Tourism Management Programs Combine Heritage and Culture with the Industry


“It focuses primarily on the understanding and appreciation of world cultures and world heritage as they relate to tourism,” says Salmea, a faculty member of the Cultural and Heritage Tourism program at Centennial College, one of the most reliable tourism management programs offered in Ontario. “I believe everyone has a culture, a heritage, a root and a unique identity. If you want to tie it all into tourism and get a career for yourself, this is the program for you.”

While Salmea gives a great overview of this two-year tourism management program, let’s take a closer look at some of its standout features. First and foremost, to attend Centennial College’s tourism management courses, applicants must be able to present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. Also required is a compulsory English 12C or U skills assessment, or equivalent.

Once accepted, students will discover a program that provides them with an interdisciplinary learning approach that integrates the challenges facing culture and heritage sector managers with the operative fundamentals of the tourism industry. This convergent methodology mirrors the convergence of culture, heritage and tourism. Specific tourism management courses in this program include: World Geography for Tourism, Dimensions of Tourism, Responsible Tourism, Introduction to Hospitality Accounting, Tour Planning and Management, Festival Management and more.

A measured application of fundamentals and training culminating in valid industry experience opportunities equip learners in this program to contribute, as the tourism sector retools for this emergent transformation. This work placement enables students to relate classroom theory to the practical world, while adding another career educational dimension to their career preparation. Field placement enables student to better understand the dynamics of the industry, increase their knowledge of industry practices and provides a competitive advantage of experience in the job market. Some of this tourism management program’s partners include: Jonview Canada Inc., Thomas Cook Canada Ltd., Toronto Board of Trade, Tourism Toronto, Heritage Toronto, Air Miles and more.

Should qualified students wish to continue their education, they may be eligible to participate in an articulated tourism management program with selected universities, institutes and professional associations. This tourism management program’s partners are: Athabasca University, International Hotel Management Institute (Switzerland), Vancouver Island University, University of New Brunswick and Royal Roads University (B.C.).

If, however, they choose to enter the field right away, tourism management programs students become professionals who work at hotels, motels, travel agencies and airports to help travellers choose destinations or sites to visit on vacation. Tourism managers may create activity packages, arrange tickets, transportation and more. It is important for professionals in Tourism Management to maintain records of transactions, inventory of promotional materials as well as keep their ear to the streets in regards to upcoming attractions, shows, etc. With the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization reporting that global cultural and heritage tourism has increased 15 per cent per year, now is a great time to enter a career in this field.

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