As the travel sector is slowly reviving, Dutchess Community College is poised to support the rising demand of the region for trained personnel by introducing a new associate degree in hospitality and tourism. This degree program is set to kick-start this fall; it’s expected to provide the students with a powerful business foundation, giving graduates an excellent adaptability in the job market.
Selected as a top travel destination by Lonely Planet and the National Geographic Traveler, in the New York state, Hudson Valley is the fastest growing area, providing one of the most exciting business environments in America. Visitor spending in the Hudson Valley in 2019 was $4.4 billion. And projections by local business leaders point out that the tourism and hospitality sector is assured for growth.
To quote Dutchess Tourism, Inc. President & CEO Melaine Rottkamp, “No industry has been harder hit by the pandemic than travel and tourism but with more and more people getting vaccinated, travel is going to come roaring back. When it does, it will be crucial that we have qualified employees at our hotels, restaurants and attractions to welcome them and provide excellent experiences.” Rottkamp added, “We are thrilled to work with Dutchess Community College to connect students and graduates with our tourism-related business partners who will need the key skill sets these participants will gain through this new program.”
Designed to get the students ready for career paths associated with restaurant, hotel, catering, travel and tourism management, the program features specialized courses in hospitality and tourism management, customer service, hospitality marketing and event management. Besides, students will get to know about management, marketing, business law, and financial accounting and have opportunities for practical internship and interactive real-world experiences.
“We believe that by offering students a business-based view of the hospitality and tourism industry, they will be better prepared to make the kind of planning and strategic decisions that is so often called for in this dynamic environment,” said Ellen Gambino, acting president of Dutchess Community College. “Our program trains graduates to be creative problem-solvers and innovators who will continue to raise the standard of service in the region and the industry.”