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Tourism Studies

The Degree

Associate in Science (A.S.)

The Outlook

A degree in tourism studies can take you anywhere - literally! Tourism is a global industry that offers a variety of career paths that you can't discover in other industries. The U.S. travel and tourism industry is nearly a multi-trillion dollar industry. Tourism is one of the largest industries in the state of New York.

Finger Lakes Community College's tourism studies program provides you the knowledge and skills necessary for success in a wide range of careers in the tourism industry. Graduates will be prepared to transfer to four-year institutions in pursuit of baccalaureate degrees in tourism management and business (with focuses such as destination marketing and event management).

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of meeting, convention, and event planners is expected to grow 33 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. As globalization increases and businesses continue to recognize the value of professionally planned meetings, demand for meetings and events is forecasted to grow. Applicants with a bachelor's degree in hospitality or tourism management are ideal candidates for job opportunities.

FLCC is one of the only community colleges in the state that offers this unique program. Four-year institutions offering baccalaureate degrees in tourism studies and related areas include:

  • Niagara University
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • University of Central Florida

The Program

The A.S. tourism studies degree program provides the preparation necessary for transfer to four-year programs. While enrolled in the program, you will learn through classroom instruction, integrated case studies, and visits to venues and destinations. Conferences and special opportunities to learn from high profile tourism professionals play a key role in FLCC's commitment to providing a field-based education.

Field Trips: As a tourism studies major, you will get the opportunity to gain real-world insight through a variety of field trips. Past students enrolled in the program have attended the Travel Industry of America Marketing Outlook Forum (TIA) and the New York State Governor's Conference.

For many students, these experiences bring the program to life, connecting the case studies and theories learned in the classroom to real-life examples. This experience can often help you develop a broader view of these exciting and diverse career fields.

Honors Courses: If you have demonstrated outstanding academic ability, you will have the opportunity to take honors courses at FLCC that provide enhanced educational experiences. If you are a qualified student in this degree program or are a qualified student from another program, enrollment in honors courses is open to you. Successful completion of honors courses or an Honors Certificate may increase your transfer options to four-year institutions.

Online Learning

The A.S. tourism studies degree program at FLCC is conveniently accessible on the internet and may be fully completed online. For more information on FLCC's online learning programs, contact the Office of Online Learning at (585)-785-1303 or you can visit the colleges' online degree programs page.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this degree program, students will be able to:

  • Employ a basic knowledge of tourism to facilitate successful transfer in those disciplines.
  • Employ knowledge of event management components and their centrality to tourism businesses.
  • Identify the components that contribute to the unique aspects of tourism as a business.
  • Interpret statistical data utilizing critical thinking skills and its application in the tourism industry.
  • Explain the international growth and emerging impact of the tourism industry.
  • Model professional decorum and behavior.

The Graduates

The travel and tourism industry is one of America's largest employers. It was estimated the industry increased to 7.6 million jobs in 2013, up 146,000 jobs from 2012. With the merging of tourism, sports, and entertainment, the continued growth of this industry and career opportunities are assured. Growth has occurred in the areas of:

  • Destination Planning/Management
  • Event Management
  • Adventure and Experience-Based Tourism

Careers and Salary: Having evolved from a travel-agent stereotype, tourism is a profession that increasingly requires preparation at the bachelor's degree level in the areas of management, marketing, planning, and finance. Graduates with bachelor's degrees go on to land jobs such as:

  • Convention Sales Manager
  • Casino and Theme Park Marketing Manager
  • Director of Tourism
  • Event and Conference Manager
  • Meeting Planner
  • Director of Conference Services
  • Urban Tourism Planner

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, the median annual wage for meeting, convention, and event planners was $45,810 in May 2012.

The Scholarships

Scholarships are available to qualified students. For more information, visit the FLCC scholarships page or you can contact the financial aid office.

The Faculty

Faculty members in the tourism studies degree program hold master's degrees and are responsible for authoring and implementing this award-winning degree program. They were also responsible for the establishment of the Walt Disney World College Program at FLCC. This landmark program was the first destination tourism associate degree program offered by a community college in New York State. FLCC faculty members are recognized by the State University of New York as sabbatical scholars for study of the New York State Urban Cultural Park System. In addition, they have been named Chancellor Award winners for excellence in teaching. They are active members of the local tourism industry and have extensive experience visiting and analyzing model destinations across the United States and Canada.