2020-21 Catalogs

Course Descriptions

TAH 101 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. This course is required of all TAH majors. Cr 3.

TAH 150 Professional Practices Immersion in Tourism & Hospitality
This course is designed to teach basic professional practices for the hospitality industry in an intensive weekend format and to foster a sense of community among participants. The course includes components on customer service, writing and email etiquette, public speaking, leadership in tough situations, meeting and classroom etiquette, networking, communication skills, interviewing skills, and resume building. Students will explore tourism and hospitality internship and career options and form the basis for a network in developing professional relations.  This course is required for all TAH majors. Prerequisites: TAH major or minor; or permission of the instructor. Cr. 3

TAH 211 Tourism Entrepreneurship
This course studies entrepreneurship in the tourism industry. Students will learn to identify and develop potential products as well as plan and promote tourism and hospitality businesses. Understanding markets, customer demand, pricing, finances, marketing, sales, and operations of new ventures will all be explored through the business planning process. Case studies and field trips engage students with local entrepreneurs who have taken their ideas and created successful tourism-based businesses. Students will gain experience in innovation and creation of their own business or new tourism product. Cr 3.

TAH 221 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, and food and beverage 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.  Cr 3.

TAH 222 Food and Beverage Management
This course covers basic management principles and practices for the food and beverage service industries, such as preparation, safe food handling, budgeting and operations, menu development, human resources, marketing, catering and event planning. Instructors and guest speakers from industry will offer expertise and guidance on day-to-day management, strategic planning, and other areas of restaurant and food service management. Cr 3.

TAH 224 Off-site Catering
The catering and special events industries are among the fastest-growing segments within the hospitality industry. This course focuses on off-premise catering for social and business functions, and the management of large-scale independent events, such as sporting events, weddings, and festivals. Students will plan and execute an event. Cr. 3.

TAH 226 Wellness Tourism
This course provides an overview of wellness tourism by looking at the seven unique areas of wellness including physical, psychological and spiritual activities. This course will investigate global and financial impacts of wellness tourism and provide an opportunity for students to engage in wellness activities outside the classroom. Cr. 3

TAH 228 Introduction to the Craft Beer Sector
Introduction to brewing basics and associated processes, from raw materials to final product; history of brewing and brewing science; types of beer worldwide; world beer markets; beer quality basics. Introduction into the craft beer tourism sector in Maine. Basic serving skills will be introduced as well as beverage costing methods. Cr. 3

TAH 241 Sustainable Tourism Development
Students learn about tourism as a tool for economic and community development and the impacts it can have on a community's sense of identity, control, and wellbeing. Topics linking community development theory to tourism and hospitality development include economic development; social and cultural impacts; strategic planning; stakeholder theory; first impression analysis; community participation; destination life cycles; marketing and promotion; and social conflict resolution. Students engage with local communities to do real tourism development work as part of the learning process. Cr 3.

TAH 250 Nature Tourism
This course looks at tourism products involving nature-based environments and activities, including the importance of this sector in Maine. Students will learn about different natural environments and various types of outdoor activities including “soft” and “hard” adventure tourism, consumptive and non-consumptive forms of recreation, and emerging areas such as extreme adventure. Issues of sustainability, accessibility, risk, and destination planning and management will be explored. Students will learn from guest speakers and possible field trips to explore adventure tourism sites and activities in Maine. Cr 3.

TAH 261 Cultural Tourism
This class 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 events, local art and artisans, archaeological and cultural heritage sites, and museums and educational institutions. Issues such as cultural identity and representation, authenticity and commoditization will be analyzed. Cr 3.

TAH 264 Culinary Tourism
Culinary tourism, also called gastronomic tourism, is an increasingly popular form of travel involving consuming, purchasing, creating, and learning about foods and beverages and their associated histories and cultures. This course is a survey of the wide variety of culinary tourism activities available in different regions and countries. It also provides an introduction to the creation and marketing of food and beverage-related tourism experiences. Students will have the opportunity to experience culinary tourism and meet industry professionals who have created events and destinations for culinary tourists. Cr 3.

TAH 299 Topics in Tourism & 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 MaineStreet and in the advising section of the TAH program website. Cr 3.
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 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. Cr 3.

TAH 302 Tourism Research Methods
Students learn to conduct tourism-related research using a variety of methods from anthropology and related fields, including interviewing, observation, and surveys. The course also explores issues of research ethics, such as working with human populations and protecting sensitive data. Students will work individually or in teams on one or more projects related to tourism planning, development, evaluation or impacts. Cr 3.

TAH 305 Culture & Communication in the Travel Industry
This course explores the challenges of communication between people from different cultures in the context of travel and tourism. Specific topics include the role of cultural patterns, verbal and nonverbal codes in interpersonal relationships; obstacles to effective intercultural communication; causes of and ways to avoid or manage intercultural conflict; and skills necessary for cultural adaptation and coping with culture shock. This class is valuable for anyone planning to work in travel, hospitality or related fields. Cr 3.

