by Emily Vontom, Published December 07, 2011
YPSILANTI - Faculty and students in the Eastern Michigan University geotourism program were recently chosen to host the 2013 International Society of Tourism and Tourism Educators' (ISTTE) international conference.
The conference, "Geotourism: A New Approach to Travel and Tourism Education," is expected to bring nearly 200 educators and students from around the world to Detroit. Geotourism is tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place - its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture and the well being of its residents.
"Our students will gain first hand experience in the organization and running of a major conference," said Kelly Victor-Burke, geography geotourism program co-coordinator at Eastern. "Geotourism students successfully organized and held the Southeast Michigan Geotourism Conference in November 2010. This upcoming conference will be yet another opportunity for students to network with industry professionals."
Victor-Burke along with Eastern geotourism student Andrea McNeil worked closely with Sharon Derrig from Conlin-Hallissey Travel School in Ann Arbor to put the bid together.
"It was a fantastic opportunity for us to work with another ISTTE member on putting together all aspects of the bid proposal," said Victor-Burke.
The geotourism program at Eastern is one of only two programs in the United States. Eastern's Department of Geography is positioned to become a leader in geotourism education because of their geotourism-related programs, including geotourism, historic preservation, urban and regional planning, geographic information systems and earth science.
The ISTTE is an international organization of industry professionals in travel, tourism and related fields. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the quality of education and research in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries by promoting the exchange of information and ideas.