New Tourism Program Offers Unique Approach

Posted: July 8, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Patty Snellings

Last year, visitors to Virginia contributed more than $12.9 billion to the commonwealth’s economy, and the tourism industry provided 211,500 jobs statewide. Nationally, the industry generated more than $500 billion and supported the equivalent of 16 million full-time jobs. Students now have an opportunity to prepare for exciting careers in commercial, public, or private arenas of the world’s third-largest industry by enrolling in the new Tourism and Events Management Program offered through Health, Fitness, and Recreation Resources (HFRR) at the Prince William Campus.

“Our program is qualitatively different from others in the region and will address industry and community issues that are not currently studied in the Virginia or Washington, D.C., area,” says Russell Brayley, who co-directs the program with David Weaver. “Students develop business skills as well as an appreciation for the economic, social, and physical impacts of tourism.”

Developed in response to the growing realization of the economic importance of tourism to the region, the program prepares students to meet the increasing demand for qualified managers for convention and visitor bureaus, tour operations, resort recreation, travel marketing and retailing, and conferences and events. Specialized course offerings include ecotourism, events management, resort management, sustainable tourism, heritage and cultural tourism, marketing and finance, and planning and policy.

“Our goal is to make this the top undergraduate program in tourism in the United States,” explains Weaver, “capitalizing on the dynamic nature of the region, the demand for university-educated managers, George Mason’s demonstrated capacity for innovation, and the recruitment of top international scholars.”

For more information, visit the HFRR web site or call x32060.

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