Today, Friday 8th June sees the launch of the Irish Academy of Hospitality & Tourism (IAHT) at the Hotel, Culinary & Tourism Restaurant at the Institute of Technology, Tralee. IAHT is a dedicated facility that provides continuous professional development programmes of specific application to the industry. The IAHT also facilitates the development of an applied research community directly linked to the needs of the sector, and aims to establish strategic partnerships with other third level institutions and organisations, nationally and internationally.
Speaking at today’s launch Cllr Tim Buckley, Mayor of Kerry commented on the IAHT saying ‘the Institute of Technology, Tralee has been successfully providing the hospitality and tourism sector with highly skilled graduates over the past 25 years. The Academy will further enhance the Institute’s established national and international network within the sector, bringing Kerry to the forefront of hospitality and tourism education and research‘.
The new Academy will be headed by Mary Rose Stafford, former head of the Hotel, Culinary & Tourism Department at the IT, Tralee, who has a wealth of national and international hotel management and hospitality and tourism education experience.
Mary Rose Stafford told the invited industry guests how the IT, Tralee is using technology to develop innovative educational techniques including distance learning, on-line tutorials, digital libraries and lecture notes and recorded lectures which can be repeatedly accessed by students. ‘The Institute will also deliver the Trainee Manager Development Programme (TMDP) on behalf of Fáilte Ireland and the Irish Hotels Federation. This will enable students of the programme to work full-time while completing their BA in Hotel Management.’
‘Other work-based programmes offered by IT, Tralee include Restaurant Management, an innovative new programme to provide a relevant professional qualification for those who are currently working in Restaurants either as supervisors or owner/managers. This practical and intensive 9 month programme provides the participant with hands on experience and the opportunity to complement college based learning with a structured practical internship and industry mentor. A further work-based programme offered by the ITT is the Advanced Certificate in Professional Cookery - Immersion Programme which has been designed to be delivered as a nine month immersion basis, integrating theory and practice. This programmes was developed in conjunction with the French Culinary Institute in New York, to provide a relevant professional qualification for those who wish to embark on a career in professional cookery’ explained Mary Rose.
The IAHT is also currently undertaking research funded by Fáilte Ireland Applied Research Scheme. The research entitled ‘Managing Food Tourism Networks – A Practical Manual’, aims to outline models of best practice for the development and management of food tourism networks which is a growing niche area in the Irish tourism sector.
The IAHT Advisory Management Board includes industry representatives from the Irish Hotel Federation, Restaurant Association of Ireland, Irish Tourism Industry Federation, Irish Hospitality Institute, Vintners Association of Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Kerry County Council and Academic Representation from International Colleges.