The Tourism Awareness Programme was designed by Fáilte Ireland, the National Tourism Development Authority. It was specially designed for students within the second-level education system, as an introduction to tourism at home and abroad.
The educational project aims to:
- Promote the national importance of tourism among young people
- Highlight the career opportunities in tourism
- Develop students' interpersonal skills
The Tourism Awareness Programme has operated in Irish schools since 1991. It has recently been reviewed, with the help of practising teachers, and updated to meet the challenge of the 21st century. This new version should make the programme more attractive to students, and teachers will find the new resources easy to use. The programme offers a relevant, challenging and rich learning experience for students and a support network for participating schools.
The Tourism Awareness Programme takes an innovative approach to learning, providing a blend of resource material to students and teachers.
These website pages are just one component of the programme, which also incorporates a Teacher's Manual (with lesson plans and resource material) and an interactive online video.
The programme has been designed to allow flexibility in timetabling and implementation. It consists of six units presented in a series of lesson plans, with support material for each lesson. The lesson plans are intended as guidelines, and certain areas may need greater or lesser emphasis depending on local needs.
Two programme options are available:
- A single-term module comprising 8-10 weeks with 2-3 classes per week. If schools opt for this option teachers can chose from the range of lessons plans
- A full-year program comprising 3 terms of 8-10 weeks duration each, with 2-3 classes per week
The programme includes two mandatory units, which cover the core themes of the tourism industry. In addition, the programme includes four optional units, which explore knowledge, skills and expertise relating to four distinct subject areas. Two of the four optional units must be chosen.
MANDATORY UNITS (Core Units)
- Introduction to Tourism
- Tourism Education and Training
OPTIONAL UNITS (Any two units must be chosen)
- Geographical Aspects of Tourism
- Tourism and Heritage
- Tourism and Culture
- History of Irish Food
The Tourism Awareness Programme supports the aim of the Transition Year. This aim, as outlined in the Transition Year Mission Statement, is to 'promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of the students and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative and responsible members of society.'
The programme also in part fulfils the responsibility of Fáilte Ireland, as set down in the National Tourism Development Authority Act, 2003 to 'encourage, promote and support recruitment, training and education and development of persons for the purposes of employment in connection with the tourism industry in the State.'