New approaches in tourism education
Cyprus International University (CIU) School of Tourism and Hotel Management Director Prof. Dr. Orhan Uludağ stated that advances in technology, developing industry trends and changing traveler demands make changes inevitable in tourism education, and that it is important to initiate new approaches in tourism education for students to advance in the tourism sector in line with these developments.
Pointing out that experiential learning is one of the prominent new approaches in this field, Uludağ stated that institutions that realize the importance of practical experience have started to include internships, field trips and industry collaborations in their curriculum.
Uludağ said that this hands-on approach will allow students to gain first-hand knowledge of the industry, develop their critical thinking skills, and develop a deeper understanding of tourism operations.
Noting that the understanding of sustainable tourism has started to be seen as an important aspect of the industry, Uludağ emphasized that it is essential for educational institutions to include sustainability in their programs.
Pointing out that students have started to encounter the concepts of “responsible tourism”, “environmental protection” and “community development” in recent years, Uludağ said, “This focus on sustainability will help graduates to address the urgent challenges facing the industry and contribute to the long-term viability of the sector.”
Uludağ stated that technology, as in other fields, has revolutionized tourism education, and added that “Virtual reality and augmented reality have become tools that enable students to explore destinations, simulate life scenarios and develop their cultural understanding in classrooms.”
Uludağ also said that online learning platforms and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) make tourism education more accessible and that students with different knowledge and skills are allowed to learn at their own pace.
“Collaborative learning is another educational approach” Uludağ said, and that “Group projects, teamwork and interdisciplinary collaborations are highly important.”
To conclude, Uludağ emphasized that new approaches in tourism education have revolutionized the way students prepare for their careers in the tourism industry, and said, "The integration of experiential learning, sustainability, technology and collaborative learning in tourism education will contribute to the advancement of graduates in the changing structure of the tourism industry."