Handbook of Teaching and Learning in Tourism
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Handbook of Teaching and Learning in Tourism

Edited by Pierre Benckendorff and Anita Zehrer

This comprehensive Handbook provides an international perspective on contemporary issues and future directions in teaching and learning in tourism. Key topics include assurance of learning, development of skills, learning in the field, work integrated learning, sustainability and critical studies, internationalisation, technology enabled learning, links between teaching and research, and graduate student supervision. Within these topics attention is devoted to the discussion of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, students, educators and trends and issues. The Handbook provides a valuable resource for understanding teaching and learning theory and practice in tourism.
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Chapter 14: Experiential tourism and hospitality learning: principles and practice

Brian King and Hanqin Qiu Zhang


Learners who complete tourism and hospitality degree programs graduate into a world that is often described as the ‘experience economy’. This chapter addresses how graduates can acquire experiential learning through the course of their studies and be equipped for this world as both citizens and professionals in their chosen domain. In preparing graduates for careers in a service-oriented sector, tourism and hospitality higher education lends itself to experiential delivery modes. Whilst internships or cooperative education are the most readily appreciated examples of experiential delivery, there are many other forms, notably service learning. Though an experiential learning approach often involves a strong off-campus emphasis, it can also be applied in classroom settings. There is self-evidently a need for higher education to provide learners with a theoretical base, since critical inquiry distinguishes it from the ‘how to’ emphasis of technical and vocational education. In the present chapter the authors explore how an Asia-based institution – The Hong Kong Polytechnic University – has advanced experiential learning in the curriculum with notable reference to Hotel ICON, a university owned and operated teaching and research hotel. The reference to research as well as to teaching indicates that experiential learning involves knowledge creation as well as application. The authors explain how the mandating of a four-year curriculum for public universities by the Hong Kong government (degrees were previously three years long) has benefited students by extending the scope for innovative experiential learning.

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