TAH 307 Field Study in Tourism & Hospitality
This travel course involves travel to one or more sites inside or outside of Maine and combines tourism activities with research, active learning, and/or community engagement. Actual courses will vary 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. Cr 3-6.

TAH 309 Tourism & Hospitality Internship 
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. Prerequisites: TAH major or minor; permission of supervising faculty. Cr 1-6.

TAH 311 Event Management
Festivals, meetings, conferences and special events are an important part of the tourism sector. In this class students, through work on a real event, will learn how to plan and manage events, and explore ways of promoting and marketing events that respect local traditions and celebrate community assets. Students will also be introduced to various types of events including food and music festivals, sporting events, conferences and meetings, and celebratory events such as weddings and reunions. Students will be immersed in the work of event planning and meet real planners and promoters. Cr 3.

TAH 312 Tour Planning & Management
This course builds skills in the creation, planning, and oversight of group-based travel such as packages and charter tours. Students will investigate various types of travel packages and how tour companies, travelers, host communities, and indigenous cultures intersect in the travel and tour planning and management process. With a community partner, students will apply their knowledge and skills to the creation of Maine-based group travel tours. Cr 3.

TAH 320 Green Meetings and Events
This course is designed to provide an overview of sustainable event management and to show the ways in which environmental and responsible practices are impacting meetings and events, hospitality, and tourism industries.  Topics will include pollution, waste management, transportation, carbon calculation, environmental design, sustainable venues, ethical catering, social responsibility, and marketing. Cr 3.

TAH 321 Lodging Operations & Systems
This course examines operating procedures and systems for managing various types of lodging facilities, including hotels, resorts, and inns. Topics covered include front desk operations, reservation systems, housekeeping and maintenance, inventory management systems, guest policies, internal and external communication, human resources, and security and risk management. Prerequisite: TAH 101 or TAH 221, or permission of instructor. Cr 3.

TAH 331 Sustainable Hospitality Management
This course focuses on the application of sustainability principles and techniques to the planning and management of tourism and hospitality businesses. It is taught by faculty experienced in designing and implementing sustainable hospitality guidelines, and 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. Cr 3.

TAH 361 Local Food & Agritourism
This class explores where our food comes from and how it is produced within the context of the growing local food movement. It also examines the parallel increase in agritourism, which involves agricultural businesses diversifying to sustain traditional farm practices, educate the public, and attract visitors. Various agritourism models will be studied, including "farm to fork" businesses that provide local foods to area restaurants. Students will have the opportunity to visit and possibly conduct research with local agritourism businesses. Cr 3.

TAH 399 Advanced Topics in Tourism & Hospitality
Courses with this designation include advanced topics in specialized aspects of tourism and hospitality, offered on a one-time or trial 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 MaineStreet and in the advising section of the TAH program website. Prerequisites vary by individual course. Cr 3.

TAH 409 Capstone: Tourism & 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. Prerequisites: TAH major; permission of supervising faculty. Cr 1-6.

TAH 415 Trends & Innovation in Tourism and 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. Cr 3.

TAH 422 Hospitality Law and HR
This course will teach students how to legally manage a facility and people.  This course includes a comprehensive study of the legal aspects of the hospitality industry with an emphasis on compliance and prevention of liabilities.  Upon completing this course, the student will be able to demonstrate an informed understanding of the legal aspects of the hospitality industry. Cr 3.

TAH 424 Hospitality Financial Management
This course covers intermediate and advanced topics in hospitality financial management, including accounting for lodging and food service businesses, performance metrics across various hotel types, profit and loss evaluation, topline growth, revenue management, and systems integration. It also provides an introduction to new business evaluation, renovation considerations, STAR reporting, and tax issues. Cr 3.

TAH 426 Beverage Operations
This course introduces the beverage sector, including sensory perception, wine production, labeling, and styles. Planning topics include concept, production, selection, and service of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The course aims to give a comprehensive understanding of all beverages that may be encountered in the hospitality business. Cr 3.

TAH 432 Sustainable Tourism Policy & Planning
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. Cr 3.

TAH 497 Independent Study in Tourism & Hospitality
This course provides students the opportunity to pursue a project independently, planning and exploring an area of interest within the field of tourism and hospitality. Most independent study projects are library based; all are intellectually sound and reflect a high caliber of performance. Specific content and methods of evaluation are determined in conjunction with the instructor. An approved proposal is a necessary prerequisite to registration. Prerequisite: matriculation in the Tourism and Hospitality major and junior or senior standing. Cr 1-3.

TAH 499 Seminar in Tourism & Hospitality Management
This upper-level seminar covers topics related to aspects of tourism and hospitality, offered on a one-time or trial basis. Expert faculty from industry and academia will share their insights and experiences in managing businesses ranging from hotels and food service establishments 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: At least one TAH course, or permission of instructor. Cr 3.