In order for it to meet demands, the tourism industry needs learners with international qualifications.
There's been a lot of discussion over the last few years centered around tighter regulations on travel and tourism, as well as immigration; with topics such as Brexit being the buzzword for the past year. Some conclusions have arguably been overstated, others, possibly not; nevertheless, the international tourism industry is still thriving.
It has to be said, the tourism industry is one of the largest in the world, but not only that, it is still growing. In fact, the World Tourism Organization reported that in 2017, international tourist arrivals were the highest they had been in over seven years; with emerging markets producing stronger numbers than previously shown. However, it's not just the stats that show this growth.
The growth in the tourism industry can be seen in the number of sub-categories and packages that have been created from tourism. Packages such as weekend getaways or beach holidays are not the end-all and be-all but with better routes and more accessibility to the traveller; niche and catered packages are clearly visible.
Packages such as gastro-tourism, adventure tourism, religious tourism and others are readily available to travellers who are looking for a different experience. But, how does this growth relate with international qualifications? The growth that the tourism industry is experiencing needs to be matched with staff who understand the infrastructure of various tourism markets. The interconnectivity of the tourism isn't just impacting travellers but it's also impacting how staff must engage with the market.
Let's use an example of B, a graduate looking to work as a travel agent: From a customer service point of view, an international qualification in tourism should help B to identify several types of traveller (e.g. a millennial, a couple, a family), the market the traveller is operating in, the basic infrastructure of tourism destinations; popular and emerging. In this way B has the interpersonal skills as well as the knowledge to provide great customer service to the client and offer a package that would best suit them.
The interconnectivity of the tourism isn't just impacting travellers but it's also impacting how staff must engage with the market.
Understanding the popular systems and platforms used in the industry, understanding destinations and motivations behind travel in different sectors, as well as emerging trends within the industry are skills that are taught. At CTH we go even further and have made it so that our qualifications are adaptable, adaptable in the sense that CTH Approved Centres are encouraged to use relevant sources from the region they teach in. For example, they may use case studies and examples of companies from their region that relate to the industry. In this way, learners get a specialised understanding of the industry where they are studying as well as a holistic one of international tourism.