Tourism is one of the world’s leading industries, representing 7% of total world exports and 30% of services exports (UNWTO). At the same time, travel and tourism directly generates 108 million jobs and additionally supports a total of 284 million jobs worldwide (1 in every 11 of all jobs is tourism related). In GDP growth terms, the tourism sector outperforms most of the traditional industries, such as manufacturing and retail (WTTC). UNWTO estimates that international tourism receipts amounted to 1,260 billion USD in 2015. Additionally, tourism has proven to be a very resilient economic activity as the demand for international tourism has been constantly rising during the last decade, despite the continuous economic and political turmoil around the world. According to UNWTO, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) increased by 4.4% in 2015, reaching a total of 1,186 million, with a long-term projection of 3.8% annual growth by the year 2020.
Having in mind its significant contribution to the world’s economy, considerable social impacts and vast employment opportunities that tourism provides, it comes as no surprise that careers in tourism are becoming more attractive, especially in tourism-centric countries, such as Croatia. Career opportunities in tourism are extremely diverse, and can range from careers related to the hospitality industry (hotel marketing and management), destination marketing (research, branding, advertising, public relations), destination management (tourism master planning, strategic planning, tourism destination development), event management, consulting, international organizations etc. Additionally, it is very common that tourism professionals pursue a career in the public sector, as employees of local or regional governments, especially in tourism developed areas.
The main goal of this MBA program is to prepare students for different management positions within the tourism sector. Additionally, the program is also designed for professionals who pursued careers outside tourism and are interested in starting a career in the tourism industry, as well as for tourism professionals who would like to advance their knowledge and further develop tourism-related skills in order to be more competitive on the global tourism labor market. Some of the courses included in this MBA program are Tourism Concepts and Issues, Market Research in Tourism, Destination Management and Marketing, ICT in Hospitality and Tourism, and many others. This MBA program will be lectured by Croatian and foreign experts with extensive practical and theoretical experience from the field of tourism. Study groups are small, which allows for intensive interaction between students and lecturers; students are encouraged to actively participate in the courses. The program consists of two semesters, ending with writing a Graduate Thesis focused on a particular topic in tourism. Additionally, this program offers students the opportunity to listen to a variety of tourism courses in the international exchange program in the amount of 12ECTS points, as well as encourages students to participate in at least one related internship during the time of studying.