oa The Journal of Independent Teaching and Learning - Curriculum responsiveness in tourism programmes
There is a growing demand for professionally educated and trained staff in the tourism sector. However, current literature reveals a significant disparity between the tourism education provided by institutions and the skills required by the industry. A major challenge facing institutions offering tourism education is the identification of industry needs and requirements and the involvement of industry in curriculum design. This paper examines the education, skills and training required of tourism employees and whether the provisions of higher education tourism courses are adequately meeting industry needs. Identifying this 'gap' will assist in the development of tourism education programmes that meet the needs of industry. The paper examines the perceived relevance of the tourism management qualification from three stakeholders' perspectives; namely, managers from the tourism sector, tourism graduate employees, and tourism academics. Surveys, in the form of structured questionnaires, were used to obtain information from the three groups. The overall findings of the study revealed that gaps exist in the tourism curriculum. The recommendations are that closer collaboration is required between academics and managers from industry and that a framework be developed in which the subjects, and industries are located.
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