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Minister launches new GMIT International Tourism Management course

Industry representatives welcome addition of new course to CTA offerings

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Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Minister of State for Tourism & Sport, Patrick O’Donovan, and the President of GMIT, Dr Fergal Barry, last evening (Thursday 19 January 2017) launched a new honours business degree in International Tourism Management at the college’s Galway campus, attended by over 40 representatives from the tourism industry.

The level 8 programme (CAO code GA381) which will commence in September 2017 in the College of Tourism and Arts (CTA), has been developed by CTA staff in partnership with industry stakeholders including the national tourism state body Fáilte Ireland. The new course includes two mandatory accredited work placements, the first in Ireland for 12 weeks between first and second year, and the second 12-week placement in an international destination between second and third year.

Speaking at today’s launch, Minister O’Donovan said “Tourism is one of Ireland’s key economic sectors, providing a wide range of employment opportunities throughout the country and across all skill levels and demonstrating strong prospects for sustainable growth in the years ahead.  This new honours degree programme delivers a comprehensive curriculum, which includes international business modules and two work placements.  As such, I expect it will attract bright, ambitious students and deliver globally-aware, industry-ready graduates ready to make an immediate impact in the workplace.  This will benefit both the tourism industry and the broader economy".

Dr Fergal Barry, President of GMIT, says “We believe this new programme in International Tourism Management will be a very popular CAO course option for Leaving Certificate students given the importance of the Tourism Industry to Ireland, and particularly to the west region, employing almost 100,000 people in counties along the western seaboard and generating a turnover of almost €8bn in Ireland in 2016.

The launch, co-ordinated by lecturers/programme co-chairs John Carty and Maria Murphy, was attended by representatives from companies, agencies and organisations from the tourism and hospitality industry.

Ruth Andrews, Chief Executive, Incoming Tourism Operators Association Ireland, says: “Tourism is a truly global industry so it is very important that tourism education in Ireland embraces international learning and experiences.  Incoming Tourism Operators Association (ITOA) Ireland, and its members who focus solely on the growth of international tourism to Ireland, need our education system to broaden training that delivers the skills and talents of a new generation in tourism.  We look forward to, and wish Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology every success with, the new honours degree in International Tourism Management.”

Eoghan O’Mara Walsh, CEO, Irish Tourist Industry Confederation, says: “The Irish Tourist Industry Confederation is delighted to support the launch of this new honours degree in International Tourism Management at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology. With tourism into Ireland at a record level in terms of volume and value, the importance of an educated and skilled workforce within our sector has never been more important. This innovative honours degree is to be especially welcomed and the fact that it has been developed in partnership with industry stakeholders is particularly to be commended. Tourism has never been more important to the Irish economy and the sector now employs 230,000 people nationally – it is Ireland’s largest indigenous sector in terms of employment. Tourism needs a pipeline of skilled, qualified professionals and in that regard the new International Tourism Management at Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology adds real value to the Irish tourism industry.”

John Mulcahy, Head of Food Tourism, Hospitality Education, and Accommodation Standards, says; “Fáilte Ireland is committed to ensuring that tourism is developed as a career of choice for school leavers as well as those embarking on a new career. With its inherent international focus and, as Fáilte Ireland’s experience brands (such as the Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland’s Ancient East, Dublin, Breath of Fresh Air and Meet in Ireland) continue to prosper in overseas markets, it is important that our industry has the skills to take a global approach to tourism. The skills now available in the International Tourism Management programme, at Galway-Mayo Insitute of Technology, will not only provide this, they will also support the industry to further develop this increased international interest in Ireland that is in line with Fáilte Ireland’s overall tourism strategy.”

Welcoming the initiative, Joan O’Shaughnessy, Chair of Tourism Ireland, said: “Overseas tourism contributes over £5.4 billion to the economies on the island of Ireland each year. It helps to sustain over 263,000 jobs and create vital new employment opportunities in communities around the island.  Our plans to deliver further tourism growth in 2017 and beyond are founded on continuing marketing excellence and innovation and on our capacity to win in the highly competitive global tourism market.  I welcome this programme development which clearly supports that ambition.”

To learn more about the new programme, please read: http://www.gmit.ie/tourism-and-heritage/bachelor-business-international-..."

To learn more about the College of Tourism and Arts programmes, see http://www.gmit.ie/tourism-hospitality-and-heritage/college-tourism-arts

 

Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Patrick O’Donovan (second left) with L to R: first year tourism student Maeve O’ Malley from Achill, Co Mayo, Dr Fergal Barry, GMIT President, and first year Tourism student Bronagh Considine from Co Clare.

Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Patrick O’Donovan (second left) with L to R: first year tourism student Maeve O’ Malley from Achill, Co Mayo, Dr Fergal Barry, GMIT President, and first year Tourism student Bronagh Considine from Co Clare.

Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Patrick O’Donovan (second left) with L to R: first year tourism student Maeve O’ Malley from Achill, Co Mayo, Dr Fergal Barry, GMIT President, and first year Tourism student Bronagh Considine from Co Clare. At the launch of the new honours business degree in International Tourism Management in GMIT, L to R:  Mairead Geehan, Galway Now,  Gerry ONeill, Head of Dept, College of Tourism & Arts,  Marie Slattery, Head of Marketing, Shannon Airpot, and Susanne O’Reilly, lecturer, College of Tourism & Arts.At the launch of GMIT’s new honours business degree in International Tourism Management, L to R: Dr Fergal Barry, President of GMIT, Donal Healy, Head of Marketing & Route Development, Ireland West Airport (Knock), Marie Murphy and John Carty, lecturers and co-chairs of the new honours business degree.Welcoming the Minister of State for Tourism & Arts, Patrick O’Donovan (centre) to GMIT, L to R: John Carty, lecturer and co-chair of the new International Tourism Management programme, GMIT President Dr Fergal Barry, Gerry O’Neill, Head of Dept, College of Tourism & Arts, and Cllr Michael Maher, GMIT Governing Body member.Attending the launch of the new International Tourism Management programme, L to R: Des Foley, Acting Registrar, GMIT, Gerry O'Neill, Head of Dept, GMIT College of Tourism & Arts, and John Ryan of the Ardilaun Hotel.