Australian Education in Tourism Growing in Popularity

Dan Rang - Jun 27, 2011
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Recent statistics issued by the World Travel and Tourism Council clearly show the importance and size of the tourism and hospitality industry. With over 235 million jobs, 650,000 alone at managerial levels, hospitality today definitely is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.

With a GDP of just over 9% in 2009 and an annual growth of 4.4%, the tourism and hospitality industry contributes billions of dollars to the global economy. Looking beyond the current economic outlook, the industry is expected to resume its leading, dynamic role in global growth.

Taking this growth into consideration the world’s leading tourism and hospitality companies are looking for skilled professionals to become tomorrow’s leaders.

Education is considered by many as a vital determinant of success. Choosing what to study, and where, is one of the most important decisions a person will make as it will steer and ensure a successful career that will last many years.

If someone is looking for a career that offers travel, varied challenges and they enjoy working with people then gaining a degree in the tourism or hotel management field could be for them. Often students will look to countries overseas in which to gain a degree or further their education. With the industry being truly global, a recognised qualification from another country will provide many advantages to a future employer – the person will be multilingual, have the ability to communicate and understand different cultures and be adaptable to changes.

Amongst many destinations, Australia is one of the most desirable tourist locations and over the years has discovered its place as being a popular destination for students to study hotel or tourism management. Even though the economic events of the past two years have impacted tourism around the globe, Australia continued to perform well as a major destination with the UNWTO reporting that international visitor arrivals fell only 1% compared to global arrivals falling between 6-8%. Student numbers too remain stable with Australia continuing to be regarded as a favourite destination in which international students can come and study.

With tourism in the Asia Pacific rapidly growing, many of the leading hotel chains are building numerous new properties and the demand for skilled managers is on the increase. There are a small number of leading hotel schools located in Europe and the United States, but Australia is also home to specialised private institutions – some of which are recognised as being the best in the region.

One such school is the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School which in a recent survey of international hotel hiring managers, was ranked number 1 among hospitality management schools in Australasia for an international career. (TNS Survey, September 2010). The Blue Mountains is a university-level provider of hotel and event management education offering Bachelor of Business degrees. The Blue Mountains is part of Laureate International Universities which includes other leading Swiss hospitality schools such as Glion Institute of Higher Education and Les Roches International School of Hotel Management.

The school opened its doors 20 years ago and has two campuses located in Leura (90 km west of Sydney), and the new downtown Sydney campus opening in January 2012. The Blue Mountains has adopted the famous Swiss hotel school model of teaching and learning which balances theoretical knowledge, practical training and professional and personal development.

As well as taking university-level classes and tutorials, students gain daily practical training and learn discipline, teamwork and leadership skills at the residential campus in Leura. In the final year students move to the Sydney campus which will provide networking and career opportunities with leading hospitality and tourism organisations.

It’s a win-win combination for both the industry and the graduates. Hotel chains and events companies are keen supporters of an education that balances the theoretical with practical and professional development. Employers benefit as they have access to skilled individuals who will be able to join their organisations and quickly move into middle management and supervisory roles.

Graduates find themselves in demand and often have a choice of employers when they start their careers, giving them confidence and the chance to excel in their chosen field. The right education enables future leaders to grow in this dynamic industry... industry which will continue to provide global opportunities for the right people.

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