Curriculum Guide

Mobile Connections allows students to look at their personal connections to mobile technology and how it influences people’s choices and actions and the implications for society, the economy and the environment.

Section 2: Mobile tourism

Overarching inquiry question
How does mobile technology influence tourism?

This section explores the role of mobile technology in the tourism industry. Tourism provides countries with huge economic benefits providing export earnings, employment opportunities and investment. As a consequence, countries and regions actively promote tourism and are increasingly using mobile technology to do so.

Social media and mobile apps that inform today’s traveller are changing the face of tourism promotion, delivery and experience. Students will identify the factors that lead to changing tourism patterns. Identification of the growing influence of mobile technology and its social, economic and environmental impacts on places will be investigated through the geographical inquiry process.

Option for assessment

This task requires students to plan a travel experience for one week to any destination in the world. Planning should utilise digital planning tools such as online maps, a full itinerary including travel methods, accommodation, food and activities. As a result of the planning students can assess their impacts on places by the choices they make. Student reflection on the inquiry allows for students to consider their own choices and actions when considering the challenges of changing patterns of tourism.

Questions for inquiry:

What role does information technology play in the tourism industry?
Are there potential problems or issues associated with mobile tourism?



Students create a digital travel portfolio that includes:


  • What type of tourist will you be?
  • How will this influence your travel destination and decisions?
  • Which locations will you visit?
  • Why did you choose this location?

Travel arrangements

  • How will you travel to your destination?
  • How will you travel in this place?


  • What type of accommodation will you stay in?
  • Who owns the accommodation?


  • List the experiences in which you will participate.
  • What are your influences for doing these activities?


  • Where will you eat?
  • Who owns these places?


  • What is the cost of the transport, accommodation, food and activities

Planning reflection:

  • List the apps you will use to plan your travel experiences.
  • What online companies did you access to research and plan your travel experience?
  • Where did you spend your money?
  • How many of these places are owned and operated by locals and/or transnationals?


  • Identify how many people travel to this same destination annually.
  • Identify negative and positive impacts of tourism in this place.
  • Assess if tourism to this place is beneficial or detrimental.
Lesson 7: What is mobile tourism?
Learning intention

Students will examine the different types of tourism and the factors that account for the yearly increase in global tourist numbers. They will use visual thinking strategies to explore the factors that have led to changing tourism patterns. Students will investigate the role that mobile technology plays in the promotion of tourism on places and the impact this has on a country’s tourism industry.

Teacher notes

For every group of travellers, the mobile phone is an essential item. It provides vital services and information for the traveller providing a safer, more efficient and economical experience. Increased leisure time, higher incomes, gap years, bucket lists and YOLO attitudes have increased travel opportunities.

Questions for inquiry
  • What is mobile tourism?
  • What factors account for tourism increases?
  • What role does mobile technology have in the promotion of tourism?

View Hilarious Selfies.

Hilarious Selfies Website Insta influencers—Lauren Bath Website Insta influencers—Daniel Tran Website National Geographic Website
Activity 1

View the graphs on Tourism on the Our World in Data website. Identify how tourism has changed over time and as a class brainstorm the factors that has led to this increase.

Investigate the role of social media on tourism patterns by completing the following activities:

  1. View the websites of Instagram influencers such as Daniel Tran and Lauren Bath.
  2. Read the National Geographic article that investigates how Instagram is changing travel and complete the following activities.
    Describe the role of an Insta influencer.
    Comment on the increase in tourist numbers in Trolltunga between 2009 and 2014.
    Identify and describe the problems places experience with large increases in tourism.
    Compare the ‘image and ideal’ sold to Trolltunga tourists to the reality of the experience.
    Explain what is meant by “Now you’re less than 10 clicks away from seeing an image on Instagram to purchasing a ticket to go there”.
Extension Activity 1

Inquiry question How is photography used to influence our tourist choices?

Take a photo in your local area and edit appropriately with the intention to promote visitation to this place.

  1. Analyse the process taken during the selfie task. Consider the following questions:
    Why did you choose the location?
    What camera angles did you use and why?
    What editing features were used to maximise the image for a social media audience?
  2. Assess the potential success of your photo.
    Do you believe you could influence your peers with the use of social media?
    How does the use of photography change our perceptions of places?
  3. Create a short video answering the inquiry question.
Suggested apps
  • Camera
  • Photos
  • Snapseed
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Clips
  • iMovie
  • PowerPoint
Lesson 8: Why is mobile tourism important for the future?
Learning intention

Students will examine the Australian tourism industry through statistics from the Tourism Australia website. The volume and income generated by tourism in Australia will be examined, the relationship between economic benefits and the approach to marketing Australia as a tourist destination will be explored. Students will identify the economic benefits tourism provides to people in places.

Teacher notes

Tourism is one of Australia’s biggest export industries with international visitors spending billions every year in Australia. Tourism benefits Australia’s economy by providing employment and investment in both urban and rural areas. Tourists travel to Australia for its natural landscapes and wildlife, aquatic and coastal environments and food and wine. As digital technology advances, the use of the technology for promotion and as a tool for tourist experiences is evident for both businesses and individuals. Digital technology is influencing the way people make decisions. Places are affected by people’s choices and decisions.

Questions for inquiry
  • Who travels to Australia?
  • Why does Australia promote tourism?

Selfie tourism – GIGA selfie (1:58min).

