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EDHEC Business School Summer Courses

EDHEC Business School version PDF

Leisure & Lifestyle

Consumers and citizens born in mature economies are now transitioning from a work rich/time-poor model to a work balanced/time rich model. The concern with more work/life balance has been manifest in the increase of vacation days, earlier retirement, work contracts based on 3 or 4 days of work rather than 5 and a growing number of products and services responding to a leisure consumer at all stages of life. At a certain level of wealth, people are now able to make the choice to forego wages from work to enjoy leisure and lifestyle pursuits. Particularly noticeable in European democracies where citizens benefit from more vacation days than the world average, leisure is an important part of a maturing capitalist economic model which requires not only production, but continuous consumption.

Free time and affluence available to more and more people have provided numerous opportunities in the economy for creating services and products which serve the pursuit of leisure and quality of life. Some of the key industries generated by free time include health and fitness trends (spas, gyms, sports clubs, organic foods, gastronomy classes and a host of gadgets), do-it-yourself activities (painting, tinkering, sculpting), recreational activities in parks and semi-urban places (pools, golf, mountain bike, rafting), gaming (video games, casinos, second life), participation in artistic events (concerts, dance, theatre and gala events), self-enhancement (beauty, grooming, cosmetic surgery) and hobbies (collecting, documenting, sharing).

Jobs in these industries vary from the idiosyncratic lone entrepreneur to mainstream industries in media, tourism, events, sports, personal services, and retirement with careers ranging from the functional areas of marketing, financial analysis, strategic consulting and corporate communication to new economy niches such as managing personal enhancement services, social media management, the creation of custom activities at resorts and retirement homes, events planning, alternative tourism, coaching, “agritainment and agritourism”, hospitality, product development and senior education. Many activities cluster around medical and well-being services such as nutrition, fitness, diet clubs, and walking clubs, whereas others are packaged as touristic and pitched to affluent working populations with means, but little time.

Academic Programme

The EDHEC Summer Programme will examine a few mainstream players of the leisure economy, using models based in the region of Nice, Cannes and Monaco as live case studies of the companies and consumers that inhabit the leisure economy. Three focus courses will combine background literature, in situ learning and a consultancy based evaluation framework to become acquainted with this often neglected part of today’s economy.

♦ The economic context of leisure (15 hours)
This course will see leisure in terms of its macro-economic impact in France and in Europe. Providing a comparative framework for understanding growth markets in leisure and lifestyle products and services, the relative size and potential of different markets and different concentrations throughout France and Europe will be covered. This course will provide a general economic outlook on Leisure Markets in the 21st century (sectors, size, growth potential, key regions, key figures) drawing from a range of examples in lifestyle innovation, ecotourism, work/life balance trends and responses to recession. The development of the Eco-vallée in Nice will be a regional case in point for this course.

♦ Consuming leisure (15 hours)
This course will consider consumer analysis and market strategies for leisure and lifestyle considering new consumer profiles, ethics and sustainability trends as well as new service opportunities focused on the affluent and the retired. The course takes a panoramic view on consumer culture analysis methods, information gathering and emerging consumer socio-styles.

♦ Leisure Research (15 hours)
This course takes a panoramic view of leisure and lifestyle and requires students to use the practical company visits to think about strategies and opportunities in these markets. With potential projects ranging from music events and sensation sports, to cultural and business tourism, projects can study “leisure” by examining communication strategies, techniques of retro-planning, consumer behaviour, growth opportunities and event management. Research based, this course is spread out over the summer course to guide students in collecting data, asking valid research questions and thinking about opportunities in leisure markets.

Certificates & Credits

The entire summer programme (three modules) is worth 6 ECTS or 3 Intl credits.

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