Program chair Kreg Ettenger spoke on September 19th at the board meeting of the Maine Tourism Association, a membership organization that represents the many facets of Maine's tourism industry. The board of MTA includes members from all sectors of Maine's tourism industry, including lodging, restaurant, transportation and attractions.
At the meeting, held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Freeport, Ettenger explained the mission of USM's newest academic program, including its goal of training students who are both critically aware and well-prepared to work in Maine's number one industry. He also noted that 15 students were already enrolled in the new BA in Tourism & Hospitality, with strong enrollments in the first two courses offered in the program.
MTA board members were enthusiastic about working with the program and expressed an interest in helping students find internship opportunities and job placements. They were also interested in shorter-term training programs and certificates, which Ettenger told them were in the works.
"We plan to be responsive to industry needs, and work with organizations like MTA as we develop our program," he said. "We know that the success of this program will depend to a large extent on industry support." He also noted that students already in the program were anxious to get real-world experience, and would be looking for opportunities as soon as next year.
The Maine Tourism Association is a private, not-for-profit membership organization that promotes tourism in the State of Maine. It publishes Maine's official visitor's guide, Maine Invites You, as well as the Maine Guide to Camps and Cottages and the Maine Guide to Inns and Bed & Breakfasts. For more information, contact them at 800-767-8709 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.