An exploratory study of the European hospitality and tourism education
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The increasing importance of hospitality and tourism as the leading worldwide industry in terms of overall revenues has encouraged hospitality and tourism education to expand and acquire academic significance. Although Europe leads in international tourism as measured by arrivals for years little attention has been paid to the development of formal education in this field. In fact, to date there are no empirical published studies providing the profile of hospitality and tourism education in Europe.
The purpose of this exploratory research project was to obtain information on the status of hospitality and tourism education in Europe. The study sought information from those European institutions offering higher education programs in hospitality and tourism. In particular, the study was primarily aimed at identifying respondents' profiles concerning: educational institution, curriculum of courses, programs offered, faculty, and student body.
The research instrument consisted of a self-administered questionnaire, which was sent to 63 European educational institutions. A total of 31 European institutions offering higher education programs in hospitality and tourism responded and participated in this research study.
The results showed that, in spite of late start, hospitality and tourism education in Europe offers a wide range of program opportunities and offer diplomas and certifications upon graduation in this field. Curricula leading to the Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. degrees are extensively offered and a significant number of students are actively pursuing these programs.
It was recommended by the researcher that due to the rapid expansion and demand of change and the evolutionary trend of hospitality and tourism education in Europe, additional empirical studies exploring the supply and demand side of hospitality and tourism education be repeated periodically.