The department of tourism management was opened in 2001 E.C. under the Faculty of Business and Economics. The department has passed through ups and downs and even for some time it was under the department of management as a program. The department had been opened second degree in MTM in 2005, but later on after three years this post graduate program was closed. It is only in this year (2019/20 academic calendar) reopened again.
The department is accomplishing the mission of higher education institutions through teaching-learning, community service and research and technology transfer. In the area of community service the department is working closely with culture and tourism office in Axum as well as at regional and federal levels. So far, the department provided trainings for tourist guides in Axum, Mekelle, Adwa, Gheralta and Yeha. In addition the department had provided trainings to local community, hotel owners and managers, hotel employees, employees of culture and tourism offices in Tigray region. In the area of research the staff of the department had some initiations, but it is not satisfactory.
- Rationality of the department
For a country like Ethiopia, which is endowed with variety of natural and manmade tourist attractions, tourism paves the road for the development of infrastructure which in turn is a pedestal for the maturity of the whole economy as it gives a hand for the expansion of other sectors like agriculture, manufacturing, trade, transportation and others due to tourism’s multidisciplinary nature. However, tourism, a very fast growing economic sector elsewhere in the world, has not yet been developed in Ethiopia and the country is not benefiting from it to the extent it deserves. It is run by archaic instinct and languishing ever since, while other countries are excelling. This is because those countries have realized its potential and developed their capacity by strategic programs.
Our country, Ethiopia, is well-off in potential tourism resources but not much benefited from the sector. Hence, in order to exploit its tourism potential, the country needs to have skilled manpower in the field. If the tourism industry is geared and developed properly, it can serve as a supplementary (alternative) economic sector besides agriculture and other industries.
Thus, both under graduate and post graduate curricula of the department are designed to meet the needs of the travel and tourism industry, and to contribute towards the current development policy of the country. The industry’s interdisciplinary nature has been clearly covered throughout the curriculum by incorporating economics, business, language, general behavior, research methods and other related subjects.
In general, the Curricula of the Tourism Management departmentare developed based on the following rationalities:
- Needs-assessment and the clear relevance of the field to the socio-cultural, environmental and economic development of the country;
- The intention to respond to the changing economic demands of the country and the current lack of professionals in the field of tourism, who would gear the development of this vital and rapidly growing economic sector;
- Taken specifically because tourism in Ethiopia needs tourism professionals who will work at operational as well as managerial levels;
- Ethiopia is a growing tourist destination with promising annual growth rates of tourist arrivals that are above the world average growth, the country needs qualified personnel to make use of this opportunity;
- Tourism is expected to be an important source of income, means of poverty alleviation to the country and can provide great employment opportunities.
General objective of the department is to produce qualified manpower that can effectively contribute for the development of the tourism industry in Ethiopia as well as providing community service and undertaking demand driven research.
The specific objectives of the department are to:
- Produce competent and well qualified graduates to meet the growing demand of trained personnel in the sector;
- Produce graduates who can conduct research in the field and provide advisory services to improve the tourism sector in particular and the service industry in general;
- Provide appropriate training that helps the graduates to acquire the skills required to serve within the context of international standards of service industry.
- Undertaking paid and unpaid community service to the local community living around Axum and the rest of Tigray.
- Performing demand driven research in the area of tourism and related fields
- Working for technology transfer in the area of tourism and related fields
- Capacity building on staff
- Providing quality education
- Undertaking demand driven and problem solving research
- Providing community service in the area of tourism and hospitality
- Harnessing domestic tourism through tourism club