Ecotourism, Recreation and Hospitality
The Department of Ecotourism, Recreation and Hospitality is among the four Departments of the School of Natural Resources, poised to provide protective and environmental functions of the forest resources and the tourism industry. The trained leaders are equipped to provide strong and vibrant leadership to manage ecotourism prospects of the country and manage the hospitality sector of the tourism industry to meet the increasing demand for recreation, tourism, biodiversity conservation and green species.
Our philosophy: Using a strong partnership approach, prepare future leaders and provide solutions in the conservation and sustainable development of ecotourism resources in Ghana. The vision and mission of the Department are in consonance with that of School of Natural Resources (SNR) and the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR).
Vision: To equip students with the requisite knowledge and skills in tourism, recreation and wildlife conservation that will improve environmental quality and also apply strategic management principles to hospitality business operations so as to optimize their contribution to national socio-economic development.
Mission: Provide demand-driven research and disseminate appropriate technologies for ecotourism management and hospitality operations to the relevant policy-making agencies.
Currently the Department runs two undergraduate programmes:
- BSc. Natural Resources (Ecotourism option) and
- BSc. Hospitality Management.
Ecotourism (Canopy Walkway)
Preparations are underway to introduce Bachelor of Science (Tourism). Also, post-graduate programmes in Tourism and Hospitality Management would soon be rolled out.
Description of programmes-
- BSc. Natural Resources (Ecotourism option)
The four-year Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources (Ecotourism option) programme was introduced in 2014/2015 academic year. The programme aims at providing conceptual basis for understanding the professional practice in the development and management of ecotourism. Students will be provided with the opportunity to critically reflect upon their direct experience of ecotourism operations in terms of concepts and research presented during lectures. The demand for nature-based tourism and ecotourism has been increasing steadily. Protective and environmental functions of the forest resources are becoming more important than timber raw material production of the forests. This programme acknowledges the rapidly developing phenomenon of ecotourism and wildlife development and management, and the contribution of tourism and recreation professionals. The graduates of this programme, therefore, will be exposed to wildlife conservation, sustainable management and restoration of wildlife habitats in Ghana’s forest ecosystems. The programme is designed to enhance student’s knowledge of and interest in the nature, theory and practice of ecotourism in Ghana and internationally.
The four-year degree in Natural Resources with specialization in Ecotourism aims at:
- Developing the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of environmentally responsible travel to relatively undisturbed natural areas that promotes biodiversity conservation, has low negative visitor impact, and provides for socio‐economic benefits to the local stakeholder communities.
- Developing the knowledge and understanding of students on the resources, products, best management practices and opportunities in the ecotourism sub‐sector.
- Incorporating the guiding principles of ecotourism into the other sub‐sectors of the travel industry.
- Understanding the theories of ecotourism experience.
- Critically evaluating ecotourism business operations and planning contexts.
- Understanding the benefits and professional status of ecotourism.
- Applying knowledge of a variety of interpretations and approaches to ecotourism, in a number of case studies.
- Applying the knowledge of sustainable ecotourism to management practices.
- Acquiring knowledge and technical skills in the areas of natural resources management to support sustainable management of Ecotourism and Wildlife Resources.
- Conducting demand-driven research and disseminate appropriate technologies to ecotourism management, wildlife resource managers, companies/industries and relevant policy-making agencies of Government.
- BSc. Hospitality Management
The four-year Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management programme was introduced in the 2014/2015 academic year. The programme aims at fully providing a broad-based foundation in both academic and professional courses and includes hands-on practical experience for students to obtain understanding of hospitality management and to develop the required skills to meet the changing demands of the hospitality industry particularly in Ghana and the West Africa sub-region. The programme has been designed in response to a recognised need from the hospitality industry for university graduates who will demonstrate profound knowledge of various facets of the hospitality industry and apply strategic management principles to hospitality business operations to accomplish the goals and objectives of a hospitality establishment.
