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Tourism, Languages and Cultures

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Why study Tourism, Languages and Cultures?

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Tourism, Languages and Cultures is a three-year degree for those who wish to work in the general field of tourism either in New Zealand or overseas.

  • With the growth of tourism in New Zealand and internationally, the global tourism industry is seeking graduates who are multilingual and who have an understanding of the cultural needs of their guests.
  • This qualification focuses on the skills to work with people from other cultures in tourism and related business settings, by providing the necessary language literacy and cultural understanding.
  • This major subject provides you with a unique opportunity to gain cross-cultural perspectives while also acquiring a solid grounding in tourism management.

In addition:

  • The tourism industry is an exciting sector to work in
  • Employers in this industry are looking for multilingual employees with a good knowledge of the tourism industry
  • Employment opportunities are extremely broad, whether in New Zealand or overseas
  • The New Zealand tourism industry is predicting that larger numbers of additional workers will be required in the future (NZIER predict an additional 36,000 workers being needed by 2025)

A Bachelor of Arts in Tourism, Languages and Cultures a unique degree

The University of Otago is the only New Zealand university to offer a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree combination of this nature, where students can combine their study of tourism, and a specific language and culture of a country, in one degree.

  • You can choose to study one or more of the following languages/cultures: Chinese, French, German, Japanese, Māori, Spanish.
  • You have the choice of a range of tourism papers and can, for example, include events or destination management, or ecotourism.

A BA is a three-year degree comprising 20 papers (360 points).

The Tourism, Languages and Cultures major consists of two sets of papers for a total of 15 papers (270 points). This includes:

  • A minimum of seven papers from Tourism (126 points), and seven papers from either Languages and Cultures or Te Tumu (126 points).
  • One additional 18-point paper from either Tourism, Languages and Cultures or Te Tumu will complete the requirements for the major.

Go to more information about programme requirements for the BA majoring in Tourism, Languages and Cultures.

Go to more information about papers from the Department of Languages and Cultures.

Go to more information about Māori language and culture papers.

Career opportunities

Graduates will have a wide range of career opportunities in tourism roles in both the public and private sectors nationally and internationally.

Graduates in the public sector may predominantly be employed by national and regional tourism organisations (e.g. Tourism New Zealand, Destination Queenstown, Tourism Auckland, China’s National Tourism Agency, Tourism Australia).

Private sector employers are numerous, but may include a wide range of tourism accommodation, activity, transport and tourism infrastructure operators, from the approximately 20,000 tourism-related small to medium sized enterprises in New Zealand to the larger domestic companies (e.g. Air New Zealand, Tourism Holdings Ltd, Real Journeys, Auckland Airport Ltd, Ngai Tahu Tourism) and multinational employers such as Accor or the Hilton hotel group, and China Travel Service.