The Ana G. Méndez University System’s Carolina campus will add two new programs to its tourism bachelor’s degree programs focusing on sustainable practices.
The new programs recently approved by the Board of Postsecondary Institutions (formerly the Puerto Rico Board of Education) are the Associate Degree of Science in Management of Sustainable Tourism Companies and the Post Bachelor’s Certificate in Management of Tourist Destinations.
“It is urgent to expand new knowledge toward the promotion of responsible and sustainable tourism, as well as emphasizing compliance with tourism policies that allow an inclusive, safe and environmentally friendly development,” said the rector of the Carolina campus Félix R. Huertas-González.
The Sustainable Tourism Business Management program aims to develop professionals in the field of travel and tourism that contribute to maintaining Puerto Rico as a competitive tourist destination and to train a professional capable of integrating and applying sustainability concepts to projects in the tourism sector.
While the certificate in Management of Tourist Destinations “will equip the island with a professional in the area of management of tourist destinations that contributes to generating changes in national and international tourism proposals, responding to the problems of today’s world,” the university said.
Both programs will integrate entrepreneurial skills, transformational leadership and “innovative experiences that contribute positively to the new challenges that the tourism sector may face in economic, social and environmental terms.”
“It’s important to point out that the tourism sector has shown the greatest resilience, not only internationally but in Puerto Rico,” Huertas-González said.
“This sector has received the brunt of the events that have occurred in recent years. So, it’s important to provide a quality education adjusted to the needs of the sector,” he said.
The government of Puerto Rico has historically recognized the importance of continuing to develop the tourism sector, because its value chain impacts different sectors of the island’s economy. Data on tourism on the island indicate that it generates 80,000 jobs.
The associate degree in Science in Sustainable Tourism Business Management is at the undergraduate level with a 60-credit curriculum and does not require having a university degree to be admitted, only having completed high school.
As for the Post Bachelor’s Certificate in Management of Tourist Destinations, it is a graduate level program with a curriculum of 30 credits and requires a bachelor’s degree to be admitted.