Saturday, October 9, 2010

Become a Cultural Expert as a Tourism Manager

Going on vacation to an exotic destination can be extremely exciting and sometimes a little bit intimidating, as you have little time to adjust to your surroundings or to the culture and language of the location. Tourism managers are the professionals who work at hotels, motels, travel agencies and airports to help you choose destinations or sites to visit. A job in Tourism Management – Cultural and Heritage Tourism is all about making travellers feel comfortable and helping them to get the most out of their vacation.

A large part of tourism management is approaching travellers as they arrive at a hotel or airport and offering them guided tours, tickets to local attractions or information on how to spend their hard-earned cash. Tourism managers may even create activity packages that are both exciting and budget-friendly, given today’s economy. This requires a tourism manager to be personable, engaging and well-informed, as he or she only has a few minutes to market and sell services. If a person decides to go with the services, the tourism manager then takes the appropriate steps in assisting the traveller — whether that’s arranging tickets, transportation or something else all together. 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.

Training for a job in Tourism Management – Cultural and Heritage Tourism begins with Centennial College, which offers a two-year program in this area of study. With the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization reporting that global cultural and heritage tourism has increased 15 per cent per year, the school has developed a program that provides students with an interdisciplinary learning approach that integrates the challenges facing culture and heritage sector managers with the operative fundamentals of the tourism industry. Some of the courses that teach students about the role of a Tourism Manager include: Ontario Cultural and Heritage Product, World Geographic Patterns, Dimensions of Tourism, Managing Cultural and Heritage Facilities, Hospitality and Tourism Marketing, Cuisines and Diverse Cultures and many more. As you can see, the focus here is on exposing students to all the dimensions of the industry.
The school of hospitality prepares student to have a strong foot hold in the market.

Through the Centennial College training, students graduate with a wide variety or knowledge and skills under their belt. First and foremost, graduates have the ability to promote and market tourism products, services and experiences through application of knowledge of the various tourism industries and their interaction. They also know how to develop ways of establishing working relationships with clients and suppliers to gain business. Speaking of business, Centennial College grads are able to handle accounting and financial situations that include cost control techniques. They can also apply principles of risk management to the operation of a tourism organization. Lastly, graduates know how to access, document and distribute accurate and detailed product knowledge and destination information.

In order to learn such a wide range of knowledge, you must first meet the admission requirements of the Tourism Management – Cultural and Heritage Tourism program.
Centennial College expects students applying for admission 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.

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