Making the most of a booming tourism industry

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09 Jul 2019

In Sri Lanka, Kumendra Dharmadasa was a senior executive at Walkers Tours, one of the best known inbound travel agencies in the country.

Recognising the enormous potential of the tourism industry, the 26-year-old decided to broaden his career opportunities by gaining a Bachelor of International Tourism and Hospitality Management at Ara Institute of Canterbury.

“Almost every country in the world has a booming tourism and hospitality industry,” Kumendra says. “I will be able to use this qualification globally.”

Kumendra was attracted to the Ara degree because of its balance between theory and practical learning. “Ara focuses on providing practical experience while fine tuning students’ skills and knowledge. The up-to-date course content is very much in line with the industry’s current and future requirements, and the programme is introducing us to industry leaders.”

Kumendra says the degree challenges him to enhance his knowledge in every aspect of the tourism and hospitality industry. His tutors are ‘relaxed and laid back’ but very clear and accurate when teaching. “They’re always very approachable, enthusiastic and more than happy to help you whenever they can.”

The support Kumendra has received at Ara has extended into other areas too. “All departments are very helpful and very efficient. The careers department even helped us tailor our CVs to suit the New Zealand job market.”

When he finishes his degree, Kumendra intends to work in New Zealand then in various destinations around the world. His ultimate goal is to establish his own boutique hotel back home in Sri Lanka.

For anyone considering studying the Bachelor of International Tourism and Hospitality Management, Kumendra has some advice. “Do it! It’s definitely worth the time and effort. When I graduate I’m going to be very well prepared and ready to take on the challenges of the industry because the degree really does cover all bases.”