Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Travel and Tourism Courses Offer Balance of Theory and Practice

Did you know that respected companies such as Marlin Travel, Sears Travel, Thomas Cook Group, Carlson Wagonlit, Air Transat/Nolitours, Goway, Sunwing, Travel Corporation and Kensington Tours are seeking professionals who have attended one of Ontario’s Tourism and Travel programs and have the know-how to assist travellers who are increasingly visiting more exotic destinations that offer both fun and educational opportunities?
That’s where Centennial College’s Tourism and Travel program, which takes just one year to complete, comes in. Designed to prepare students for employment in either retail or wholesale travel companies such as tour operations, retail travel agencies, Internet booking agencies, tourist offices, and cruise and airlines, it consists of both theory and practical application. “After researching many colleges, I chose Centennial as it provided the most for the course I was interested in,” says Hristiana Dzhelbova, a 2011 graduate. “The Tourism and Travel program is a fast-track course offering essential industry insight, industry certifications and qualifications, and a placement at an established company. The instructors are very helpful and always making sure the students fully comprehend the lessons.”
Let’s take a more detailed look at some of the benefits that Hristiana describes. First and foremost, during their time in the program, students attend Tourism and Travel courses that cover topics such as airline tariffs and ticketing, accommodation and ground transportation and the cruise industry as well as extensive world destination topics, including culture and heritage training, passport and visa requirements, travel security, customer sales and service, and more. Additionally, students receive Apollo and Sabre computerized airline reservation system training, and cruise line training includes the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) two as well as a half-day “training fest” conducted by CLIA-Trainers. There is also a chance for optional CPR training is provided in the third semester.
To round out training and to ensure that Tourism and Travel program students have practical experience prior to graduation, they attend a third-semester internship. The three-day-a-week experience sees students shadow professionals in the field, network and gain new knowledge while applying what they have learned. Taking the practical component a step further is the fact that this Travel and Tourism program offers students an international trip that provides practical exposure to all aspects of travel. Lastly, they may volunteer at major events in and around Toronto such as the Walk of Fame, Rendezvous Canada and various trade shows.
It is worth noting that CITC knowledge exam and Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) minimum standards exam are included as a part of the Tourism and Travel program.
Tourism and Travel program applicants must have completed at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, students should have completed the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent. Please note that possession of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.

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