Genesee Community College's Board of Trustees this evening agreed to change the name of the College's "Travel and Tourism" program to "Tourism and Hospitality Management."But there's more to this decision than a simple name change, explained Michael S. Stoll, Dean of Math, Science, and Career Education. The name change reflects fundamental changes in the tourism industry, as well as recent changes in the program's curricula, he said.Historically, travel agents and planners arranged transportation, lodging, and other services for vacation and business travel. But with the rise of Internet-based reservation and ticketing systems, many consumers are taking on these roles themselves. One of the results has been that successful travel agencies have been building their group travel and event-based business. "This means that professionals in this industry need a different professional outlook and a much broader range of skills," Dean Stoll said.
Genesee's program has always prepared students for the tourism and hospitality industries, noted Dean Stoll. These industries are showing substantial growth, so students need exposure to the wide variety of skills professionals use in these fields, he said. "Look at our region," Dean Stoll said. "Tourism is a healthy and growing industry. We need people managing hotels and campgrounds, and theme-oriented recreation attractions. We need trained professionals who can market tourism opportunities. And we need entrepreneurs who can develop new tourism businesses to meet the demands of a very discerning public."
In addition to participating in tourism-related classes, Tourism and Hospitality Management students participate in business, communication, and social science courses. "The curriculum gives students a solid general education background, in addition to specialized preparation for the tourism field," Dean Stoll said.
Part of the Board of Trustees' decision this evening was to discontinue the one-year Travel Agent Certificate program. The College continues to offer a Hospitality Management Certificate, which can be completed in one year of full-time study.