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Training and Preparation for Tourism Careers


Training and preparation for Tourism careers

What Kind of Training Do I Need for a Career in Tourism?
“The best way to start or get ahead in the tourism industry is through training,” says Jenni Hopkyns, Manager of Training Services at Tourism British Columbia. “Over the years, we’ve heard many anecdotes from employers about the importance of programs such as FOODSAFE, SuperHost® and emerit – all of which can help you develop your skills and grow within the industry.”

Here are some training programs you should consider:

  • FOODSAFE™: A program focusing on the dangers and prevention of food poisoning. In fact, operators of a food establishment must have a FOODSAFE certificate. Regardless of whether you’re applying for an entry-level or senior position, potential employees who have completed this training are usually the preferred candidates. This training can be done in the classroom or via correspondence. go2 is the only organization to offer this training program through distance education. For more information, visit FOODSAFE.
  • Serving It Right™: A self-study program that teaches the responsible service of alcohol. In order to work as a bartender or serve in a liquor establishment in BC, you are required to have this certificate. While this program provides excellent training for all servers, it is necessary for those working in private liquor stores, casinos and lounges. For more information, visit Serving It Right.
  • WorldHost®: Internationally recognized workshops for training in customer service. With various workshops ranging from the fundamentals of SuperHost® customer service to how to offer the best service across cultures and to those with disabilities, these workshops provide an effective training tool for anyone dedicated to providing exceptional customer service. For more information, visit Tourism BC.
  • emerit Professional Certification: A line of Canadian-made tourism training products to help take your career to the next level. In fact, when employees earn emerit Certification, they rank among the best in their fields in terms of skills, knowledge and attitude. emerit gives you the tools to master the necessary skills in meeting and exceeding customer expectations – helping you open more doors for advancement in your tourism career. For more information, visit emerit.
  • WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System): WHMIS training, Canada’s hazard classification and information standard, is a national requirement for all employees who may come in contact with hazardous materials at work. The program is convenient and user-friendly, allowing students to train at their own pace, at any time and from any location with a computer that has an Internet connection. For more information, visit
  • First Aid Certification: All companies within British Columbia are required by law to meet the requirements of WorkSafeBC in terms of first aid services—including having at least one staff member who is certified in first aid treatment. For more information, visit under Safety.

Do I Need a Post-secondary Degree to Pursue a Career in Tourism?
Tourism is an increasingly sophisticated sector, and as with every industry, post-secondary education will offer you more opportunities to advance into management positions. Ideally, a combination of education and experience will help you move forward in your career. Here are some of the post-secondary schools in BC that offer tourism courses and programs.

  • Art Institute of Vancouver – various courses in hospitality management, culinary arts and restaurant management
  • BC Institute of Technology (BCIT) – various courses in marketing and tourism management
  • Camosun College – various courses in golf management, business administration, hotel and restaurant management and culinary arts
  • Canadian Tourism College – various courses in hospitality and resort business management, golf tourism, travel agent training, adventure tourism and flight attendant training
  • Capilano U – various programs in tourism management, destination resort management, outdoor recreation, wilderness leadership and event management
  • College of New Caledonia – various courses in hospitality management, northern outdoor recreation and tourism administration
  • College of the Rockies – various programs in adventure tourism, eco-tourism, culinary arts, event management and recreation management
  • Douglas College – various courses in tourism and restaurant management
  • Langara College – various courses in nutrition and food service, recreation leadership, travel and tourism
  • North Island College – various courses in adventure tourism, culinary arts, food and beverage management and travel counselling
  • Northwest Community College – various courses in eco-adventure tourism, culinary arts, entrepreneurship and wilderness guiding
  • Okanagan College – various courses in cooking and culinary arts
  • Simon Fraser University – various courses and programs in business administration, marketing, business management, and professional development
  • Thompson Rivers University – various programs in accommodation management, adventure guiding and food and beverage management
  • University of Northern British Columbia – various programs in natural resources management and resource-based tourism
  • University of Victoria – bachelor of commerce in hospitality services management
  • Vancouver Community College – hospitality management degree, baking and culinary arts courses
  • Vancouver Island University – various courses in Aboriginal sports management, culinary arts, hospitality and tourism management

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