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Tourism program rolls with the pandemic punches

Confederation College's travel, eco-adventure program hits the 50-year milestone
Confederation College tourism program
Confederation College Tourism students learn the new normal of airline travel (Supplied photo)

Confederation College's Tourism - Travel and Eco-Adventure program turns 50 years in 2021.

The Thunder Bay college is celebrating this milestone anniversary for a program that has graduated more than 1,050 and launched several careers into this sector of the hospitality industry.

“We are so proud to see our tourism alumni succeeding in careers across the globe,” said Giannina Gasparotto, the program coordinator, in a Dec. 18 news release.

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“The Tourism program, faculty, students and alumni are all passionate champions of the Tourism Matters movement, which seeks to highlight the societal and economic contributions of the industry,” she said.

Gasparotto, herself a 1975 graduate of program, credits its longevity to the ability to evolve alongside the industry, supporting three key pillars of tourism – travel, airlines and the outdoors.

The resiliency of the $102-billion Canadian tourism and travel industry, which employs more than 1.8 million people, and has been sorely tested in 2020.

But the college said the sector continues to change to meet the current reality and is "preparing for a revitalized experience, post-pandemic."

The two-year diploma program provides learners with a blend of hands-on training and experiential learning from industry professionals with an opportunity to learn in the ideal classroom of northwestern Ontario and study abroad.

Confederation's tourism program is endorsed by the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies and Tourism HR Canada. Graduates earn more than 20 industry certifications in wilderness first aid, basic canoe skills, and Outdoor Council of Canada field leader.