Associate of Applied Science (AAS): Travel and Tourism Degree Overview

Students in Associate of Applied Science in Travel and Tourism programs gain practical training in vacation marketing, airline ticket sales and hospitality management. These associate's degree programs also often incorporate cultural education along with business fundamentals. through courses in geography, landmarks and tourist attractions worldwide, giving students the ability to communicate knowledgeably with clients about their travel destinations.

Essential Information

A high school diploma or the equivalent is typically required for admission. Degree programs in this field can be completed in two years, generally requiring 64-66 semester hours of coursework. Some programs offer internship or directed participation opportunities, giving students real-world experience in sales, planning and customer relations in the industry.

  • Program Levels: Associate's Degree
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Other Requirements: Internship

Associate of Applied Science Degree in Travel and Tourism

Students learn about different cultures through courses in geography, landmarks and tourist attractions worldwide, giving students the ability to communicate knowledgeably with clients about their travel destinations. Students can also learn effective methods of organizing individual, group and corporate travel itineraries. They often pick up specific skill sets in customer service, tour planning and reservation system management. Other topics covered in the coursework include the following:

  • Transportation
  • Casino operations
  • International travel
  • Convention planning
  • International landmarks
  • Travel marketing

Popular Career Options

The skills attained from a travel and tourism degree program can qualify graduates for entry-level or management training positions with hotels, travel agencies, airlines and recreation facilities. Job titles could include:

  • Travel agency assistant
  • Tour operator
  • Airline ticket sales associate
  • Conference planner

For its 2012-2022 reporting period, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that travel agents were expected to have a 12% decline in jobs, while meeting, convention and event planners were to see a 33% rise in work opportunities. The bureau noted that as of 2014, the median salary for travel agents was $34,800, travel guides made an median annual wage of $35,100 and planners median salary was $46,490.

Continuing Education

Certificate programs are available for graduates interested in expanding their knowledge base in a specific area, such as hospitality management, casino operations and destination tourism. Those seeking advanced career opportunities can apply to bachelor's degree programs in tourism, recreation or hospitality management.

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