Stakeholders’ Views on the Development of a Higher Education Hospitality Program in Bahrain: Challenges and Opportunities
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Authors: Marinakou, E. and Giousmpasoglou, C.
Journal: Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Education
Copyright © The International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education. The hospitality and tourism industry in Bahrain is predicted to grow over the coming years with the development of new 5-star hotels, which will create new jobs for the Bahraini economy within the next 4–5 years. Currently there is limited provision of hospitality and tourism education, which is offered mainly at the vocational level. This article presents the challenges and opportunities of developing a hospitality and/or tourism program in higher education in Bahrain. In-depth interviews with key stakeholders were conducted to explore the potential of such a program in Bahrain. The findings suggest that there are skills gaps in 2 key areas: generic and soft skills. The article also proposes that there is an opportunity to establish a hospitality program at the bachelor’s level that should be supported with collaboration with an international institution to enhance the curriculum design and facilitate the program development. Finally, public awareness is vital to support the image and the prestige of employment in the sector.