I don’t know how many times I’ve read and re-read each course description for Tour Operator Management. There are some courses I feel are not necessary only because I have the experience from doing previous tours. After re-reading them once again, I asked myself, why not tailor your own unofficial certificate? What do I need to know? I need to know the where tourism is and where it’s going, I need to know the business aspect of things, most importantly making a business and marketing plan. I NEED to know First Aid. As I mentioned in my last post, I wanted to know more about Cape Breton thus, take the full Heritage Study Certificate at Cape Breton University.
So here is what I’ve come up with:
Tour Research – research preparations for tours ranging from 1 hour to many days. When I saw another Newfoundland tour and they had their costs cheaper than mine, I thought perhaps it may be good to learn some tricks of the trade.
Trends and Issues in Tourism – recognizing travel habits, the economics and demographics of an area, learning about the components and future of tourism. CBU also has classes with regards to tourism but centralized to Cape Breton itself.
Developing a Business Plan – Know the points of a good business plan, how to develop your mission statement, how to market your business, creating cash flow statements and foreseeing projections.
Starting a Small Business – Familiarizing yourself with legal forms (like waivers, driving 10 people at once; and – oh! Non-refundable deposits!), marketing and purchasing. Don’t know what I’d have to purchase though. Extra wet bags to protect camera’s maybe. I’m not getting into ordering a gazillion types of batteries for different cameras.
Entrepreneurship – Knowing what entrepreneurial business is and developing a model bases off of current examples. Putting together a business plan (sounds redundant I know. But I can’t go so far as to tailor make a class.), developing a funding strategy early, and learn how to pitch your idea to investors. The pitching thing may come in handy when I go to other local business and ask them to support my business as well. For example; a whale tour – I bring 10 photographers, they give a discount. Business will be reoccurring.
Marketing Strategy – Creating a brand by studying from example, how to get the most out of your brand, fusing marketing and business strategies, developing a marketing plan that works. LOL When I think about marketing, I think about Billboard Alley stretching from the Seal Island Bridge to Bras D’ Or. Any business who is anyone has a billboard along that highway. Perhaps you’ve seen them.
Emergency First Aid – No explanation necessary for this one. Frankly, I’m ashamed I don’t have it already.
My question is, is this acceptable? It’s not a trend certainly, to mix and match classes . Has it been done before? What does it look like on a resume?