Iceland & Maine Tourism: Research, Travel Class, Master’s Degree

Target Areas: Globally Competent Students, Environmental Health, Cultural Connections, Investments Tourism is leading the economy in Maine and Iceland. There are many similarities in the rural landscape, culture, and tourism economy of both places. There are also workforce shortages and lack of planning in both places that puts this economic driver at risk. There is a lot to learn from each other. Developing collaborative educational programs and research projects is a way to sustain the tourism landscape, grow, and improve the tourism industry in Maine. Two MEIF grants have supported the following specific projects including an undergraduate travel class of USM TAH students to Iceland bi-annually; Development of joint research projects on sustainable tourism issues with the University of Iceland; Speaker series and presentations of faculty from Maine in Iceland and faculty from Iceland in Maine; Creation of a Tourism Concentration in Reykjavik University’s Master of Business taught by USM TAH faculty. Student Benefit: USM TAH students benefit from this work by connecting global issues in the tourism industry and skills they learn in Maine to Iceland through faculty research and the speaker series; Having the opportunity for international travel and applying their class knowledge in a global context through the travel class: Having an opportunity to proceed to a business graduate school with a tourism concentration (something not available to them in New England) in the new Reykjavik University Master’s program collaboration.