Students outside library

New learning partnership agreement between VIU and Tourism Vancouver Island

VIU TVI partnership

On Wednesday, September 25th, representatives from each organization came together in front of approximately 50 VIU undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff of the Faculty of Management, Department of Recreation and Tourism, to sign a formal learning partnership agreement. The agreement acknowledges the socio-cultural, environmental, and economic development that tourism may provide for individuals and communities and that educational programs in recreation and tourism need to stay ahead of the industry’s growth and increasing complexity for that development to occur.

“Vancouver Island’s Recreation and Tourism program is well-recognized in the world for providing students with exceptional learning opportunities, from faculty who are leaders in their field,” said Anthony Everett, CEO and President of Tourism Vancouver Island. “Our interest in supporting these students lies in our commitment to unifying, strengthening, and growing this industry and we are excited to do so through a formal learning partnership that brings real-world issues and opportunities to the classroom,” Everett added.

To ensure the continued growth and sustainability of the tourism industry, the learning partnership identifies key purposes like increasing career awareness; creating new preparation and development strategies to attract and educate new leaders; developing a strategy to enhance community-based leadership in tourism; and bringing enhanced awareness to Tourism Vancouver lsland's role in addressing and offering solutions to complex, social issues on the island.

"Our students are eager to learn and contribute to the work of Tourism Vancouver Island staff members and stakeholders,” said Dr Garrett Stone, faculty member and the driving force behind the partnership. “This formal signing is just the first step forward in aligning our organizations toward the common pursuit of industry excellence. We value Tourism Vancouver Island staff members’ contributions to our students’ learning, but this partnership has opened up more opportunities for engagement,” Stone added.

Two of these opportunities are just around the corner. First, Tourism Vancouver Island and Vancouver Island University’s Department of Recreation and Tourism will co-host a Careers in Tourism Symposium on Thursday, October 10, 2019, at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. From 3 pm to 5 pm, high school and university students interested in careers in tourism will be able to mingle with industry professionals, learn about the breadth of opportunities available to them, and ask questions about education and career potential. Secondly, in January, Tourism Vancouver Island’s Director of Destination Marketing, Karen Bannister, with Prof. Garrett Stone, will be coordinating an Independent Study Mentorship program that matches two to three students with industry professionals to work on a special tourism project with imminent application.

“These initiatives and our ongoing efforts to assist in classroom learning are not just benefiting the students,” said Karen Bannister of Tourism Vancouver Island. “Our staff are excited for the opportunity to be the learners too - as these eager professionals of tomorrow encourage us to pick our heads up from the day-to-day, rethink the issues of the day, and even re-imagine the solutions,” added Bannister.

Lauren Semple - Tourism Vancouver Island.

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