Industry Update
External Article 2 October 2020

Hospitality Schools Weigh the Pandemic’s Long-Term Impact on Travel Curriculum

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The coronavirus pandemic continues to upend the global travel industry, but hospitality schools aren't rushing to overhaul their curriculums around how to operate a travel business — yet.


There is no doubt the pandemic's impact will maintain a grip on hospitality operations for years to come. But the curriculum overhaul process at an accredited university can take as long as 18 months, according to Nicolas Graf, associate dean at New York University's Jonathan M. Tisch Center of Hospitality.

University leaders have to follow state guidelines and other academic compliance measures as well as gain approval from their own board of trustees. It can take as long as six years by the time the new curriculum is fully implemented to all students at a university.

A hospitality student's best chance at pandemic-related lessons is likely within existing course framework until universities get a better understanding of the pandemic's lasting legacy on travel.

"For accredited programs in the U.S. to radically change and even consider a major change for their curriculum takes a while," Graf said. "From a pure curriculum standpoint, I don't think there have been so many changes. Every one of us are bringing Covid-related issues and impact into the classroom for context."

Rather than upending the foundation of the university's travel and hospitality programs, professors are adapting existing courses to the current industry catastrophe.

A leadership and crisis course at NYU presents events like the 9/11 terrorist attacks and natural disasters as the framework for how hotel operators, event managers, or destination marketing organizations could best react. Coronavirus is just the latest crisis to pass through the lesson plans.

"In many ways we're doubling down on what we already did and had access to," said Kate Walsh, dean of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. "You can bring it to every conversation in your classroom."

Read the full article at skift Inc.

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