Tourism – a world of opportunities in an exciting and global industry

LYIT School of Tourism, formerly the Tourism College Killybegs, is the oldest campus outside Dublin dedicated to education and training in Culinary Arts, Hospitality Operations and Management, and Tourism. Established in 1969, and celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019, the campus has produced graduates who are renowned all over the world, ensuring that today’s graduates will be recognised as having received the education and training required to reach the top levels of the industry.

Our education offering is expanded through a range of academic partners throughout Europe, where students can choose to study or complete an internship for a semester, supported through Erasmus+. We have partners in Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Malta, Romania and Turkey, and we are constantly enlarging our network to benefit our students. Our US industry partners visit Killybegs every year to recruit for Summer placements, Internships and Graduate Programmes.

To facilitate our expansion plans we have just completed a renovation project to include a new state-of-the-art training bar, collaborative learning room for group work and a new library / research facility in time for our 2019 intake. Minister for Education, Joe McHugh TD announced in August 2019 an additional fund of Ä1.8M for additional work in Summer 2020 in preparation for our expanded programme offering.

On completion of a programme of study at the School of Tourism, you will be perfectly placed to take the first step on your career, which will inevitably be exciting and fulfilling.

Tourism – a world of opportunities in an exciting and global industry

Tourism is Ireland’s largest indigenous industry employing 230,000 people nationally, one in every ten of the labour-force. The industry is twice the size of agriculture and far bigger in employment than the construction industry, the IT industry, or the financial services sector. It crucially cannot be outsourced or off-shored and its economic benefits are felt both in our cities but also throughout rural Ireland. 10% of the workforce in Ireland is employed in the tourism industry, and this rises to 14% in rural locations.

On a global scale, growth in tourism is most significant outside of our normal markets of Europe and the USA, with significant business growth in Asia and Africa. Tourist profiles are changing and those working in tourism now require a set of skills that reflect the global nature of the industry.

Why study a programme in Hospitality, Tourism or Culinary Arts?

Career opportunities, both here in Ireland and abroad, are almost limitless in the sector. The structure of all our programmes allows students to undertake work placements and internships at home and overseas, so that they are best placed to enter the world of work on graduation. The School of Tourism continues to develop its professional network to facilitate and support students in selecting their career paths.

When choosing a career in the tourism industry, you are setting yourself apart from the many thousands of individuals who work in the industry on a casual basis, either while studying for other careers or while between jobs. 

Graduates of specialist programmes are destined for senior career roles, many of which are new to the industry. Non-traditional roles such as Digital Media Managers are now as common as traditional roles such as Food and Beverage Director, Revenue and Reservations Managers or Destination Travel Executives, and programmes are designed to open up opportunities in a range of industries with links to tourism, from Finance, IT, Media and Marketing and Outdoor / Extreme Travel Experiences. 

Graduate case study – taking opportunities available

Girts Mihalkins graduated in 2016 with a BA in Hotel, Restaurant and Resort Management. As a student he stood out as a consummate professional, displaying a flair for perfection in practical settings. He gladly took the opportunities available to compete in a range of national and international competitions, winning gold medals and acclaim from industry mentors. 

This extra-curricular activity allowed Girts to work with the Capella group, at home, but also for his third year internship, at their Washington DC property in the USA, managing their rooftop bar operation.

He returned to Donegal to take up the position of Assistant Conference and Banqueting Manager at Co Donegal’s only 5* property, Solis Lough Eske Castle.

In September 2018, he enrolled in the BA (Hons) in Hotel Management, and on completion of this one-year, add-on, programme he is ready to take on a senior role in a luxury hotel anywhere in the world.

He is now ready for his next challenge and is happy to seek the assistance and support of the School of Tourism and our global industry recruitment partner HOSCO. 

He has recently been offered two management roles in the Seychelles and Dubai, and has taken the role of Assistant Outlet Manager at the Kempinski Emerald Palace in Dubai. 

We wish him well in this next stage of his exciting career.