Bond University has added a new element to the Gold Coast’s vaunted tourism profile by creating an incubator for the world’s future hospitality and leisure executives.
The inaugural class of Bond University’s School of Hotel, Resort and Tourism Management settled into lectures this week, starting out on a road to become the CEOs, CFOs and managing directors of a world-wide industry that generates four trillion dollars annually.
Differentiating the new School will be a focus on high-end disciplines including finance, revenue management, asset management and marketing – in both undergraduate and post-graduate programs - and how they apply to the hotel, resort and tourism industries.
The School's inaugural industry partnership with global group Marriott International, along with other leading hotel, resort and tourism operators, will provide students with opportunities for work placements as part of the course. The establishment of the School's Executive and Regional Advisory Boards with representatives from Jones Lang LaSalle, Accor, Marriott, Radisson, Inter-Continental, Carnival Cruise Line, the Tourism and Transport Forum, Sea World, Queensland Hotel Association, and Queensland Tourism Industry Council amongst others ensures close collaboration between industry and academe.
The School’s foundation Head Professor Elizabeth Roberts said the learning institution’s genesis lay in response to industry feedback about the critical shortage of qualified high-end professionals both in Australia and abroad.
“The School will produce graduates who are aiming for the upper end of the hospitality and tourism industries,’’ said Professor Roberts.
“We have developed niche Bachelor and Masters-level programs that will equip graduates with specific knowledge in the area of revenue management to enhance their career outcomes. The curriculum is built on a foundation of solid business subjects in order to prepare students to be leaders in the highly competitive global environment. The focus on financial and revenue management is unique in Australia.
“The School itself is testament to the maturation of these industries, especially here in Australia.’’
Professor Roberts said locating the unique program on the Gold Coast – one of Australia’s premier holiday destinations – was particularly appropriate.
“Students will have top-of-the-line coastal and hinterland resorts and hotels, as well as the southern hemisphere’s largest concentration of theme parks, just outside their classrooms,’’ she said.
“Gold Coast Tourism has found the city attracts about 10.2 million visitors annually who collectively spend about $4.7 billion - it’s the perfect backdrop for an innovative School such as this.’’
Professor Roberts said the tourism curriculum is inter-disciplinary and students are encouraged to take subjects across the Business Faculty, most notably in the Mirvac School of Sustainable Development given the critical need to consider the environment when planning and developing tourism operations.
The inaugural class at the private university’s latest school includes students from China, the United States, Canada, Burma, as well as a strong Australian contingent.
Marriott International Executive (Asia, Pacific, Australia) Vice-President Geoff Garside said the partnership was an exciting innovation for the industries.
Mr Garside said the School would provide the industry leaders of the future.
“The Australian and international hotel and tourism industry stand to benefit greatly from this initiative,’’ he said.
Details of the program are:
Undergraduate: 2 years full-time (6 semesters*)
Bachelor of International Hotel and Resort Management
Bachelor of Tourism Management
Postgraduate: 1 year full-time (3 semesters*)
Master of International Hotel and Resort Management
Master of Tourism Management
*Bond University has a three semester-per-year schedule that allows students to fast-track their studies.