums (i.e., with the entire class, in groups, or as part of preparation for class, or at the final presentation), students will not only get an overview of opportunities/challenges of digital marketing and social media but also insights into theories/models and hands-on tools which will allow them to deal with the dynamic environment but also enhance their presentation, communication and argumentation skills (which are key in a marketing context).

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Discuss the underlying principles and perspectives of digital marketing and social media in tourism KC
002 Demonstrate a critical understanding of the impacts of digital marketing and social media in creating value propositions for customers and competitive advantage for organizations KC
003 Critically evaluate benefits and risks of various digital marketing channels tourism service operations KCP
004 Critically examine and understand challenges and opportunities the tourism industry faces due to social media KCP
005 Develop practical skills in terms of how to analyze social media marketing campaigns and how to formally present insights gained PT
006 Develop creative thinking, communication and presentations skills PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The principal teaching and learning methods are lectures and seminars including the following elements to achieve the module learning outcomes:

  1. Lectures are designed to develop an understanding of digital marketing and social media in general.

  2. Seminars will assist students with regards to the application of theories and tools.


The teaching and learning strategy is designed to:   

  • increase students’ critical understanding of the nature and dynamics of digital marketing and social media in tourism

  • enhance students’ ability to assess the impact of digital marketing and social media on traveller’s and tourism related enterprises

  • increase students’ ability to critically reflect on the implications of digital marketing channels and social media 

  • understand the shift from push towards pull marketing

  • learn how to evaluate and monitor digital- and social media marketing activities

  • enhance the competence of students in communicating and discussing ideas

  • increase students’ ability to work independently and in groups  


The teaching and learning methods include:

  • theoretical lectures with supporting materials from a range of perspectives within digital marketing and social media in tourism to provide students with a holistic framework of knowledge

  • in-class exercises, practical examples, and topical case studies to critically discuss and apply theoretical knowledge to the real world

  • an assessed  semester project in which students first evaluate the marketing strategy of a chosen organization and then develop a marketing campaign for this organization

  • Introduction of relevant tools to support the creation of a marketing campaign supporting guest lecture session

  • formative feedback sessions 

As this outline shows, the syllabus presented in the module document will be covered using a variety of teaching and learning methods. Methods used may include academic lectures, lectures by industry guests, seminars, hands-on usage of tools/applications, and directed reading. As such the module will contribute to students’ development of skills relevant for employability, resourcefulness and resilience, and development of digital capabilities (see below).

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: MANM316

Other information

This module adopts the university curriculum framework which aims to develop learners with strong capabilities in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module contributes to the development of the following capabilities:

  • Development of skills relevant for employability: Students will have to examine and evaluate the digital marketing strategy of an existing tourism organization. In doing so, they will have to use various marketing tools to analyze the organization and to compare it with competitors. As such, students will gain experience of applying learned theories to real life cases and how to use marketing tools to assess organizations in the light of theories as well as in comparison to competitors.
  • Resourcefulness and resilience: The assessment of this module is designed in a way that after participating in the module, students will have have academic/theoretical marketing knowledge, an understanding of how to apply various marketing tools, and apply theory to examine a real-life organization. Considering the formative feedback provided students will experience working on tasks/challenges together, sharing experiences, providing support and empathy, and assisting each other. Through the applied guided learning elements, both assessments, and presentations throughout the term in seminars, students can draw upon and develop their own resourcefulness and problem solving and build their own confidence and self-efficacy. They will also develop an appreciation of barriers and challenges people face because of benefits and challenges of working in a team as well as because of presenting in front of the group, and being assessed, and how these may be overcome, while developing an appreciation of their personal experiences, and the shared experiences of the collective cohort.
  • Development of digital capabilities: The topics covered each week are linked and embedded in the current digital environment and recent developments the tourism industry is facing. Digital aspects are at the core of this module as it is about learning how tourism organization successfully navigate through the competitive and transparent environment by acknowledging challenges and taking advantages of opportunities digital marketing and social media offer. In marketing it is essential to work in teams as different roles/departments (e.g., customer support and marketing, service development) must work hand-in-hand because together one will create better customer experiences, bring more revenue, attract more loyal customers and retain more engaged employees. Thus, collaborative tools such as WhatsApp, Teams and shared documents are essential to communicate with each other as well as the usage of digital sources in terms of finding evidence. Further, the preparation a of professionally looking social media posts (e.g., videos, reels) as part of the second assignment will require students to use appropriate tools and methods.

The learnings from this module will be relevant for modules of the second term. It will be particularly important for The Designing Digital Services Module as this module provides some basic information about online consumer behavior. This module will also help to understand the status quo of digital marketing and thus, feed into the module The Future of Marketing and Tourism.

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.