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Course CodeBTR303
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Garden Tourism Course

Learn how to attract more customers to your garden tours, garden events, gardening activities and garden tourist destinations.

Find out about planning, development, management and marketing of garden tourism destinations.

Garden tourism is a form of niche tourism which makes up a significant and large part of the global tourism industry.


There are 9 lessons in the course. At the end of each lesson, there is an assignment to submit to your tutor for marking and feedback. You can also contact your tutor with any questions throughout the 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


  • Discuss the significance of gardens and gardening to tourism.
  • Identify the nature and scope of destinations that a garden traveller might consider visiting when travelling.
  • Determine, plan, develop and manage viable garden tourism destinations.
  • Determine the viability of a garden event and its components.
  • Explain how a gardening event can be successfully created and managed.
  • Explain the organisation and delivery of a range of gardening activities, in the context of garden tourism.
  • Explain how to plan garden tours.
  • Explain how to conduct a garden tour.
  • Determine effective marketing strategies for different garden tourism products.


Not all garden tourism is exclusive. People often travel for two or more different reasons, and seeing gardens may be one of a number of things they do when travelling especially if that garden is in a city or in a region popular with holiday makers. The primary interest may be to visit the garden at any of these. Even where it is not though; appreciating the garden can be a valuable component of the attraction.

Historic Sites and Buildings

A component of many historic attractions can be the garden. The national trusts in both Australia and the UK, maintain both buildings and the surrounding grounds as attractions, this may also be true for American and many European gardens. Some visitors may have a primary interest in the interiors, but inevitably are attracted to the garden as well. The gardens attached to the French chateaux in the Loire valley can be more famous than the buildings, for example Villandry.

Other visitors may have a primary interest in the garden which then provides a very mixed group of people.

Living Collections

Zoos, botanic gardens, butterfly farms, rare breeds farms, bird parks, and aquaria are examples of attractions which keep, maintain, and present a diversity of living things to visitors. They are both educational and entertaining, attracting a wide variety of different people.


Within cultural attractions there are often links to horticulture, whether as the inclusion of areas within a museum or in the case of sculpture gardens where the garden is the backdrop for the creation of art. 

Hotels and Resorts

The link between gardens and hotels & resorts has been in place for centuries, this particularly the case for the luxury end of the market which often have vast gardens with dedicated teams in place to care for them. The Raffles Hotel in Dubai, for example, has a 40-foot botanical garden above its entrance which is home to over 100,000 plants.

Theme Parks

This may not be an example that you think of straight away, however many theme parks have extensive gardens and significant resources allocated to them. The inclusion of these gardens allows theme parks to attract a much more diverse group of visitors. So, in turn they may have two different target groups visiting them, one for the theme park and one for the gardens which will consequently produce two revenue streams. There of course may be some overlap with some visitors being attracted by both the rides and the gardens.


Ecotourism was developed in the early 1990’s based around the concept of sustainability and an alternative to mass tourism. Some tourist attractions have set aside areas outside of their key attractions to develop less intensive garden visiting experiences to meet demand. Some conservation NGOs include gardens on the edges of their reserves.  Here they can show visitors how to make their home gardens more sustainable and wildlife friendly.

Dark Tourism

Visiting places associated with negative things – cemeteries, war monuments, sites of natural disasters – often contain memorial gardens. People visit these for many reasons – to remember and honour the dead through to more morbid reasons. This is something which is more usually naturally occurring rather than being a garden which is created specifically.

Any Questions?

Our Horticulture and Tourism Tutors are more than happy to answer any questions, so please click here to get in touch.

Meet some of our academics

John Mason Parks Manager, Nurseryman, Landscape Designer, Garden Writer and Consultant. Over 40 years experience; working in Victoria, Queensland and the UK. He is one of the most widely published garden writers in the world; author of more than 70 books and editor for 4 different gardening magazines. John has been recognised by his peers being made a fellow of the Institute of Horticulture in the UK, as well as by the Australian Institute of Horticulture.
Maggi BrownMaggi is regarded as an expert in organic growing throughout the UK, having worked for two decades as Education Officer at the world renowned Henry Doubleday Research Association. She has been active in education, environmental management and horticulture across the UK for more than three decades. Some of Maggi's qualifications include RHS Cert. Hort. Cert. Ed. Member RHS Life Member Garden Organic (HDRA) .
Diana Cole B.A. (Hons), Dip. Horticulture, BTEC Dip. Garden Design, Diploma Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, PTLLS (Preparing to Teach in the Life Long Learning Sector), P.D.C. In addition to the qualifications listed above, Diana holds City & Guild construction qualifications and an NPTC pesticide spraying licence (PA1/PA6). Diana runs her own landscape gardening business (Arbella Gardens). Active in many organisations including the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Yvonne SharpeRHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt. Over 30 years experience in business, education, management and horticulture. Former department head at a UK government vocational college. Yvonne has traveled widely within and beyond Europe, and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Check out our eBooks

Event ManagementThe Event Management ebook is a complementary text for event management students or professionals working in the field. The ebook goes through the considerations and elements of an event and what needs to be organised when an event is in the planning stage.
Garden Design Part 1This stunning full colour Garden Design ebook is full of useful tips, information and inspiration. It contains around 300 colour illustrations! It is comprised of three parts: Design, How a Garden Functions, and Aesthetics (making it look good). Let your inner designer out (outside). A great introductory text for garden designers. 299 high quality inspirational colour photos. 106 pages
Garden Design Part 2Part 2 of the Garden Design series is an inspiring accompaniment to the first book, but works equally well in its own right. It's brimming with ideas and practical advice for designing a wide variety of different gardens. You will learn about different styles of gardens and how to create a style to suit a particular site or client. It contains around 300 colour photos! Knowledge gained by John Mason over several decades of visiting and photographing gardens, writing, teaching and creating gardens. This ebook deals mostly with different types of gardens from water gardens to Mediterranean, formal and oriental. 287 high quality inspirational photos. 104 pages
Getting Work in HorticultureFind out what it is like to work in horticulture; how diverse the industry is, how to get a start, and how to build a sustainable, long term and diverse career that keeps your options broad, so you can move from sector to sector as demand and fashion changes across your working life.