"After as long road of deciding what I wanted to do, travel always seemed to spark my interest," says Lisa Martel, a students of Centennial College's Tourism and Travel program. "And what better way to do it than through Travel and Tourism at Centennial College? It's really helpful being certified here in the program. We took an exam, which certifies us to sell cruises, and these types of certifications really help us [in the field]. I'm confident that with what I'm learning here, I'll get the job that I'm looking for."
While Lisa does a great job of describing why the program is helpful, let's take a closer look at more specific details. First and foremost, if you're interested in taking the tourism and travel courses Centennial College has to offer, you must complete an application process. Applicants must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, students should have completed the compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment or equivalent. Please note that possession of minimum admission requirements does not guarantee admission into the program.
Once accepted, students take three semesters worth of tourism and travel courses that are part of a curriculum endorsed by the Canadian Institute of Travel Counselors. This includes in-depth knowledge of airline tariffs and ticketing, accommodation and ground transportation and the cruise industry. Through the Travel And Tourism Programs, students also receive extensive world destination knowledge, including culture and heritage training, passport and visa requirements, travel security, customer sales and service, and much more. Specific tourism and travel courses include: World Geography for Tourism, Introduction to Hospitality Accounting, Selling Cruises, Industry Automation – Apollo, Introduction to Computing, Sales & Marketing for Travel Industry, Airline Automation – Sabre, Travel Agency Operations and more. The CITC knowledge exam and Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) minimum standards exam are included as part of the program.
To round out in-school tourism and travel courses, students also participate in a three-days-a-week internship. This opportunity is offered to students in the third and final semester of the program. It is a time for students to apply skills learned in-class, interact with professionals and network. In addition, the program offers its students an international trip that provides practical exposure to all aspects of travel.
Companies who have hired students of the tourism and travel programs include Marlin Travel, Sears Travel, Thomas Cook Group, Carlson Wagonlit, Air Transat/Nolitours, Goway, Sunwing, Travel Corporation and Kensington Tours. If however, qualified graduates want to pursue further education, they may do so by participating in an articulated program with selected universities, institutes and professional associations. These partnerships allow graduates to apply academic credit towards further study. The partner of the Tourism and Travel program is University of New Brunswick.