Growing Hospitality and Tourism Through the Grapevine
July 7, 2011
By Stephanie Thara
In 2010, tourism generated $95.1 billion in spending in California, supporting approximately 873,000 jobs. Hospitality and tourism are vital pieces to what makes California’s economy thrive. The California State University values placing experienced professionals in the workforce, armed with the skills needed to enhance the profession.
The CSU confers 94 percent of hospitality administration and management undergraduate degrees in California, and produces 64 percent of the tourism graduates in the state. Furthermore, the CSU is the only university in California with a bachelor’s degree program in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Studies.
CSU campuses offer courses that prepare students for hospitality industry segments, such as food and beverage, lodging, travel and tourism, events management, casino gaming and club management. Whether it is a desire to work as a president for a restaurant chain, a chief executive officer of a gourmet catering company, a park ranger at a national park or an activities director of a cruise ship, the CSU offers a vast array of degree options that allow students to be flexible in which jobs they choose to pursue in the hospitality and tourism fields.
Along with offering bachelor’s degrees relating to recreation administration, hospitality, tourism, food service and hotel management, CSU campuses offer degrees that impact these areas. One such campus is Sonoma State University, which offers a wine business program degree and a master's degree in business administration with a concentration in wine business. SSU’s Wine Business Institute is the first and only program in the United States to focus exclusively on the business aspects of the wine industry. Additionally, the institute offers courses in wine marketing, wine finance and accounting, wine business strategies and wine production, and operations and distribution. Furthermore, the program provides students with the latest industry news, professional development opportunities, jobs and internships.