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Law and Ethics in Tourism 2017/2018

  • 5 ECTS
  • Taught in Portuguese
  • Continuous Assessment


Learning objectives:
The main objective of this UC is to develop technical and legal training of students, familiarizing them with legal terminology, functions and characteristics of law and its applications to the tourist activity. It is intended that, at the end of the CU, the student will be able to:
1. Identify the meaning of ethics, morals and deontology, relating concepts;
2. Apply the principles of ethics, specific to the tourist sector;
3. Interpret the fundamental concepts and concepts of law as a basis for the
application of tourist legislation;
4. Describe the institutional organization of Tourism, identifying the functions
and attributions of national and international organizations;
5. Explain the tourist policy adopted in Portugal;
6. Apply the legal instruments of Tourism to concrete and objective cases and

Recommended Prerequisites

Non applicable.

Teaching Metodology

The classes will combine the interactive expository method (method 1) with the analysis, discussion and debate (method 2) of the themes taught and of fundamental documents, namely the legal norms that regulate the tourism sector in Portugal. In order to ensure the consolidation of knowledge, it will be preferable to solve practical cases through the application of legal norms (method 3), as well as group work (method 4).

Body of Work

Topic 1 | Ethics
1.1 Relationship between ethics, morals and deontology
1.2 UNWTO World Tourism Ethics Code
1.3 UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Topic 2 | Basic notions of Law
2.1 The Right
2.2 The legal standard: concept, characteristics, typologies
2.3 Sources of law
2.4 The law: formation, validity and hierarchy

Topic 3 | The institutional organization of Tourism
3.1 State intervention in tourism
3.2 International tourism organizations: principles, guidelines and
3.3 National organizations: public administration and private organizations
3.4 Tourism policy in Portugal

Topic 4 | Legal instruments
4.1 Tourist ventures
4.2 Restoration and beverage establishments
4.3 Complaint Book
4.4 Tourism utility
4.5 Tourism companies and tour operators
4.6 Travel and tourist agencies
4.7 Financial instruments

Recommended Bibliography

Caton, K. (2012). Taking the moral turn in tourism studies.
Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 39, No. 4, 1906-1928
DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2012.05.021

Fennell, D. (2013). The Ethics of Excellence in Tourism Research. Journal of Travel Research, 52(4), 417-425
DOI: 10.1177/0047287512475220

Patrício, M. (2017). Direito do Turismo e Alojamento Turístico. Coimbra: Almedina. ISBN 978-972-40-6535-9 (in acquision)

Patrício, M. (2017). Direito do Turismo e Alojamento Turístico. Coimbra: Almedina. ISBN 978-972-40-6535-9 (em aquisição)

United Nations (2015). Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development A/RES/70/1 [available at:

Complementary Bibliography

Cole, S. (2007). Implementing and evaluating a code of conduct for visitors. Tourism Management, 28, 443-451.
Di Bella, M. G. (2000). La formación ética en las profesiones turisticas. Estudios y perspectivas en Turismo, 9, pp. 24-35.
Falcão, José et al. (2007). Noções Gerais de Direito. Lisboa: Rés-Editora.
Fennel, D.A. and Malloy, D.C. (2007). Codes of ethics in tourism: practice, theory, synthesis. Clevedon [et al.]: Channel View Publications.
Innearity, D. (2001). Etica de la Hospitalidad. Madrid: Peninsula.
Organização Mundial do Turismo (1999). Código Mundial de Ética do Turismo [acessível em:]
Queirós, A. (2012). Ética e Turismo. Revista Turismo e Desenvolvimento, n.º 17/18, Vol. IMP.

Weekly Planning

Week 1| Presentation of the curricular unit.
Introduction to Topic 1 | Ethics
Week 2
Topic 1 | Ethics
Week 3 | Practical work: analysis of codes of ethics and codes of conduct in the tourism sector
Week 4
Topic 2 | Basic notions of law
Week 5
Topic 2 | Basic notions of law
Week 6
Topic 3 | The institutional organization of Tourism
Week 7
Topic 3| The institutional organization of Tourism
Week 8 | 1st Continuous Assessment Test
Week 9 | Topic 4 | Legal instruments - Practical case resolution
Week 10| Practical case resolution
Week 11| Practical case resolution
Week 12| Practical case resolution
Week 13| Practical case resolution
Week 14| Practical case resolution
Week 15| 2nd continuous assessment test

Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

The topics covered in this UC allow the student to understand the importance of ethics, morals and deontology for a correct performance in the tourist sector in its various contexts, and objectives 1 and 2 are achieved through the treatment of the various points which constitute Theme 1 (1.1 to 1.3).
The importance of perceiving the role of Law and the application of the Law is reflected in the content developed during Theme 2 (2.1 to 2.4), which will allow to reach part of objective 3.
This objective will be fully achieved after approaching all points that make up Theme 4 (4.1 to 4.7).
In its entirety, the themes developed throughout the UC also allow the student to acquire knowledge about current tourist legislation, making contact with the support and understanding of the tourist context in Portugal.
The achievement of these objectives (objectives 4 and 5) finds expexpression through the analysis of Themes 3 and 4 of the programmatic contents.

Demonstration of the teaching methodologies coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

The hours of theoretical-practical contact taught through the interactive expository method (method 1), complemented with the analysis and discussion of case studies (methods 2 and 3), meet the objectives initially proposed and enable learning and contextualization of the concepts associated with ethics, morals, deontology and the legal framework of the main tourist activities. This will allow us to fulfil the proposal defined by objectives 1 and 2. The tutorial orientation in the practical support of the students' course of study, more concretely in the accomplishment of group and / or individual works (method 4) elaborated during the different phases of teaching of the CU that will be presented later in class context (as mentioned in the previous point), will help to continue the autonomous work of students and to apply to the real context the various concepts inherent in law in general and tourist legislation specifically, allowing to reach and integrate objectives 3 and 4. The practical cases that will be announced, resolved and discussed at various times during the teaching period of the PA will enable achievement of objective 6 and will be a significant enhancement to the achievement of previous objectives (objectives 3, 4 and 5). The set of methodologies used and the combination of these, respecting the framework and the nature of the various contents addressed, will allow to achieve in a sustainable and congruent way the totality of the learning objectives proposed for the curricular unit.

relevant generic skillimproved?assessed?
Achieving practical application of theoretical knowledgeYesYes
Adapting to new situationsYesYes
Analytical and synthetic skillsYesYes
Balanced decision makingYesYes
Commitment to qualityYesYes
Ethical and responsible behaviourYesYes
Event organization, planning and managementYesYes
Information and learning managementYesYes
Problem Analysis and AssessmentYesYes
Relating to othersYesYes
Research skillsYes 
Understanding multiculturalism and valuing diversityYes 
Written and verbal communications skillsYesYes
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