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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 have a theoretical-practical (TP) character, combining the interactive expository method with the analysis and discussion of the subjects taught and of fundamental documents, in particular the legal norms that regulate the tourist sector in Portugal. To ensure the consolidation of knowledge, it will be preferable to solve practical cases of application of legal norms. The assessment of knowledge and skills of the CU will be made according to the method of continuous assessment, where the face-to-face regime will be valued and compulsory in 65% of the total classes. The distribution of independent working hours per semester will be divided into practical assignments, mini-tests and other written tests. It will also be followed the preparation of the practical work, with oral presentation and discussion of the results in class context. Through the use of these methodologies, it will be possible to develop the relevant generic competences during the CU teaching.

Body of Work

Theme 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

Theme 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

Theme 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

Theme 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

Cole, S. (2007). Implementing and evaluating a code of conduct for visitors. Tourism Management, 28, 443-451.
Fennel, D.A. and Malloy, D.C. (2007). Codes of ethics in tourism: practice, theory, synthesis. Clevedon [et al.]: Channel View Publications.

Organização Mundial do Turismo (1999). Código Mundial de Ética do Turismo [acessível em:]

Patrício, M. (2017). Direito do Turismo e Alojamento Turístico. Coimbra: Almedina.

Queirós, A. (2012). Ética e Turismo. Revista Turismo e Desenvolvimento, n.º 17/18, Vol. IMP.GE.28.0 2, pp. 1133-1144.

Quintas, P. (2014). Legislação Turística Anotada (6.ª Edição), Coimbra: Almedina.

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

Complementary Bibliography

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.

Innearity, D. (2001). Etica de la Hospitalidad. Madrid: Peninsula.

Weekly Planning


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, complemented with the analysis and discussion of case studies, 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 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 effectivenessYesYes
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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