May 2, 2019
Luxury experiences are one of the hottest segments of the tourism industry today, and experts predict that the luxury tourism shows the greatest potential for growth of any segment in the travel industry. And now, starting in the fall of 2019, students in RIT can prepare themselves for careers in this niche specialty by choosing our new program concentration, Designing Luxury Experiences.
"This concentration will provide students with advanced understanding of high-end hospitality services,” said Dr. Besim Agušaj, Area Head of the Hospitality and Tourism Management pro- gram at RIT Croatia. "The concentration prepares students for successful careers as product managers, brand managers or experiential services consultants.” This exciting new concentration puts RIT Croatia on the cutting edge of hospitality and tourism education.
The term luxury is going through some profound changes, from its traditional roots associated with exclusivity and excess to today’s emphasis on culture and authenticity. Luxury today is about art, artisanship, quality, authenticity, achievement and heritage; in other words, cultivation of the human spirit and society. Luxury travel, then, must, instead of having a destructive effect on its social and biological environment,in reality, have a nurturing, uplifting and stabilizing effect on its surrounding communities.
This three-course sequence will culminate in an experiential learning course which includes a trip to a global luxury destination, such as Italy, Hungary, Croatia, Austria, United Arab Emirates (Dubai). Students will dive into the socio-cultural complexities of attaining luxury travel excellence, and explore cultural heritage as a backdrop for authenticity. It will be an outstanding opportunity to see first-hand how successful organizations operate.
At the same time, the Dubrovnik campus is a perfect fit for exactly this kind of program. Dubrovnik, listed as UNESCO world heritage site, is itself considered one of the most up-market destinations, with a growing luxury tourism segment of its own. Because of its very limited natural resources and fragility of the eco-systems, the entire region is trying to move towards a different approach to tourism, competing in the global tourism market with more subtle products rather than mass tourism offers.
Students at the Dubrovnik campus are surrounded by top class hospitality organizations offering extraordinary services and products. The presence of high-end hotel chains (Regent, Hilton, Aman Luxury Resorts etc.), or Porto Montenegro, where a mega yacht marina has been built and is hosting and serving some of the most exclusive customers in the world, positions our program at the forefront of hospitality schools, globally. Also, half of all five-star hotels in Croatia are located in Dubrovnik Neretva County. All these factors make the new program concentration, Designing Luxury Experiences, an exciting new opportunity for our students.
The most important aspect of the Eta Sigma Delta honor society (ESD) are the members, who are all representatives of the five pillars that are the fundations of the society (excellence, leadership, creativity, service, ethics). This semester ESD Croatia Chapter had the privilege to accept ten new student members from the Hospitality and Tourism Management program, and one honorary member from the service industry, Mr. Dario Ševelj, Co-owner / CEO, Dubrovnik Beer Company.
Can you imagine what it feels like being 18 or 20 years old and moving to a new country, a new continent to live there? What if the culture you moved to was completely different from what you're used to? Well, Emily Arnold, a senior studying International Business in Zagreb can relate to this. Moving from Wisconsin, USA, to Croatia, she knows how big of a change this brings.
We recently had the pleasure of inviting Assistant Professor Igor Štimac, Ph.D., IAP, AvMP to hold a presentation about the “Development of the Zagreb Airport… past - present - future” for RIT Croatia students in Zagreb. With over 15 years of experience in the field of airport operations and airport middle and top management, Mr.Štimac explained to our students about the development stage of the infrastructure and the specifics of the management systems at the Franjo Tuđman Airport.
The Beer Game, invented by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stimulated the supply chain and our operations Management class had the opportunity to play it during one of their classes. The students were divided from roles such as store owner, wholesaler, distributor and producer. Every part of the supply chain ordered goods and had them delivered to its customers.