Study this online course in garden tourism to learn how to plan, organise and manage garden tours, events and activities.

Course Code: BTR303
Fee Code: S3
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Study Garden Tourism

Garden tourism is a growing niche sector of the tourism industry. Each year many thousands of people travel overseas or within their own countries to visit famous gardens, botanical gardens and other plant-related sites of interest to absorb the culture and history of those areas. Garden tours are a significant part of that experience.    

Learn how to promote and manage facilities and services in the garden tourism sector and become a part of this thriving industry. 

This course provides a thorough grounding in the fundamentals of garden tourism such as understanding garden tourists, different types of garden venues, detailed planning of activities and events, evaluation, marketing and financing, catering for children and families, assessing risks, preparing tour packages and itineraries, logistics and delivery of tours, and media tools for promotions.   


Nature of Garden Tourism

Garden tourism has traditionally appealed to older people, but increasingly younger people are becoming interested in gardens and all they have to offer.

Garden tourism is a blossoming industry across the world. It refers to a specialised type of tourism centred around visiting public gardens and parks of historical or cultural significance. Whilst on the surface this may sound limited there is tremendous variation in the types of gardens which attract visitors:

For example, Wyse-Jackson and Sutherland, in the ‘International Agenda for Botanic Gardens in Conservation’ (2000), list the following:

  • Classic Multi-Purpose Gardens
  • Ornamental Gardens
  • Historic Gardens
  • Conservation Gardens
  • University Gardens
  • Botanic Gardens
  • Zoological Gardens 
  • Agro Botanical and Germplasm Gardens
  • Alpine or Mountain Gardens
  • Natural or Wild Gardens
  • Horticultural Gardens
  • Thematic Gardens
  • Community Gardens
  • Private Gardens
  • Festival Gardens
  • Resort Gardens
  • Cemetery Gardens
  • Quiet Health Gardens
  • Spiritual Gardens

As you can see, with such variation there are gardens to appeal to all sorts of tastes and interests. 

However, garden tourism has evolved to mean more than just people passively visiting gardens and navigating their own way around them. It also includes guided tours, garden events and activities, and all the preparation, planning and organisation that goes into these things.  

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope And Nature Of Garden Tourism
    • Types Of Gardens
    • The Place Of Gardens In Broader Tourism
    • Who Visits Gardens Or Garden Events and Why
    • Problems
  2. Garden Destinations
    • Financial Viability
    • Types Of Tourist Attractions - Places
    • Garden Events
    • Add On Income
  3. Creating And Managing A Destination
    • What Makes A Viable Garden Tourism Destination?
    • Planning A Destination
    • Locations, Regions, Countries
    • Managing A Destination
  4. Garden Events
    • What Type Of Garden Event?
    • When To Conduct The Event?
    • Where To Conduct The Event?
    • Finalising Your Plan
    • Non-Garden But Related Events
  5. Creating and Managing Garden Events
    • Phase 1 - Preparation
    • Phase 2 - Detailed Planning and Development
    • Phase 3 - Evaluation
    • Initiating A Garden Event
    • Set Up And Pack Up/Knockdown
    • Event Issues
    • Managing Visitor Access
    • Expo Stands
  6. Garden Activities
    • Creating The Concept - What Garden Activities Could Be Delivered?
    • Planning Your Garden Activities - The Organisation
    • Delivering Garden Activities
  7. Garden Tours
    • Why Create Garden Tours?
    • Part-Day and Day Tours
    • Creating Tour Packages
    • Insurance
    • What Comes Next?
    • Self-Guided Tours
  8. Conducting Garden Tours
    • What Are You Featuring?
    • The Logistics Behind The Tour
    • Delivering The Tour
    • At The End Of The Tour
  9. Marketing Garden Tourism
    • Getting Started
    • Marketing And Communication Approaches
    • Virtual Tours
    • Intermediaries
    • The Marketing Cycle

Reasons to Study Garden Tourism

Garden tourism remains a somewhat untapped tourism sector insofar as it is becoming increasingly popular as people, especially city dwellers, wish to connect (or reconnect) with nature – but other than some of the most world famous gardens, there are not that many tour operators providing this service. 

Consequently, there are opportunities for private providers or for tour operators to diversify into this sector.     

Many people plan holidays in which they engage in garden tourism activities. This usually involves visiting notable gardens, botanical gardens and herbaria, though it can include all sorts of situations where plants are growing. Potential garden tourists can be people within their own state, country or region who enjoy plants and the outdoors or they can be overseas or interstate travellers who wish to soak up gardens, landscapes, native plants and the garden culture of other countries.

Those who do travel from overseas invariably wish to join tour groups to learn as much as they can in the limited time they have available.

Who Should Study this Course?     

This course is ideal for people who wish to get involved in garden tourism either directly or indirectly, and whether self-employed or looking to work for government or commercial enterprises. You can think of it as a great stepping-stone from which to start your foray into garden tourism.  

This course is designed to appeal to people in the following industries – tourism, garden tourism, horticulture, parks & recreation, travel & leisure, botanical gardens, National Trust, garden conservation, garden history, event planning,  town planning, urban design, and other related fields.        

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Recognised since 1999 by IARC

Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

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