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Dream destinations are the classroom

Published 04 Oct 2019
Dream destinations are the classroom

Tasmania’s wilderness and cultural heritage sites will be the classroom for a new generation of tourism students taking up a unique course at the University of Tasmania next year.

The University’s new Master of Tourism, Environmental and Cultural Heritage leaves behind traditional classrooms and puts students in situ at some of Australia’s most iconic tourism destinations.

Port Arthur, Cradle Mountain and Sydney will be the signature classroom destinations. The highly flexible curriculum will focus on managing the opportunities, complexity and sensitivities that arise when culture, environmental values and creativity intersect with business development.

“This course addresses the opportunities and challenges that the sector is facing – they could be social, digital or environmental challenges,” the course coordinator, Associate Professor Anne Hardy said.

“We want to take students to the coalface to equip them with real life experience of balancing sustainable tourism with environmentally and culturally sensitive environments. There is nowhere else in Australia that they can study tourism at this level with this much industry exposure.”

Associate Professor Hardy said the Masters would provide professional education that “is place-based and responsive to the current and future needs of Tasmania, as well the global tourism community”.

“We will use our tourism sites as a laboratory from which international lessons regarding sustainable tourism can be learned. At the same time, we will co-teach one of our units with the Lund University in Sweden, ensuring a truly international outlook. This will place the University of Tasmania at the forefront of tourism education, worldwide.”

Tasmania’s seven UNESCO World Heritage listed properties, and signature Tasmanian businesses such as Mona, will be used as case studies in the course.

Another exciting aspect of the Masters will be a “Shark Tank” venture creation project in which entrepreneurial students will research, develop then pitch an idea to an expert panel from the tourism sector.

An invited board of industry experts will help guide the course, ensuring that learning is relevant and authentic.