Tourism and Hospitality

Course List

Note: Some course titles and descriptions were revised in Fall 2015. For earlier versions, see the list kept on the TAH Blackboard site [must be current TAH student] or contact the program chair.

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. 3 cr.

TAH 209 Tourism & Hospitality Internship I
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. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

TAH 221 Introduction to Hospitality Management
This course introduces students to fundamental concepts of management related to the 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. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

TAH 231 Introduction to Sustainable Tourism
This course provides an overview of sustainable tourism and hospitality. We will explore concepts such as environmental planning, monitoring and assessment, visitor management, green lodging, and working with communities. The course also looks at the global impacts of tourism, such as its contribution to climate change and other environmental conditions. We will also examine ideas such as ecotourism and community-based tourism for their values of sustainability. 3 cr.

TAH 241 Tourism & Community 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. 3 cr.

TAH 250 Nature Based & Adventure 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. 3 cr. 

TAH 251 Ecotourism & 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 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. The 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. 3 cr.

TAH 252 Tourism, Wildlife & Biodiversity
This course explores links between global tourism and biodiversity, including threats to nature when tourism is done improperly and the potential role of tourism in conservation. Focusing on biodiversity hot spots in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the poles, it considers how activities such as wildlife viewing, forest canopy tours, adventure travel, photography, and outdoor recreation can promote conservation, scientific research, education, and public awareness of biodiversity and related issues. 3 cr.

TAH 261 Introduction to 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. 3 cr.

TAH 262 Women, Arts & Global Tourism
All over the world women are improving their socioeconomic status, investing in their families, and contributing to community development through involvement in tourism arts and crafts production. We will learn about the historical and contemporary experiences of women from North and South America, Africa, Asia and other international settings. The course will explore themes of cultural heritage, culture change, traditional versus tourist art, gender equity, empowerment and community development. 3 cr.

TAH 263 Food & Culture
Food plays a central role in the human experience, shaping past and present cultures. It has strong symbolic importance, can bring people together, and motivates people to travel the world. Using engaged learning techniques students will be introduced to topics such as prehistoric human diets, cultural diversity in food preference and avoidance, recipes/cookbooks and the stories they tell, food tourism, agribusiness, the local food movement, and medical issues around food. 3 cr.

TAH 264 Introduction to 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. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

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, and fulfills the TAH requirement for Intercultural Awareness and Communication. 3 cr.

TAH 307 Field Study in Tourism & Hospitality
This 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. 3 cr.

TAH 309 Tourism & Hospitality Internship II
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. 3 cr.

TAH 311 Event Planning & 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. 3 cr. 

TAH 312 Tour Group 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. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

TAH 322 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. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

TAH 340 Topics in Event Planning
This course examines specific types of events from a planning and management perspective, providing both theory and practical examples. Potential topics of specific sections include conferences, meetings and conventions; weddings, banquets and receptions; festivals, fairs and concerts; and large-scale sporting events. Students will examine case studies and may be able to apply course concepts to one or more actual events at USM or in the community. 3 cr.

TAH 341 Tourism, Development & 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. 3 cr.

TAH 350 Topics in Adventure Tourism
This course covers specialized topics related to understanding, developing, managing and marketing various types of adventure tourism products. Topics explored may include outdoor recreation, adventure sports such as mountaineering, and travel to extreme destinations such as the arctic and space. Some classes will focus on Maine’s adventure tourism industry, while others may explore national and international case studies. Guest speakers, site visits and other experiences will connect students with real-world examples. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

TAH 406 Capstone: Applied 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 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. 3-6 cr.

TAH 407 Capstone: 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 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 supervisor. 3-6 cr.

TAH 408 Capstone: 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 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; permission of supervising faculty. 3-6 cr.

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. 3-6 cr.

TAH 410 Seminar in Tourism Promotion
In this upper-level seminar, 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: At least one TAH course or permission of instructor. 3 cr.

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. 3 cr.

TAH 420 Seminar in Hospitality Management
This upper-level seminar covers topics related to the planning and management of businesses, events, and attractions in the tourism and hospitality industry. 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. 3 cr.

TAH 440 Applied Topics in Event Planning
In this advanced course, students will apply concepts of event planning, management and promotion to an actual event at USM or in the surrounding region. The event itself will be determined in advance and described in the course topic notes on MaineStreet. Possible events include art, music or food festivals; conferences and meetings; receptions and galas; or sports-related events. This course requires prior event planning coursework or experience. Prerequisite: TAH 311 or TAH 340 or BUS 316, or permission of instructor. 3 cr.

TAH 460 Seminar in Cultural Tourism
This advanced seminar looks at specific topics in cultural tourism, drawing upon experiences of regular and visiting faculty. 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 be explored. 3 cr.