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Cultural diversity in the curriculum: perceptions and attitudes of Irish hospitality and tourism academics

Devine, F. and Hearns, N. and Baum, T.G. and Murray, A. (2008) Cultural diversity in the curriculum: perceptions and attitudes of Irish hospitality and tourism academics. Irish Educational Studies, 27 (1). pp. 81-97. ISSN 0332-3315

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Academics are facing significant challenges in preparing indigenous students for employment in the multicultural working environment of hospitality and tourism organisations. In dealing with the impact of the new skills and flexibilities demanded by increasing globalisation, the indigenous workforce needs to possess a multicultural perspective and the adaptive skills and mindsets to integrate more inclusively in diverse work settings. This article explores the nature of cultural diversity within the Irish hospitality and tourism workforce (in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). An attempt is made to identify the challenges that hospitality and tourism educators face in implementing education for cultural diversity within the curriculum in order to prepare indigenous students (and indeed local industry staff) for employment within a multicultural workforce. The main themes analysed include: training requirements; educators' requirements; programme content and learning outcomes; assessment methods; and methods of programme delivery.