Banner - humanities

Dept of Hospitality, Tourism & Leisure Studies






Tourism is one of the world’s most vibrant and exciting global industries. The international scale of activities is enormous: 880 million international tourists in 2009, expected to grow to 1.6 billion by 2020; with international revenue of €611 billion. Similarly, in an Irish context, total tourism revenue of €5.3 billion in 2009 represented 3.8% of GNP in revenue terms. Some 6.6 million overseas visitors came to the country last year, while according to Fáilte Ireland 190,000 people are employed in the industry.

The past decade saw significant growth in leisure tourism resulting in the development of luxury hotel and leisure resorts, as a response to significant customer demand. This has also given rise to an increasing number of spa facilities, which is now an integral part of the Irish and international hospitality experience. Similarly, there is a growing awareness of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle; an issue addressed by our suite of courses in sport and recreation.

Both a labour-intensive and a people-centred industry, management and staff are an integral part of the customer experience. One of the challenges for the sector in this period is to recruit and retain staff and to develop a highly skilled and flexible workforce. This is crucial in order to retain and grow market share in what is a fiercely competitive global tourism market. Irish tourism is now at a turning point: facing a new set of challenges and operating in a volatile and dynamic market. 

Over the past two years, AIT has developed and introduced several new programmes designed to meet the needs of employers and the marketplace. These range from two-year higher certificates in areas such as culinary arts, bar supervision and hospitality studies; through to degree programmes in spa management, hotel and leisure management, and tourism and guest services management.

These courses – and indeed all programmes offered by the department – balance academic study with practical application. Practice placements are an integral part of many courses, where you get to experience life at the coal face, which will be of considerable benefit to you upon graduation.


Why Choose Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Studies at AIT?

  • Extensive periods of work placement are an intrinsic part of our programmes, which gives students critical practical experience highly valued by employers.
  • Lecturers have extensive industry experience which enriches their teaching.
  • Graduates from our honours degrees are deemed eligible by the Teaching Council to apply for a Postgraduate Diploma in Education.
  • Courses offer a combination of specialised niche skills, as well as generic competences, which affords graduates the maximum flexibility in their careers.
  • Classes are delivered in a modern state-of-the-art and dedicated hospitality, tourism and leisure studies building.