New Ara International Tourism degree responds to industry

News News & events

19 Feb 2018

Eighteen students are starting the brand new Bachelor of International Tourism and Hospitality Management at Ara Institute of Canterbury today.

Dr Michael Shone, Senior Lecturer and new Programme Leader in International Tourism and Hospitality Management at Ara, says that the degree provides “a balanced portfolio of learning” that fills a gap in the market.

“This is a specialist degree in a growth sector which has a strong demand for graduates,” Shone says. “The degree is designed so that students come out job-ready with genuine career pathways. We teach a really good mix of practical skills and specialist knowledge, as well as providing substantial industry placements.”

Dr Michael Shone, Senior Lecturer and Programme Leader in International Tourism and Hospitality Management.

Within the degree students will learn about hospitality and tourism trends, marketing strategies within local and international hospitality and tourism contexts, financial management strategies, business analysis for hospitality and tourism, communication, self-management, problem solving, teamwork and planning. 

In New Zealand, the fast-evolving tourism and hospitality industries are booming. The country currently receives 3.59 million international visitors annually – or 187,000 on any one day – a figure which is expected to continue to grow.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa's ‘New Zealand Tourism State of the Industry’ report for 2017 found that of 354 tourism operators surveyed from around the country, 62 per cent of tourism businesses think their performance will improve over the next 12 months, with 74 per cent wanting to attract more high-value visitors.

Ara announced the new degree in December 2017, which was developed with industry input to respond to the growing demand for graduates in the tourism and hospitality sectors. Shone says the tourism and hospitality industries are crying out for skilled workers who can offer customers a world-class experience.

“The sectors are becoming smarter with respect to understanding customer demand and responding to what they want. They are aware of the need to further proof business and innovate through new experiences and customer user interfaces. There is a strong focus on offering unique and authentic New Zealand experiences.”

“The Bachelor of International Tourism and Hospitality Management puts students on an equal footing with the rest of industry in terms of job opportunities,” Shone says.

“Students will gain the skills they require to enter management tracked positions, such as team leader and supervisor roles in hotels and restaurants. Projecting forward five years, I can see them working within an organisation as part of a marketing or product development team, with leadership responsibilities.”

Shone says that while most of the students in the degree will be at the start of their career journey, “there is also an opportunity for those already working in the industry to upskill via the Centre for Assessment of Prior Learning process”.

“We have already had quite a few enquiries from employers of industry partners about whether their employees are eligible,” Shone says.

For those wanting to upskill to the next level, Ara helps individuals who have extensive work experience but no qualification to receive formal recognition of their expertise through the Centre of Assessment of Prior Learning (CAPL).

To apply for the Bachelor of International Tourism and Hospitality, visit our website.