Today is World Tourism Day! This day in the United Nations Calendar aims to bring awareness of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
“Tourism is so important around the world because it creates employment opportunities and teaches travelers about the different cultures” said Patti Watson, Tourism – Global Travel program coordinator.
“Tourism is wonderful because there is something for everyone to enjoy, at all ages. Whether walking The Great Wall in China, or eating lobster in Halifax or making family memories in Disneyland, the opportunities to explore and try something new are endless,” said Patti.
Patti leads the Travel Based Learning Experience course with Hospitality program coordinator Jennifer Rishor, which features different destinations each year. In April, Hospitality and Tourism – Global Travel students in this course will travel to Jamaica for one week, where they will inspect hotels and resorts, volunteer in the community, visit tourist attractions, and meet local tourism and hospitality industry personnel.
“The Travel Based Learning Experience offers tremendous learning potential for all students. These experiences are designed to introduce students to the destination through both its physical and human geography (topography, history and culture), and to offer a volunteer experience when available” said Jennifer.
The theme of World Tourism Day this year is Tourism for All, which expresses the need for universal accessibility in tourism. This includes accessible tourism for people with disabilities, families with small children, the ageing population, and more. Both program coordinators agree that accessible tourism is an important topic and there is room for improvement in the industry.
“The industry definitely has room to improve in terms of accessibility, as regulations vary widely in foreign countries. There are many disabilities and each person’s needs are a little different, so traveling in un-modified airline seats, hotel rooms and rental cars can prove difficult. It is so important because everyone should be able to enjoy their vacation, whether they are staying local or exploring a new destination.” said Jennifer.