Edited by Pierre Benckendorff and Anita Zehrer
Chapter 22: Internationalization of tourism education
The importance of internationalizing tourism education is indisputable; however, documentation of the effectiveness of related activities is seriously lacking. The limited available evidence suggests that tourism higher education internationalization activities have been carried out on an ad hoc basis without a comprehensive strategic plan. Based on a review of the general education literature and current internationalization efforts of various tourism programs, the discussion focuses on several issues related to internationalization. The importance of coherent strategies and ways of offering an internationalized curriculum are reviewed first. The need for and ways of recruiting, retaining and developing faculty members who are capable of cultivating an international, multicultural learning environment are discussed next. Furthermore, examples of how to provide international exposure for students and models of international collaboration are proposed. Even with the understanding of the importance and different models of internationalization, barriers exist for institutions, faculty and students to realize their best intentions. To ensure that international efforts achieve the purpose of enhancing student learning, pedagogical planning, support services for students and faculty, and proper assessment mechanism are required. Based on the discussion, more tourism education research to document the advancement of tourism education internationalization and a systematic approach to these efforts are suggested.
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