Programme objectives: The programme seeks todevelop students’ capacity to:
- Effectuate hospitality management, in a service context, in a highly professional manner necessary for managerial employment in the industry;
- Acquire and implement appropriate managerial, technical and scientific principles necessary for quality management in a highly specialised hospitality working environment;
- Analyse, plan, design, manage, evaluate and execute hospitality managerial activities supported by relevant theory and practical;
- Demonstrate the systematic understanding of moral, legal, ethical and safety concerns relating to hospitality management;
- Undertake academic progression in career hospitality through exposure to best practices in the hospitality industry;
- Conduct research to promote the hospitality industry.
Practical training, Students Industrial Attachment and Internship
As part of the University’s vision of training its students to be practically efficient in the various fields of studies, the Department organises compulsory industrial attachment programme for its students. The students are attached to the various institutions/firms in their study areas to get hands-on training in the job market. The programme, together with other specially tailored field practical programme, gives the students added advantage in terms of enhancing their practical understanding with regards to the skills which are solicited for the job market.
In achieving this vision, 8 weeks of each long vacation in year two and three would be devoted to practical training at selected facilities across the country for students pursuing Hospitality Management. Students pursuing Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources (Ecotourism option) would participate in a compulsory field study or practical training for the entire duration of the second semester of the third year. Students would be attached to various tourism and environmental management facilities across the country. Supervisors from the University and from Industry would assess students’ performance and progress at regular intervals. Students shall make a final presentation of their experiences on attachment and present written reports, which shall be graded.
Some Industrial collaborators for students’ attachment
Some out-station organizations which are already in collaboration/earmarked for student field attachment include:
|Ministry of Tourism||Miklin Hotel|
|Ghana Tourism Authority – Nationwide||Labadi Beach Hotel|
|Environmental Protection Agency||La-Palm Royal Beach Hotel|
|Brong Ahafo Regional Hospital, Sunyani||Holy Trinity Health and Spa Resort|
|Bui Power Authority||Glamossay Hotel, Sunyani|
|Nestle Ghana Limited||Sheilla’s Lodge, Sunyani|
|Unilever||First Catering Services|
|Newmont Gold Ghana Limited||Accra International Conference Centre|
|Rotary Club Ghana||Nchiraa Waterfalls|
|Sankofa Gold, Prestea||Duasidan Monkey Sanctuary|
|Golden Tulip, Kumasi||Bui National Park|
|Eusbett Hotel, Sunyani||Mole National Park|
|Tyco-City Hotel, Sunyani||Boabeng-Fiema Monkey Sanctuary|
|Club Houses of Various Organisations||Kakum Conservation Area|
The annual output of such collaboration is fashioned out in four (4) core objectives to:
- Promote hands on experience to students
- Research into innovative and problem areas of out- station institution.
- Enhance research/ collaboration between the department and other institutions.
- Present students with potential job placement opportunities in out- station organizations.
Potential career opportunities
Students completing undergraduate and graduate programmes in this Department will have diverse opportunities such as;
- Ministry of Environment Science and Innovation
- Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts
- Ghana Tourist Authority
- Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies
- Municipal and Regional Hospitals
- Lodging Facilities such as Hotels & Motels
- Recreational and tourist attractions
- Ecotourism and Community-based tourism sites
- Cruise companies
- Resort complexes
- Conference centers
- Sports clubs
- The travel sector
- Food Processing Companies
- Teaching and Research institutions
Short, Medium and Long Term Plans
- Developing Masters programmes in collaboration with other Departments and institutions.
- Establishing strong partnership with organizations and firms to enhance the job placement of our students.
- Creating entrepreneurial centre for students to have additional business skills to establish their own jobs and recruit others.
Academic Staff in the Department
The Department of Ecotourism, Recreation and Hospitality boast of multidisciplinary staff members with background and expertise in Ecology, Range management, Wildlife Management, Community Participation, Service Quality, Community Development, Natural Resource Use, Quality Assurance, Food Hygiene, Sensory Science and Food Security.