Cape Breton University Instructor, Stephanie MacPherson, admits she was a little intimidated and very excited when she was asked to chair the committee organizing the first international tourism conference at CBU. Slated for November 8 and 9, the virtual conference will hear from people around the globe, as tourism industry professionals gather to consider the theme: Reimagining the Tourism and Hospitality Industry Workforce.
“As conference chair, my first task was to find presenters to share their expertise,” Stephanie explains. “We secured an amazing line-up of presenters who are eager to lead and participate in collaborative discussions about reimagining the tourism workforce.” The two-day conference will feature more than 30 presenters from various disciplines who will discuss the challenges, opportunities and solutions related to the tourism industry. This includes in-house presenters and others from around the globe. It will offer a mix of panel discussions, guest speakers and academic research talks.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to build and sustain a dialogue with tourism operators, business development organizations, governments and policy-makers,” says Stephanie. “The tourism industry is a major economic driver for many communities, provinces and countries so we’re being proactive in planning for the future.”
As Co-Director of CBU’s World Tourism Institute, Stephanie joined CBU in 2014 as an instructor in the Bachelor of Hospitality and Tourism Management program, with a promotion to Senior Instructor in 2020. She brings a depth of knowledge and experience with an Accelerated Masters in Tourism Administration degree with a concentration in sustainable destination management from the George Washington University in Washington, DC. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Management in Hospitality and Tourism from the University of New Brunswick and a diploma in Events and Conventions Management from the Atlantic Tourism and Hospitality Institute at Holland College in Prince Edward Island. Prior to joining CBU, she worked in the tourism industry, as well as higher education, in parts of Canada and the United States.
Stephanie offers a passion for all things tourism, from the food, the nature and the economic potential the industry offers. She’s currently working on a research project with CBU business professor, Dr. Bishakha Mazumdar. The two have teamed-up to explore opportunities to respond to labour challenges in tourism and hospitality by engaging older workers and retirees. This will be a featured topic during the conference.
“We hope that this conference will build relationships, enthusiasm and confidence in our ability to respond to labour challenges in the tourism industry,” says Stephanie. “It’s such a worthwhile effort and fits well with CBU’s strategic focus on being a champion of the Island’s prosperity.”
Registration for the conference closes on November 4. Conference details, including registration, can be found on the website: Reimagining the Tourism & Hospitality Industry Workforce – November 8, 2022
The World Tourism Institute will continue to be a leader in tourism development, with the recent award of over $2 million from the Government of Canada Special Initiatives Project to develop a Cape Breton Island Tourism Training Network.