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Degree Overview: Associate of Hospitality Tourism Management

Majors Overview May 30, 2013

Students who have earned their associate degree in tourism and hospitality management will be prepared to pursue an undergraduate or graduate degree program, as well as work in the hospitality industry. The degree program may include basic business management courses, along with courses specific to tourism and hospitality.

Associate Degree Program in Hospitality and Tourism Management

These degree programs usually cover the fundamentals of the hospitality and tourism industries, such as legal issues, tourism economics, and food service. Students will gain management skills critical to hospitality and tourism establishments and graduate with general tourism and hospitality entrepreneurship skills. In addition, students will learn how to develop marketing strategies within a viable business plan. Some colleges and universities allow students to specialize in areas such as tourism and travel, hotel administration, or conference management. Typically, students who want to enroll into the associate degree program are required to hold a general educational development (GED) certificate or a high school diploma.

Program Coursework

Students can develop skills that pertain to tourism and hospitality as well as learn the fundamentals of business management. Through the internship program, students will gain practical experience in the industry. Program course topics may include the following:

•Hospitality law
•Convention marketing
•Hotel reservation systems
•Tourism geography
•Customer service
•Business math

Career Options

Associate degree program graduates can work in sports arenas, cruise ships, conference centers, or hotels. They may obtain the following career titles:

•Convention marketing specialist
•Event planner
•Travel counselor
•Hotel manager

Professional Certifications and Continuing Education

Students who have earned their associate degree may go on to earn a bachelor degree in tourism and hospitality management. The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI –, a professional association that provides hospitality managers with opportunities to keep abreast and further their knowledge of changes in regulations and laws. Additional training is provided to the cruise industry personnel through the Cruise Lines International Association Inc. (CLIA –

Professional certifications will be available to qualified candidates in all areas of the hospitality industry. The American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute provide certification in finance, human resources, and management, among other fields. Travel agents who specialize in cruises may obtain Cruise Lines International Association’s Certified Cruise Counselor designation.

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