|Implementing US tips in Georgian tourism educational system|
|May 16, 2008|
May 16, 2008
The project was implemented with the aim of developing students’ future careers, and enabling lecturers’ to further their professional skills to gain knowledge in their specific fields.
Tourism and hospitality management expert, Professor Kevin Anthony, of the College of the Canyons, Santa Clarita, California, traveled from the US to share his extensive knowledge with the course participants at TSU.
Being involved with such high-class hoteliers coming soon in the country like Radisson, Hilton, Park Hyatt, Intercontinental and others, Professor Anthony delivered all of the necessary information for students to work for excellent companies and have the excellent jobs.
As Georgia’s most perspective direction of economy is developed tourism management according to its geo-political situation, the country has always been in the center of attention among other nations.
Nowadays Georgian educational system is strongly directed to European structure and that was the main reason of the project, which included visit of an American Professor for Tourism Management and providing workshops to students and faculty members of the same field in Georgia.
The training proved to be extremely helpful for the representatives of hotel management who were in attendance, as well as for those students who are planning to enter into such a career after completing their studies.
Tata Balavadze, UGRAD exchange program graduate and one of the organizers of the project stated: “The main idea of the project met straightforward to what we have planned about 9 months ago. In my opinion, the training was up-to-date to what we really witness in the fields of tourism and real estate.”
Balavadze continued: “Since his arrival, the Professor did his best to share the knowledge and experiences with the students and lecturers. The workshop turned out to be extremely successful, and the attending audience really enjoyed the lecturer’s unique manner of explaining and delivering information with appropriate real-life examples.”
The students at TSU will directly benefit from the knowledge passed on to the attending lecturers and professors by Prof Anthony during this course. For many students, it proved to be an insightful taste of things to come in their future studies and careers.
Currently, there is a lack of skilled and knowledgeable lecturers in the field of tourism management in Georgia, so this course enabled the students to access information not usually available to them.
The project lasted for four days: three days of training and one day for the cultural education of the visiting professor. The day-out included a visit to Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia, its historical churches and other places of interest; to show the Professor the vast cultural heritage of Georgia. A final trip to Sighnaghi, one of the most significant parts of Kakheti, made a big impact on Professor Anthony.
As a matter of fact, the whole event provided a great motivation to promote Georgia in the United States.
Many foreigners have stereotypical opinions of Georgia, if they have formed any opinion at all. It is important to invite tourists to experience the country for themselves, so that they do not have to pander to stereotypes that usually hold very little truth.
“Georgia is just like a little child who will grow and explode in a couple of years. In my opinion, building a stereotype with help of such massive 5star hotels is not in need, because tourism is not about that. Tourism is made of regular people visiting the country in order to experience and feel the soul of the country, and believe me, regular tourists would not be willing to stay in an expensive and fashionable hotel that they have at home,” stated Professor Anthony in an interview with Georgia Today.
“I see that Georgia has the biggest advantage in the field of hotel management. You have the attitude and nice inside world that can not be taught. The training is good for developing skills but there are some things that you have to have in the personality. I haven’t heard Marriott being awarded in the States; however, I read in your newspaper that Tbilisi’s Marriott was awarded in five different nominees. It is just amazing to me, and a big progress for your country,” he added.
The project also aimed to promote the American educational system in different universities of Georgia. It also assisted students to enter into careers in the tourism field.
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