It’s no secret that the hospitality industry is the Golden Isles’ bread and butter.
Every year, more than $1 billion flows into the community from tourism alone.
With the Isles’ future depending on the health of the industry, it’s critical for locals to have a firm grasp of current trends and future predictions. That’s why Skip Mounts, dean of the College of Economics at the College of Coastal Georgia, wants to host a forum for local professionals at the College of Coastal Georgia.
The Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management Forum is slated for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 21 in the Stembler Theatre in the Campus Center at the college in Brunswick. The event is free and open to the public but preregistration is required. Lunch will be provided. Mounts says the purpose of the community forum is to explore major trends and challenges in hospitality and tourism.
“It’s important to have this type of forum here because hospitality and tourism is so important here. And it also recognizes that the college can be a forum for discussions like these,” he said.
Mounts also feels it will give businesses the opportunity to step away from work for a day to learn more about their industry.
“This forum is for people who have businesses that are dependent on that. A lot of times businesses are busy and don’t have time to step back and look at a larger view of what’s going on in the industry. So it’s a good opportunity to come to get away from work and talk to experts and scholars,” Mounts said.
It will afford students at the college a chance to do the same, he says.
“We started offering a bachelor of business administration with a concentration in hospitality, resort and tourism management. So we have invited students to it as well,” he said. “Overall it’s a good way to get us engaged to enhance the engagement of the college in the community.”
The forum will be divided into three sessions, each with a different lecturer and topic. The morning session will begin at 10 a.m. and run until noon.
Billy Bai, professor and senior assistant dean at the College of Hotel Administration at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, will discuss hospitality trends.
Following Bai will be Christian Hardigree, founding director and professor at the Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality at Kennesaw State University, will give a presentation. Also an experienced trial attorney, Hardigree will discuss Sustainability and the Future of Hospitality and Food Service Industries. Her session will explore the impacts of climate change, pollution and the loss of biodiversity on the hospitality and food industries. She will also touch on how sustainable management systems can be designed for businesses.
In the afternoon, from 12:45 to 2 p.m., Tyra Warner Hillard will give a presentation on how businesses can prepare for the crisis situations. She is an event and crisis preparedness consultant, as well as an adjunct faculty member of the College of Coastal Georgia. Hillard will discuss the planning, training, equipment and community involvement necessary to protect guests and employees.
The final presentation will be given by Chris Brown, assistant professor of the Department of Exercise Science and Sports Management at Kennesaw State University.
He will discuss a topic near and dear to the Isles — golf tourism and its impact on economic development. Brown will discuss current trends in golf course management and marketing.
Scott McQuade, executive director of the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau, is excited to see this type of forum offered here.
“The Convention and Visitors Bureau is also excited to participate and learn from
The Brunswick News