Tourism Australia: GIGA Selfie Website Australia Tourism Website Website Tourism Research Australia Website ABC’s Splash video ‘Attracting Chinese tourists south’ Video Teaching PEEL paragraphs Website
Activity 1

View ABC’s Splash video ‘Attracting Chinese tourists south’.

  1. Identify the contribution Chinese tourism brings to the Australian economy.
  2. Describe the changes in Chinese visitor expectations when visiting Australia.
  3. Consider strategies that tourist operators might employ to appeal to the rich and growing middle class in China.

View the GIGA selfie promotional video. Discuss, using visual thinking strategies, the following questions:

  1. Identify the creators of the GIGA selfie campaign?
  2. Identify the target market for the GIGA selfie campaign?
  3. What is the perception of place the GIGA campaign wishes to promote?
  4. In your opinion, how effective is this campaign?
Activity 2

View the Tourism Australia Corporate website and complete the following activities:

  1. Locate ‘Our campaigns’ from the About menu and select a targeted campaign for investigation.
    Identify the key message of the campaign.
    Identify the group of people the campaign targets.
    Describe the strategies used in the campaign.
    Consider why Tourism Australia is targeting this group of people.
  2. Read the infographic on the economic importance of tourism located on the Tourism Statistics page. Write a PEEL paragraph explaining why Australia promotes tourism.
Suggested apps
  • Camera
  • Notes
  • padlet
Lesson 9: What are the consequences of mobile tourism?
Learning intention

Students will identify and evaluate the impacts of tourism on places. Students will examine visual representations to identify the impacts of tourism. To examine images students will identify the subject matter of the image, describe and make inferences about the image and evaluate the image as a source of reliable information. To interpret photographs is to practise the skill of asking questions.

Teacher notes

Examining the impacts of tourism through visual representations provides students with the opportunity to analyse photographs as a source of geographical information. To stimulate student inquiry a search of negative tourist impacts will be conducted. Some images may be disturbing to some students so a slideshow should be prepared in advance.

Questions for inquiry
  • What tourist activities have negative impacts on places?
  • How do these activities impact places?

Conduct an images search on your internet browser to view negative impacts of tourism or read the CNN article on the tourist attractions that are dying.

Tourist Attractions That are Dying Website Teaching for a moving debate Website
Activity 1

Follow steps 1-3 to critically analyse several selected images.

  1. Evaluate the image as a source of information.
    What was the purpose of the photo?
    Who was the intended audience?
    Has the photo been manipulated in some way?
    Is it useful as a source of information?
  2. Identify and note observable features.
    What do you see?
    What objects or people are shown?
    What environment is shown?
    What action is taking place?
  3. Make inferences.
    What activity is taking place?
    What impacts may occur from the activity?
    What are the social, economic and environmental impacts from the activity?
Activity 2

As a class, brainstorm the benefits that arise from both domestic and global tourism. To generate ideas, use visible thinking routines such as Question Starts or Circle of Viewpoints.

Create a T-chart on Tourism Pros and Cons.

Extension task

To assess the impacts of tourism, conduct a moving debate on the statement ‘Tourism benefits the world’.

  1. Move to different sides of the room marked with agree and disagree.
  2. Persuade others on either side of the argument with a different view, opinion and perspective.
  3. Listen to viewpoints and move to different sides of the argument throughout the debate.
Suggested apps
  • T-chart (pros and cons)
  • Notes
  • Excel
  • Numbers
Lesson 10: What is the future for mobile tourism?
Learning intention

In this section students have explored the growing influence of information and communication technology in the tourism industry. Social, economic and environmental impacts have been examined and in this final lesson students will revisit Trolltunga in Norway to consider strategies to achieve sustainability for the future. Through the inquiry students develop dispositions that enable them to reflect on their choices and feel empowered to advocate for change.

Teacher notes

Social media plays a significant role in the promotion of tourist destinations and has changed tourist patterns globally. Solutions for sustainable tourism into the future is the responsibility of many including individual choices.

Questions for inquiry
  • What role did mobile tourism have on Trolltunga?
  • What strategies can be implemented in Trolltunga and other places to achieve socially and environmentally sustainable tourism?

View the video Take an Isolated Selfie While Hundreds of Tourists Wait (1:05min).

Take an Isolated Selfie While Hundreds of Tourists Wait: Video Why Norway is Teaching Travellers to Travel by Shannon Dell 2017 Website Norway’s natural wonders ‘threatened by ill prepared tourists’ by Soo Kim 2016 The Telegraph: Report Tourism trend report: Trolltunga by Iselin Odemark 2016 Trekksoft: Report
Activity 1

Activity 1 Read the following articles to deepen your understanding of the issues surrounding tourism in Trolltunga.

Why Norway is Teaching Travellers to Travel by Shannon Dell 2017.

Norway’s natural wonders ‘threatened by ill prepared tourists’ by Soo Kim 2016 The Telegraph.

  1. Create a consequences chart outlining the impacts of tourism on Trolltunga.
  2. Brainstorm solutions, using visible thinking strategies, for minimising these negative impacts from tourism.
Activity 2

Create a short video or animation that will spread awareness of a social or environmental impact on a place and strategies that lead to more sustainable practices.

Suggested apps
  • Google Slides
  • PowerPoint
  • Keynote
  • Haiku Deck
  • iStopmotion
  • Procreate
  • VideoScribe
  • iMovie
  • Assembly
  • Sketches