Members of the Tanzania National College of Tourism visited VIU. From left (back): Darrell Harvey

Members of the Tanzania National College of Tourism visited VIU. From left (back): Darrell Harvey

Tourism ideas exchanged between universities

NANAIMO – Members of Tanzania's National College of Tourism visit Vancouver Island University.

By Glenn Drexhage

A first-time visit to Vancouver Island University by a group of senior college officials from Tanzania is the next step in a unique training collaboration between the two institutions.

Five members from Tanzania’s National College of Tourism are at VIU for two weeks in August, working alongside VIU tourism and hospitality faculty to develop new management programs for the East African country.

“Our team is excited to offer our support and expertise to NCT,” said Peter Briscoe, chairman of VIU’s hospitality management program. “The international nature of hospitality and tourism allows people to experience other cultures, and to share their cultures and ideas with others.”

Tourism is a crucial industry in Tanzania, accounting for about 17 per cent of the country’s gross domestic produce. However, few Tanzanians work in the sector’s managerial ranks. The goal of developing an upper-level degree program is to enable Tanzanians to take on those management positions in hospitality and tourism, according to Rosada Msoma, acting CEO of NCT.

“We are looking forward to learning from VIU as we develop degree programs in hospitality and tourism management,” said Msoma. “We also want to develop a diploma curriculum for event management.”

The visitors will take workshops on ‘competency-based education and training,’ an educational philosophy that stresses participation and hands-on learning. In addition, delegates will receive leadership training and take part in sessions offered by VIU’s Centre of Innovation and Excellence in Learning.

The partnership is also benefiting VIU.

“Faculty are able to use their skills in an international context,” said Darrell Harvey, VIU’s international projects coordinator. “The shared learning will help VIU as faculty members renew their curriculum – it’s likely that the collaboration will rub off on our programming, too.”

The project’s over-arching goal is to launch a new NCT tourism and hospitality degree program by 2019. Two more NCT visits to VIU are planned, with VIU faculty leading annual training trips to Tanzania.

Glenn Drexhage is a writer with VIU’s communications department.