Students of Capilano University’s Bachelor of Tourism Management have created innovative itineraries for tourist visiting West Vancouver. Four students presented a set of immersive day-trip itineraries highlighting the community’s options in outdoor recreation, arts and cultural attractions, shopping and dining and other areas.
One of their plans, West Coast Wild, begins with a hike around Whyte Lake, then taking a quick drive to Horseshoe Bay for lunch, followed by a sea safari in Howe Sound, having a quick coffee break at a waterfront café and wrapping up at the Spirit Gallery to see traditional and modern Indigenous art.
“The students were eager, talented and professional,” says Stephen Mikicich, manager of economic development for the District of West Vancouver. “Our staff and community tourism stakeholders were very impressed by the quality and value of their work and we’re already working on plans to implement the students’ recommendations.”
Each fall, faculty members connect with a diverse group of industry partners to arrange practicum placements, with students developing the object and specifics of their project with their new clients.
“Students had six weeks to come up with a project after the initial meeting with their clients,” says Kara Walker, an instructor in the school of tourism management.
“Their presentation fit perfectly with the vision the District was putting forward.”
Working in the community with clients is an important part of the hands-on training tourism management students get in their program and this practicum – which makes up the applied project management class – is the capstone of their degrees.
“This is an amazing project to have in their portfolio,” Walker says. “So when they start looking for a job, they have a great reference from an industry client and a project they can show they built.”