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Educational aims

The 2nd cycle Degree Course in Tourism Systems and Hospitality Management at the University of Palermo aims at educating professionals possessing theoretical knowledge and advanced operational skills for the design and implementation of the inter-sectoral and infrastructural interventions, necessary for the qualification of tourist, hospitality and food systems. The course therefore aims at providing the strategic skills needed for coordinating and integrating local public and private and third sector resources. The course aims at analysing and knowing the territorial contexts; planning and managing, under a technical point of view, projects of intervention for local tourism development; promoting the communication necessary for the sustainable development and management of tourist systems, hospitality and gastronomy; promoting advanced socio-economic research methods to analyse the various components of the tourism system on the demand as well as on the supply side. The Course aims at educating professionals possessing: a) advanced and specific skills to design and implement, in an integrated framework of collaborations with other specialists, models for the development of local tourist systems; b) advanced and specific competences to operate in complex tourist contexts with an integrated supply of environmental, cultural heritage as well as of tourist attractions, for the continuous improvement of the offer and more generally of the hospitality system; c) specific competences in developing policies for the valorisation and management of the tourism potential of the region, in developing the supply of tourism services in various fields of the cultural heritage and events industry, of hospitality (incoming, hotel and complementary accommodation, catering, reception), mobility (tour operators, transport) and public administration; d) advanced skills in the management of tourist businesses in a territorial marketing perspective; e) ability to analyse the actual and potential tourist demand, expertise in segmentation analysis and territorial tourism marketing; f) ability to analyse tourism consumption, as a function of sustainability-driven tourism development. The course is entirely in English. An entry level B2 is required for this language. At the end of the course students will also possess good oral and written knowledge of at least one other language, besides Italian and English, at a level equal to B1. In order to achieve the specific course objectives, and to properly develop the skills in the design and management of tourist systems, a significant part of the credits of class specific activities will be allocated to the economic and management disciplines (business economics, the economy, management of tourism enterprises, business organization, partly held by US teachers, to applied economy and economic policy) and to legal and social disciplines (economic statistics and social statistics, applied to tourism) in order to refine the knowledge of tourism markets and their specific segments, on the supply and demand side. Finally, related or complementary training activities will include some disciplines related to the rural economy, and other disciplines related to the knowledge of the markets (supply and demand) of food and wine. Lastly, particular attention will be paid to highly qualifying and professionalizing internships, possibly abroad and, in particular, through Florida International University at US organizations and companies. Such experiences can be relevant and extremely useful also for the preparation of the final exam (degree dissertation).

work perspectives

Profile: Expert in planning, managing and marketing territorial tourism systems Functions: This is a professional working at public organizations or private associations providing services to agencies for regional development. They are expert in the exploitation of the natural, historical-cultural and social resources of the territory. They deal with the identification of the levers and concrete actions for the development and monitoring of a tourist destination in order to make it competitive and sustainable. They also deal with the identification and predisposition of the methods and tools for engaging stakeholder. The course prepares professionals capable of designing and implementing innovative plans designed to develop the regional tourist offer of the territory as well as the hospitality and reception system. Skills: Graduates of Course will achieve an interdisciplinary approach to tourism enabling them to operate within territorial tourism systems, in homogeneous or integrated contexts, including local (single destinations), regional, national and international contexts. They therefore acquire the tools for territorial tourism marketing, event management, and for the organization, valorisation and promotion of territorial resources, as well as of the hospitality and food and wine system. Graduates will possess the following skills: - ability to design and implementation of interventions for the promotion of cultural and environmental assets for tourist purposes and in the definition and promotion of new tourism products, namely related to culture and food and wine; - ability of identifying the forms and modalities of funding provided by the European Union Development Funds and related implementation documents at national and local level; - ability to manage the communication and commercialization of territorial tourism products. Career opportunities: The natural employment opportunities for this professionals might be found in: local development agencies, tourist systems, nature parks, cultural parks, UNESCO foundations. Profile: Expert in organizing, managing and marketing events Functions: Event organizers or event managers are professionals involved in the design, development, management and control of aggregating events within private or public organizations, aimed at organizing local events or territorial promotion events. They must be able to interpret the needs of the promoter of the event (buyer) to oversee all stages of the event, from the Event Project Management to Event Organization, from the event promotion and marketing to cost control, guaranteeing at the same time the full satisfaction of the end customer. They therefore carry out planning and coordination of all stages of the event: they manage the relations with the various suppliers (accommodation facilities, transport services, catering services, etc.), the provision of ongoing and subsequent monitoring and control for the success of the event. Skills: The specific skills of this professionals include event marketing, event communication, project management, and cost management and control Career opportunities: These professional may find career opportunities in: large event organization agencies, non-profit associations for local tourism development, local development agencies Profile: Expert in the design and marketing of territorial tourism products Functions: These professionals work both as freelancers and within public or private organizations. They deal with the construction of an offer aimed at the different segments of tourism demand; they are therefore able to grasp and study the needs of different tourist targets in order to build a specific tourist product for those needs. They also take care of the identification of the ways of promoting the offer with the various targets, acting as intermediaries between supply and demand. Skills: These professionals may assume roles requiring the following skills: - In-depth knowledge of local tourism systems and associated territorial products; - knowledge of specific tourist demand segments and segmentation techniques; - knowledge of the set of elements constituting complex tourist systems in general and tourist destinations in particular - knowledge of the principles of territorial marketing, - ability to manage the various functions related to the tourism product development process. Career opportunities: public and private consultancy companies, local development agencies, companies consortia, accommodation facilities, HORECA industry Profile: expert in territorial economic analysis and in tourism marketing research. Functions: graduates of this course are able to serve as a local economic analyst and Tourism Marketing researcher. Skills: - In-depth knowledge of local tourist systems and of the relationships among the various stakeholders; - specific knowledge of tourist flows and of the specific segments of tourism demand that are relevant to or may be of interest to a particular destination; - knowledge of the segmentation techniques of tourist demand; - in-depth knowledge of the components of the local tourism system on the supply and on the demand side. Career opportunities: consultancy companies, research centers, research companies, public and private research organizations. Profile: expert in food and wine tourism Functions: They are professionals capable of capturing the great potential of food and wine tourism in Italy and abroad; they must be able to create experiential tourist itineraries promoting local food and wine resources by enhancing territorial-related businesses. Skills: - In-depth knowledge of the Agrifood and food and wine sector, - Knowledge of the food and wine product within the destination and local specificities, - Knowledge of specific tourist segments linked to the " Food and Agrifood sectors. Career Opportunities: companies and institutions specialized in national and international incoming and outgoing tourism, , with particular reference to food and wine tourism; consultant of Agrifood companies for the realization of tourist events and initiatives with high attractiveness for national and international operators.

Characteristics of the final exam

The final examination consists in the elaboration, writing, presentation and individual discussion of a thesis, result of an original research activity on a theoretical and/or applicative topic in which the student should demonstrate his/her critical analysis and judgment skills; the thesis work should be carried out under the guidance of one or more supervising professors, on topics consistent with the subjects dealt with by the student in his/her training course. It is desirable to include an external co-rapporteur from the tourism business environment. The thesis, written in English, is discussed during an oral exam, possibly with the support of multimedia technologies, through which the candidate will be required to demonstrate that his/her ability to handle contents in original autonomous way and to place the acquired specific knowledge in a coherent system of theory and operational skills in the field of the analysis of tourism phenomena. During the thesis work, visits and internships at national and international organizations and companies may be useful