Public Affairs

CSU Hospitality Industry Advisory Board Discusses Challenges and Opportunities

June 2, 2010
By Erik Fallis

Caroline Beteta and Chancellor Charles B. Reed

Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of the California Travel and Tourism Commission, chairs a meeting with hospitality industry leaders and CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed.

Chancellor Charles B. Reed met with the CSU Hospitality Industry Advisory Board in Long Beach, on June 1.  The board focused on recruiting students, providing mentoring, creating more internships and developing placement programs.  The board also discussed how the university and industry partners could work together to underscore the importance of hospitality related degree programs to the state of California.

"California is the largest travel destination in the United States, and the state's tourism industry supports more than 900,000 jobs," said Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of the California Travel and Tourism Commission.  "These are jobs that cannot be outsourced, and cannot be sent out of state."

Unfortunately, like many industries, the hospitality industry has seen a decline during the recession.  Yet, Beteta was encouraged that the projections for the next year showed a marginal improvement.

Chancellor Reed also shared some of the difficulties the university faced in 2009-2010, and some reasons for optimism in terms of increased funding for the next budget year. The chancellor presented some of the findings of the recently completed CSU economic impact study reporting that the more than $17 billion in economic activity directly results from CSU-related spending.  The CSU also continues to award 64 percent of all hospitality-related bachelor's degrees in California.

Jeri Echeverria, CSU Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Academic Officer, discussed the university's graduation initiative.  This presentation sparked a discussion by the board members about ways they could contribute to helping students graduate.  Suggestions included recruiting freshmen, sophomores and community college transfer students into hospitality degree programs early – so the students would have a clear educational path, benefit from advising in the field, and have a better idea of possible career paths after college.