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Tourism Institute

Tourism Institute is designed to offer students in the Tourism and Special Events concentration outstanding opportunities for field-based learning in various locations both nationally and internationally.  The Tourism Institutes are four-week intensive courses that run in both the wintermester (over winter break) and maymester (after spring semester).  These courses combine classroom and place-based learning in locations such as France and the Bahamas.  Students will earn up to 9 credits towards their 12 credit tourism concentration during one of these institutes.  We cover issues such as cultural immersion, sustainable tourism efforts, marine and charter boat tourism, coastal and coral reef issues, social and cultural exchange, development of personal travel ethics.  

Radford University's Tourism Institutes are place-based, four-week courses


Photo from Tourism Institute 2014 – France

Tourism Institute- France is typically offered every other year during the wintermester through the RCPT department at Radford University.  Over winter break we visit France, spending about 5 days in Paris and visiting world-renowned sites like the Louvre, L’ Arc de Triomphe, Versailles, Notre Dame, and several other sites throughout this remarkable city which is steeped deep in architectural, artistic, and cultural history.  We then take a train about 200 miles south to the Avergne region of France, with strong viticulture, recreation, and mountain influences.  Here we meet students with our sister university – Blaise-Pascal, and spend another 5 days in the quaint riverside city of Vichy, which is known for its healing spring waters, picturesque parks, and ideal climate.  During this course we cover topics such as tourism trends, economic impacts of tourism, travel ethics, cultural learning, tourism motivations, and cultural appreciation.  For more information please contact Mrs. Katie Newman: knewman8@radford.edu


Tourism Institute Bahamas is offered each maymester and includes a full week of sailing aboard a 57’ catamaran in the Bahamas, where students will have unparalleled opportunities for snorkeling, sailing, beach excursions, Bahamian culture exchange, island resort tours, arts, music, and attractions.  The sailing portion will take place in the protected Sea of Abaco, Bahamas, ringed by pristine coral reefs, and quaint, friendly Bahamian villages and towns. We will anchor in harbors, and off of small sandy cays such as Treasure Cay, Guana Cay, Hopetown, Little Harbour and Man-o-War Cay.

Students will engage in excursions to learn about coral reef management, beach use, island tourism and trends in marine and charter boat tourism. While sailing, students will visit remote islands for a closer look at local fish, reefs, beaches, historical attractions and their interrelationships with local livelihoods.  We will experience tourism as both a provider and an end-user, developing a critical eye for sustainability issues and tourism impacts culturally, economically, and ecologically.


This course will provide invaluable information and experience in marine-based tourism which has become one of the world’s most popular tourism industries. Specific topics covered during this course include tourism management, sustainable tourism, service industry response to demand, coastal tourism issues, protection of a diversity of experiences, and attraction and provision of tourism settings. The course includes 1 week of preparation, planning and learning before embarking on a 1-week sailing cruise in the Bahamas, followed by two weeks of student-led regional tours in the New River Valley upon our return.  These tours include destinations such as Floyd County, Claytor Lake, Cascades Waterfall, The New River, and Downtown Roanoke and many more.  The course fee of $1850 covers airfare to the Bahamas from Charlotte, NC, food in the Bahamas, charter fees,  tours, entrance fees, and accommodations aboard the sailing yacht.   For more information please contact Dr. Joshua Carroll: jcarroll6@radford.edu  

Tourism C

Note: The Tourism Institute includes nine credit hours towards the Tourism and Special Events concentration. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How many credits is the Tourism Institute?
A: The Tourism Institute (RCPT 481) is 9 credit hours for undergraduates. This can count for 9 of the 12 credits required for the Tourism and Special Events concentration.

Q: What are the costs for Tourism Institute?
A: For Tourism Institute there are fees beyond the standard tuition costs of 9 credits at RU.  Therefore, students pay the standard cost of 9 credits plus the course fee.  The course fees cover travel expenses, food and additional resources that are needed for your course. Typically the France course fees are around $3600 (includes airfare), and the Bahamas are $1850 (includes airfare from Charlotte, NC).  

Q: Who do I talk to about this to get additional information?
A: Dr. Joshua Carroll is the Tourism and Special Events Coordinator in RCPT – contact him for questions regarding the Bahamas (jcarroll6@radford.edu).  For the France trip, contact Mrs. Katie Newman (knewman8@radford.edu).