The Tourism – Travel and Eco-Adventure program at Confederation College is getting ready to celebrate a milestone birthday, turning 50 years old in 2021. Since being established in 1971, the program has supported over 1,050 graduates and launched several successful careers in the industry.
“We are so proud to see our Tourism alumni succeeding in careers across the globe,” said Giannina Gasparotto, Program Coordinator. “With our program, students can learn in northwestern Ontario and work anywhere. Built on the strong foundation of knowledge gained in the program, our graduates have been able to share their love of travel and the outdoors with others, inspiring a spirit of discovery and bringing peoples’ travel and adventure dreams to life. The alumni impact is as far-reaching as the destinations they’ve visited and the communities they’ve lived in.”
As an alumna herself (class of 1975), Gasparotto credits the program’s success to its ability to evolve alongside the industry, supporting three key pillars of tourism – travel, airlines and the outdoors. The two-year diploma program provides learners with a blend of hands-on training and experiential learning with an opportunity to learn in the ideal classroom of northwestern Ontario and study abroad. Students gain first-hand knowledge from industry professionals and earn more than 20 industry certifications before graduation. Endorsed by the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) and Tourism HR Canada, Confederation’s Tourism program is among a select few to earn SMART + Premium accreditation, national recognition for the demonstration of tourism-related programming that exceeds industry standards.
Luke Giroux, a 2017 graduate, is grateful for his experience in the program, which allowed him to jump right into a career in the outdoors after earning his credential. “I amount my success post-graduation to the skills that I learned while I was in the program. Skills ranging from risk and group management techniques to trip navigation and planning,” he said. “I also got certifications like Wilderness First Aid, Basic Canoe Skills and Outdoor Council of Canada Field Leader. The program provides a really solid foundation for getting into the outdoor industry, and tourism in general. It will take you far.”
While in many ways, the industry has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is still alive and well, changing to meet the needs of the current reality and preparing for a revitalized experience post-pandemic. According to Tourism HR Canada, in Canada alone, Tourism is a $102 billion industry employing over 1.8 million people. The future is bright and the industry continues to offer a range of exciting and diverse career opportunities, with a particularly high demand in airlines.
“The Tourism program, faculty, students, and alumni are all passionate champions of the Tourism Matters movement, which seeks to highlight the societal and economic contributions of the industry,” said Gasparotto. “The industry is resilient and vibrant and we are honoured to play an important role in supporting its continued growth with our program and qualified graduates.”
For more information about the Tourism – Travel and Eco-Adventure program, and to apply, visit Confederation College’s website.
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