If you have a passion for the exciting world of travel and tourism, consider the diverse opportunities for employment in Canada and abroad. With a 5-star rating from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, the Travel and Tourism program at SAIT will give you a hands-on, practical education ensuring you’re ready to jump into the market with real-world knowledge and skills.
Tourism is one of the world’s hottest growth industries with new destinations opening up for visitors around the world. At SAIT, we prepare students for rewarding and in-demand careers through expert instruction from industry leaders, hands-on learning and state-of-the-art facilities. In fact, you’ll find SAIT alumni working in top tourism organizations in Calgary, Canada and around the globe.
During this full-time two year program, you’ll learn how to use reservation systems for airlines, assess airfare, and gain insight on industry rules and regulations. Our blended learning environment includes classroom instruction, laptop delivery and a live working environment - all delivered through a personalized approach.
Beyond learning about airline reservation processes, you’ll become familiar with global tourist areas and attractions, study technologies for selling cruises, vacation packages, adventure tours, eco tours, niche travel and more. Your training also covers important areas including sales, marketing, business management, events planning, accounting, law and entrepreneurship.
Now for the exciting part - you get to apply these skills on campus in Destinations, the only live student-run travel centre in North America! As part of SAIT’s Destinations travel team, you’ll really get a taste for what it’s like to work in the tourism industry. Destinations is a licensed travel centre that is equipped with the latest industry booking and accounting software. Students have travel agent access to all major airline and tour companies. Here, you will work with the SAIT community to research, quote and make real reservations for flight, hotel, car, vacation packages and travel insurance bookings.
Travel industry software
As part of your training, you will have access to exclusive travel industry links and resources not available to the general public. Some examples of the latest industry software you’ll learn to use include:
- Airline reservation systems such as Apollo by Travelport and Sabre,
- Online booking tools like Expedia, Travelocity and Travel Partners’ agent areas, and
- Automated accounting software connected to the booking systems.
Professional internship and study tours
Between your first and second year of study, you will get to apply your skills in a professional paid internship. In addition to gaining experience in a real-world environment, internships provide valuable connections and opportunities to network with future employers.
As a student, you can also take advantage of exciting international study tours. Previous tour locations have included Peru, Turkey, China, Central America, Vietnam, Egypt, Morocco and Southern Europe. We also offer study exchanges through the global education network to Australia and Singapore.
Work toward your Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) designation
Graduates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of semester five are encouraged to apply to write the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) national certification exam to progress toward the Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) designation.
Graduates can look forward to careers in retail and corporate travel, airline customer service and reservation call centres, resorts and cruise lines, destination attractions and government tourism offices.
- Graduates of the Travel and Tourism program have a 95% employment rate.
- Working in a retail setting can mean long hours sitting at a desk, interacting with clients, working with computers.
- Keep in mind industry hours can include weekend and evening shifts.
- Airline careers or working as a tour operator often requires heavy lifting (baggage), travel and shift work.
- Sales and marketing careers may require frequent travel.
- Most successful students spend approximately 20 hours per week doing homework and review, with additional study required to prepare for exams.
- The material is presented at a fairly rapid rate. For the greatest level of success you must be present and take responsibility for your learning experience.
- You must be able to read, write and comprehend the English language at a level exceeding basic conversational English.
- Students with higher grades in high school usually experience more success in SAIT programs.
Credentials and Accreditation
After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT diploma in Travel and Tourism.
The Travel and Tourism diploma program is endorsed by the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, a national association that certifies and designates travel professionals across Canada. Endorsement is granted when a travel program meets or exceeds the educational standards based on the nationally validated occupational standards for travel counselling. Completion of the program prepares students to write the Knowledge Exam required to become a Certified Travel Counsellor. For more information on becoming a Certified Travel Counsellor, contact the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors.