Tourism and Hospitality

Tourism and Hospitality Course Descriptions

TAH 101 The Travel Experience: Introduction to Tourism & Hospitality

In this entryway course, students will be introduced to the major concepts, issues, and theories of tourism and hospitality as an economic sector and topic of academic study. The course will cover a broad range of topics related to the travel experience, from business development to the linkages between tourism as an industry and the impacts it has on communities and places. Students will also be introduced to key elements of the hospitality service industry and opportunities for employment within this industry. The course will also introduce concepts such as sustainability, planning, and ethical responsibility. This course is required of all T&H majors. There are no prerequisites.

TAH 211 Tourism Product Development

This course teaches students how to identify, develop, and promote tourism and hospitality products and services. Issues such as marketing, sales, advertising, and promotion for the tourism and hospitality industry will be explored, along with basic planning and financial topics. Case studies from Maine and New England, as well as other regions, will be used to illustrate both areas of opportunity and challenges to product development. This course is required of all T&H majors and is the entry course for the concentration Tourism Products and Promotion. There are no prerequisites.

TAH 221 Tourism and Hospitality Management

This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of management related to the tourism and hospitality industry. Topics include financial management and accounting, human resource issues, hotel and resort management, food and beverage management, and event management. Examples drawn from Maine and New England will illustrate key principles and guidelines. Students will also be introduced to standards, practices, regulations and laws in the tourism and hospitality industry. This course is required of all T&H majors and is the entryway for the concentration Managing in the Hospitality Industry. There are no prerequisites.

TAH 231 Sustainability in Tourism and Hospitality

This course provides students with a general overview of issues related to the sustainable planning and management of tourism and hospitality businesses. Concepts such as planning, conservation of resources, monitoring and assessment, environmental audits, visitor management, and green building construction and retrofits will be discussed. The course also provides a larger global and regional perspective on sustainability issues related to tourism, such as the impact of travel on global climate change. This course is required of all T&H majors and is the entryway for the concentration Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality. There are no prerequisites.

TAH 241 Tourism & Community Development

Students will learn about how tourism can be used as a tool for economic development, as well as the impacts that it can have on a community’s sense of identity, control, and wellbeing. Topics will include economic development; social and cultural impacts; strategic planning; stakeholder theory; community participation; destination life cycles; marketing and promotion; and social conflict. Case studies from Maine, New England, and beyond will be used to illustrate both the positive and negative aspects of linking community development to tourism and hospitality. This course is the entryway for the concentration Planning for Tourism Development. There are no prerequisites.

TAH 261 Introduction to Cultural Tourism

This course explores the many dimensions of cultural tourism, including how arts, crafts, local heritage, history, and other elements of culture can be incorporated into tourism planning and development. Topics covered include the meaning, value, and potential tourism roles of historical sites and monuments, festivals and other events, local and regional arts and artisans, archaeological and other cultural heritage sites, and museums and other educational institutions. Complex issues such as cultural identity and representation and authenticity and commoditization will be explored. This course is the entryway for the concentration Cultural, Arts & Heritage Tourism. There are no prerequisites.

TAH 301 Global Issues in Travel &Tourism                                                

As one of the world’s largest industries, and one that brings travelers and host communities into close contact, tourism and travel are rife with challenges. This course delves into these issues from a social science perspective, showing how tourism affects travelers and communities in complex and contentious ways, from commoditization of art forms to sex tourism, drug use, and changes in local economies and culture. It also explores the connection of tourism to global issues such as infectious diseases, climate change, and terrorism. This course is required of T&H majors and also meets the USM Core requirement for Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility and Citizenship. Prerequisite: TAH 101 or permission of instructor.

TAH 311 Festival & Event Planning and Management

Festivals are an important part of the tourism sector and a way that many communities attract visitors and revenue while respecting local needs and traditions. In this class, students will examine many types of festivals, from those focused around music and the arts to food, local culture, and religious or historical events. Students will learn the basics of planning and managing festivals of various sizes and durations and explore ways of promoting and marketing local events. Students may have the opportunity to visit local or regional events and learn directly about them from planners and promoters. Prerequisite: TAH 211, 221, or 261, or permission of instructor.

