The advent of Okanagan College’s new tourism management diploma program means there is significant need to accommodate students who will be arriving in Revelstoke to take advantage of the unique learning opportunity this fall.
“This program will be drawing students from within the region, across B.C. and Canada, as well as from around the globe,” explains Joan Ragsdale, OC’s Regional Dean for Shuswap-Revelstoke. “We know what the housing situation is like in Revelstoke, so we’re reaching out now to the community to ask for their help.”
The College, Tourism Revelstoke, the City of Revelstoke, and area employers such as The Regent Hotel, the Best Western, and Revelstoke Mountain Resort are collaborating to ensure that international students especially can find homestay opportunities, to help them integrate with the community. The goal is to find 15 homestay opportunities at approximately $800 per student.
“This is an opportunity for our community to show its support for the local industry. These students will be the tourism workers who live, work and learn in Revelstoke. We’re excited that this program will help our businesses secure these future skilled workers,” notes Meghan Tabor, Tourism Revelstoke’s Marketing Director.
The need for the program, and the human resources it will attract, is one that resonates with industry.
“Tourism is one of the biggest growth sectors in the province,” explains Peter Nielsen, VP Operations for Revelstoke Mountain Resort. “Workers are in demand.”
Nielsen is one of the many local tourism experts who has worked with the College over the past year to ensure the program would hit the mark – for students and for those who’ll be hiring them.
The two-year diploma program combines in-class learning with work placement opportunities. The timing of the work placements ensure students will be available when employers need their talents most during busy times of the year. And it is showcasing Revelstoke nationally and internationally as Okanagan College recruits the students.
While OC, Tourism Revelstoke, and employers are focused on homestay opportunities for students, they’re willing to talk to any landlords about any rental opportunities.
“We want to see this two-year program – a pilot for Okanagan College – succeed and help reinforce Revelstoke’s reputation as an innovative, supportive community that is at the forefront of sustainable destination tourism,” explains Tabor.
“From the location, to the access to tourism employers, to the quality of instruction at Okanagan College, all the components are there to set students up for success and help them distinguish themselves in tourism management roles,” says Nielsen. “I couldn’t be more excited to see the program roll out this fall – and to be able to tap into this new pool of talent before and after they graduate.”
Those interested in providing homestay or rental accommodation to international and domestic students can contact Danielle Tighe, Okanagan College’s Manager of Community Relations and Administration for the Revelstoke Centre. She can be reached at 250 837-4235, ext. 6515 or at firstname.lastname@example.org