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University, tourism sector partner to ease the terrible impact of COVID-19

Staff at tourism operations will be supported to study through the challenging industry downturn caused by COVID-19.

The University of Tasmania and Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania (TICT) are partnering to offer industry-relevant places on scholarship, providing people at no cost study options usually worth thousands of dollars.

TICT chief executive Luke Martin said hundreds of employees in the sector were covered by the Federal Government’s Jobkeeper payment, but working in businesses in hibernation because of COVID-19-related public health restrictions.

“In the midst of this crisis, we need to keep our workforce engaged as much as we can and to ensure we are in the best possible shape when restrictions are eased and we’re working our way back to business as usual,” Mr Martin said.

“We acknowledge these are really tough times and supporting people to study is a way we can help both our people and our industry be in the best possible shape when we meet the challenge that COVID-19 has thrown at us.”

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Rufus Black said tourism and hospitality had been a cornerstone of Tasmania’s economic and cultural resurgence in recent years.

“It has been devastating to see the hard work and ingenuity of Tasmanian operators and their staff undercut by something which is completely beyond their control,” he said.

“We see these courses as a way of supporting Tasmania and Tasmanians to stay engaged, to build knowledge, knowing that will support the sector and its people until such a time that the impact of COVID-19 passes.”

Members of the TICT and the Australian Hotels Association, as well as other interested Tasmanians, will be able to complete a new Graduate Certificate in either Business Studies or Tourism, Environmental and Cultural Heritage. The four units of study in these courses will take one semester to complete if studying full-time, but can also be undertaken part-time.

People should register their interest at utas.edu.au/grad-cert

The sort of practical skills and knowledge acquired during the graduate certificates would include:

· Using digital analytics to support business marketing;

· How to leverage the Tasmanian brand to support businesses;

· Building core capacity in business management, including marketing, management and financial decision-making;

· Courses which focus on consumer decision-making, segmentation and target marketing, promotions, product development, distributions channels and pricing;

· Understanding key elements of financial reporting and how financial data can be used to make effective business decisions.

University of Tasmania tourism expert Associate Professor Anne Hardy said: “Across Tasmania, we have countless examples where our graduates are applying the things they have learned to the operation and development of Tasmanian enterprises.

“That was true before COVID-19 arrived and it will be equally important when the challenge of the virus has passed and the sector is rebuilding.”

The University previously announced a Schools Recommendation Scheme offering a clear pathway to higher education or Year 12s and recently launched a Wellbeing Toolkit, containing a range of subjects at no cost to Tasmanians to support them through the relative isolation of the COVID-19 response.

Image: Associate Professor Anne Hardy with Master of Tourism, Environmental and Cultural Heritage students at Cradle Mountain. Credit: Osborne Images.

Published on: 13 May 2020 12:42pm