TAH 331 Sustainable Hospitality Management

This class focuses on the practical applications of sustainability principles and techniques to the planning and management of tourism and hospitality businesses. Taught by faculty experienced in designing and implementing sustainable hospitality guidelines, it will take students through the steps of assessing planned or existing businesses and making or recommending steps to make these businesses more environmentally sustainable. State, national, and international guidelines for sustainable businesses will be examined, and students will have the opportunity to do audits or other exercises to apply their knowledge in actual settings. Prerequisite: TAH 231 or permission of instructor.

TAH 341 Tourism, Development & Sustainability

Tourism is one of the largest global industries and a major source of cross-cultural interactions and cultural change. This course provides theoretical understandings of tourism’s economic, environmental, and social benefits and impacts on local communities and environments, using case studies to illustrate various types of tourism in several regions of the world. Students will conduct their own research based on published literature and other sources and present their findings in class and a final paper. Prerequisite: TAH 101, 231, or 241, or permission of instructor.

TAH 408 Practicum in Tourism & Hospitality

This course combines a professional work placement with a final project designed to complete a concentration requirement. Students work with a faculty member and a client organization, business, or community to gain work experience (generally at least 100 hours) and create a final product, such as a research report, website, promotional material, conference or other event, etc., that serves the client’s needs. This course is intended to meet the USM Core requirement for a capstone experience. Prerequisites: T&H major; senior status; completion of all other requirements for a concentration; permission of supervising faculty member.

TAH 409 Tourism and Hospitality Internship

Students complete a 400-hour professional internship related to their primary concentration in the major. This might include working for a hotel, restaurant, or other business; for a tourism association or agency; or for a local community engaged in tourism planning and development. Students may complete more than one such experience depending on their chosen concentration(s). This course is intended to meet the USM Core requirement for a capstone experience. Prerequisites: T&H major; senior status; completion of all other requirements for a concentration; permission of supervising faculty member.

TAH 410 Topics in Tourism Promotion

Special topics related to the development and promotion of tourism and hospitality products and services will be examined. Experienced faculty from various sectors of the travel industry will share their experiences and insights, addressing the potential and challenges of developing and promoting specific types of tourism such as resorts, adventure travel, cruise ships, ecotourism, and niche businesses. Emerging trends in tourism promotion, such as new social media and participatory marketing, will be explored for their potential and limitations. Prerequisite: TAH 211 or 221, or permission of instructor.

TAH 415 Trends and Innovation in Tourism & Hospitality

Students will be introduced to major trends and innovations in contemporary tourism and hospitality, with a focus on identifying opportunities for Maine and New England. In addition to studying global and national trends in travel, the course will look at specific innovations that create new prospects for tourism in the region or demand for new types of products such as green tourism. Guest lecturers from the tourism industry, and trips to experience innovative products or services, may be employed. Prerequisite: TAH 211 or 221, or permission of instructor.

TAH 420 Topics in Hospitality Management

Topics related to the planning and management of businesses, events, and attractions in the tourism and hospitality industry will be explored. Faculty from industry and academia with expertise in specific topics will share their insights and experiences in managing businesses ranging from hotels, resorts, and campgrounds, to wilderness excursions and wildlife viewing, to tourism attractions large and small throughout Maine and beyond. Emphasis will be on providing practical skills and knowledge that students can use in planning and managing businesses or working within the tourism and hospitality industry. Prerequisite: TAH 211 or 221, or permission of instructor.

TAH 460 Topics in Cultural Tourism

This course looks at specific topics in cultural tourism, drawing upon experiences of regular and visiting faculty in Tourism and Hospitality. The role of the arts in tourism; interpretation of culture and history at historical sites and museums; issues in cultural heritage and identity; the challenges of performance spaces and events; and the relation of tourism to the creative economy may be examined. Theoretical and critical issues such as commoditization, cultural authenticity, and representation of identity will also be explored. Prerequisite: TAH 261 or permission of instructor.