Joaquim Majó: “Tourism has a long life, but we should evolve with it”
The University of Girona offers the Master in Tourism Management and Planning in order to contribute to the training of tourism industry’s management staff. Tourism is one of the main sources of occupation in our country.
“The way hotel rooms are sold today has nothing to do with how they used to be sold five years ago”. This statement was made by Joaquim Majó, coordinator of the UdG Master in Tourism Management and Planning. For this engineer -expert in ICT applied to tourism- one of the Master’s main values is the need tourism professionals have to rethink the necessary strategies to consolidate tourist destinations, which needs to be done in accordance to destinations’ market changes. Therefore, the UdG Tourism Faculty offers a Master programme intended to meet the needs of a changing industry, as well as to provide the necessary tools to train entrepreneurs in the tourism industry and technicians who would conceptualise the image of possible destinations, which is also crucial.
Addressed to future professionals and researchers
The academic curriculum of the Master in Tourism Management and Planning goes in two directions. On the one hand, it is a research master that guides students towards a doctorate career. On the other hand, it trains professionals and that is why it includes a high quality practicum. Such duality is possible thanks to the teachers’ profile, formed by researchers with a solid career and by tourism professionals who teach in order to share their experiences with students. Therefore, teaching becomes a mixture of both research and professional experiences that ensures the quality of the programme, following the same quality line as the Tourism Degree, “a very reputed programme”, adds Majó.
One of the main characteristics of the course is the concentration of subjects. They are known as “micro-subjects” and they consist of two subjects per month, which should be completed before starting new ones. With this strategy, students concentrate exclusively on the subjects they are taking and, at the same time, it enhances teaching diversity. We should not forget that one of the main aspects is the diversity of tourism professionals who describe their own experiences.
Being in touch with the professional world enables the design of internships according to students’ needs. In addition to this, internships are related to students’ research projects so that these projects become case studies, practical projects in which students get in touch with reality in the tourist industry and at the same time they gain abilities that help them progress beyond the degree’s contents.
Joaquim Majó is optimist regarding employability of those who finish the master, “because, in spite of the crisis, tourism creates employment”. However, he warns about the need of highly skilled professionals, about the transformation of the tourism industry, and about the need to evolve with tourism, despite its long life.
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