The city of London is often seen as the centre of the international tourism industry,” enthuses Jeff Hyland at London-based Westminster Kingsway College (WKC). The BA in Tourism Management at WKC covers subjects such as tourism environment and global issues in tourism, with optional modules including niche tourism and tour guiding. “The college benefits from excellent business links at a local, national and international level,” says Hyland, adding field trips with tourism-related assignments are an element of the degrees, which are popular with students from east Asia, Brazil, Mexico and Europe.
The School of Hospitality and Tourism at the University of West London is “a renowned institution with 60 years of established experience of delivering innovative and diverse courses on travel and tourism”, relates Maxine Myers. She notes the school’s industry connections, “Students have benefited from working in a variety of roles both in the UK and globally in five-star hotels, luxury resorts and some of the world’s most respected airlines. Having this industry experience has resulted in international students securing work in glamorous and diverse locations around the world.”
Courses at Otago Polytechnic span the full academic range and take advantage of New Zealand’s adventure tourism, explains Emma Wood, with certificates in Snowsport Instructing (Levels 3&4) and the diploma in Outdoor Leadership and Management (L5), which develops technical skills in pursuits such as sea kayaking and rock climbing. Broader tourism study is delivered in the certificate (L3) and diploma (L5) in Applied Travel and Tourism. “These allow students to get hands-on, operational experience for a career in front-line tourism,” Wood says. The bachelor and graduate diploma applied management programmes, meanwhile, “incorporate intensive, project-based learning and work placements and comprehensive theoretical learning”. She highlights Germany, UK and Japan as keen markets.
University Campus Suffolk (UCS), UK, offers a range of tourism, events, hospitality and heritage management courses at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, with joint degree awards from the University of Essex and East Anglia, informs Dr Ian Baxter. “Students study a range of essential management topics such as finance, human resourcing, strategy and marketing, and in dedicated practical modules have the opportunity to work on live event and tourism planning projects with a range of professional companies.” He adds overseas linkages are important, and “the uniqueness of East Anglia’s cultural heritage provides an opportunity to specialise in rural and coastal concerns”.
Highbury College, UK, advises Paul Spanner, offers: the Edexcel Btec national diploma in Travel & Tourism (L3) covers customer service, marketing and events organisation; the A-level Travel & Tourism (L3) developing an understanding of the characteristics of the industry and its individual sectors; and the foundation degree in Travel & Tourism Management (L4&5), a two-year programme “aimed at developing a broad range of academic and personal skills for a career in travel, tourism and related industries”. The latter includes a 22-week work placement in the UK or abroad, and Spanner attests to excellent links with prestigious travel companies.
In Canada, Seneca College provides one-year certificate and two-year diplomas in Tourism and Travel and related fields. Angela Zigras explains in addition to mandatory topics, “Students gain a broad background in business subjects, MS Office and general education.” She continues, “All tourism students participate in work experience in their fourth semester, while hospitality students complete a six-month, full-time paid externship in a hospitality business.” Traditionally, courses have been popular with east Asia, and Zigras adds that Russia, Poland, Sri Lanka and central America are growing.
Challenger Institute of Technology, a Tafe institution in western Australia, offers a Diploma of Tourism which, says Sue Fossilo, allows for multi-skilling or for specialisation in skills specifically related to operations management or marketing and product development. She adds Japan and Asia generally are traditional student markets, but European and south American students are increasingly common.
Tourism is one of Australia’s largest industries and Shumaila Ali at AIPE in Sydney explains the two-year Diploma of Tourism is a skill-based, practical qualification covering tourism operations, marketing and product development. “The industry is currently experiencing a boom and employers are searching for qualified, passionate workers,” she enthuses. Zigras observes similar potential in Canada, where a shortfall of employees within the industry is anticipated. “Many [students] remain in Canada and find work in the industry,” she says.
“Working with agents means that the international students coming to Westminster Kingsway College (WKC) have access to local advice and guidance and pre-departure support,” says Jeff Hyland, adding that WKC, based in London, works with agents in several different markets. Similarly for Highbury College in Portsmouth, UK, “Working with overseas agents is a key part of our recruitment strategy, so we are always looking for the best agents from across the world to work with,” says Paul Spanner.
Meanwhile, Ian Baxter of University Campus Suffolk (UCS), UK, explains, “UCS has an international team which works with agents and overseas information offices, and it also undertakes trips to student recruitment fairs in different parts of the world.” Sue Fossilo at Challenger Institute of Technology, Australia, says they work with agents, although much international recruitment comes through Education & Training International, the main admissions body for Western Australia. Seneca College, Canada, works with agents and also participates in education fairs and workshops as well as school visits and presentations, explains Angela Zigras.