2013-14 Catalogs

Course Descriptions

TAH 101 The Travel Experience: Introduction to Tourism & Hospitality
This course is an introduction to the major concepts, issues, and theories of tourism and hospitality as an economic sector and topic of academic study. The course covers a broad range of topics related to the travel experience, from tourism as an industry to the impacts it has on communities and places, as well as on travelers themselves. Students will also be introduced to key elements of the hospitality industry and opportunities for employment within this industry. The course will introduce concepts such as sustainability, planning, and ethical responsibility. This course is required of all TAH majors.

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, are used to illustrate areas of opportunity and challenges to product development. This is the introductory course for the concentration Tourism Products and Promotion.

TAH 221 Tourism and Hospitality Management
This course introduces students to 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 from Maine and New England illustrate key principles and guidelines. Students will be introduced to standards, practices, regulations and laws in the tourism and hospitality industry. This is the introductory course for the concentration Managing in the Hospitality Industry.

TAH 231 Sustainability in Tourism and Hospitality
Provides students with an overview of 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 will be discussed. The course also provides a global and regional perspective on sustainability issues related to tourism, such as the impact of travel on climate change. This course is the entryway for the concentration Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality.

TAH 241 Tourism & Community Development
Students learn about tourism as a tool for economic development and the impacts it can have on a community's sense of identity, control, and wellbeing. Topics 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, illustrate the challenges of linking community development to tourism and hospitality. This is the introductory course for the concentration Tourism Development and Planning.

TAH 251 Ecotourism and Sustainable Development
Examines the growing role of ecotourism, or travel to natural areas with benefits to local communities, as a tool for sustainable economic development both in Maine and worldwide. Students will learn about the value of small-scale, environmentally sustainable tourism businesses, and their potential role in protecting critical habitats and wildlife while supporting the needs of local residents and communities. Course also examines the challenges and problems associated with such development, from corporate greenwashing and economic leakage to the impacts of tourism on potentially fragile ecosystems, cultural sites and local communities.

TAH 261 Introduction to Cultural Tourism
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 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. Issues such as cultural identity and representation and authenticity and commoditization will be explored. This is the entryway for the concentration Cultural, Arts & Heritage Tourism.

TAH 299 Topics in Tourism and Hospitality
Courses with this designation include special topics in various aspects of tourism and hospitality, offered on a one-time or experimental basis. This designation may also include courses that are cross-listed with other majors at USM and taught by faculty from those programs. Specific titles and course descriptions for upcoming courses can be found in the Course Search section of MaineStreet. More information may also be found in the Advising section of the TAH program website. Prerequisites vary by individual course; please see MaineStreet.
 
TAH 301 Global Issues in Travel and 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 TAH majors. Prerequisite: TAH 101 or permission of instructor.

TAH 309 Tourism and Hospitality Experience
Students complete a professional experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, such as in lodging or food service, attractions, transportation, retail, marketing and promotion, or travel services. The nature of the experience would be detailed in advance, and the student would work with a faculty advisor to update them on their activities on a regular basis and provide a final report and evaluation. This course may also be used for recording credit obtained through the Office of Prior Learning Assessment. Students may repeat this course for up to six credits. Prerequisites: TAH major; permission of supervising faculty.

TAH 311 Event Planning and Management
Festivals, meetings, conferences and special events are an important part of the tourism sector. In this class, students will examine many types of events including food and music festivals, sporting events, business conferences and meetings, and celebratory events such as weddings. Students will learn how to plan and manage events of various sizes and durations, and explore ways of promoting and marketing events that respect local traditions and celebrate community assets. Students may have the opportunity to visit local or regional events and meet planners and promoters. Prerequisite: TAH 211, 221, or 261, or permission of instructor.

TAH 331 Sustainable Hospitality Management
Focuses on 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, the course will take students through the steps of assessing planned or existing businesses and making these businesses more sustainable. Certification 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 industry settings. Prerequisite: TAH 231 or permission of instructor.

TAH 341 Tourism, Development and Sustainability
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. Theories and concepts such as destination life cycles, community planning, impact assessment, destination management, and culture change will be examined. 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 399 Topics in Tourism and Hospitality
Courses with this designation include special topics in various aspects of tourism and hospitality, offered on a one-time or experimental basis. This designation may also include courses that are cross-listed with other majors at USM and taught by faculty from those programs. Specific titles and course descriptions for upcoming courses can be found in the Course Search section of MaineStreet. More information may also be found in the Advising section of the TAH program website. Prerequisites vary by individual course; please see MaineStreet.

TAH 406 Research in Tourism & Hospitality
Students will conduct independent research guided by a faculty supervisor on an approved subject related to tourism or hospitality. Research may include literature reviews and qualitative or quantitative methods as determined in collaboration with the supervisor, and possibly with external clients or collaborators. Students must propose a research topic prior to the semester in which the research is to take place, and with enough time to allow the supervisor to approve or amend the proposed research subject. This course may serve as the student’s capstone experience if approved as such by the faculty advisor and program chair. Prerequisites: TAH major; permission of faculty supervisor.

TAH 407 Field Study in Tourism & Hospitality
This course involves travel to one or more sites outside of Maine and combines tourism activities with research, active learning, and community engagement. Actual courses will vary from year to year and may be taught by USM faculty, outside instructors, or a combination. Courses may focus on ecotourism, community development, cultural tourism, sustainable tourism, volunteer tourism, or other areas. Students may also attend an external field course they have identified and which their TAH advisor agrees meets the goals of this course. They would then obtain program approval to register for this course and will receive credit upon completion of agreed-upon assignments. Prerequisites: TAH major; permission of faculty advisor.

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 client organization, business, or community to gain work experience (generally at least 100 hours) and create or assist with a tangible product, such as a research report, website, promotional material, or conference or other event, that serves the client's needs. Prerequisites: TAH major; completion of all other requirements for a concentration; permission of supervising faculty.

TAH 409 Tourism and Hospitality Internship
Students complete a 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 internship depending on their chosen concentration(s). Prerequisites: TAH major; completion of all other requirements for a concentration; permission of supervising faculty.

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 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 101, 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 101, 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 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 practical skills and knowledge that students can use in planning and managing businesses or working within the tourism and hospitality industry. Prerequisite: TAH 101, 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.