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Travel and Tourism

Closed for Fall 2020 (International)

Closed for Fall 2021

Length: 2 years Credential: Diploma Delivery: Full Time Classroom

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With real-world experience working in SAIT’s student-run travel centre and courses focused on all aspects of the industry – from cruises and eco-tours to marketing and business management – prepare for a career in the growing world of tourism.

If you have a passion for the exciting world of travel and tourism, consider the diverse opportunities for employment in Canada and abroad. With a five-star rating from the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, the Travel and Tourism program at SAIT will give you a hands-on, practical education ensuring you’re ready to jump into the market with real-world knowledge and skills.

Tourism is one of the world’s hottest growth industries with new destinations opening up for visitors around the world. At SAIT, we prepare students for rewarding and in-demand careers through expert instruction from industry leaders, hands-on learning and state-of-the-art facilities. In fact, you’ll find SAIT alumni working in top tourism organizations in Calgary, Canada and around the globe.

During this full-time two-year program, you’ll learn how to use reservation systems for airlines, assess airfare and gain insight on industry rules and regulations. Our blended learning environment includes classroom instruction, laptop delivery and a live working environment - all delivered through a personalized approach.

Beyond learning about airline reservation processes, you’ll become familiar with global tourist areas and attractions, study technologies for selling cruises, vacation packages, adventure tours, eco-tours, niche travel and more. Your training also covers important areas including sales, marketing, business management, events planning, accounting, law and entrepreneurship.

Now for the exciting part - you get to apply these skills on campus in Destinations, the only live student-run travel centre in North America! As part of SAIT’s Destinations travel team, you’ll really get a taste for what it’s like to work in the tourism industry.

Destinations is a licensed travel centre that is equipped with the latest industry booking and accounting software. Students have travel agent access to all major airlines and tour companies. Here, you will work with the SAIT community to research, quote and make real reservations for flight, hotel, car, vacation packages and travel insurance bookings.

Travel industry software

As part of your training, you will have access to exclusive travel industry links and resources not available to the general public. Some examples of the latest industry software you’ll learn to use include:

  • airline reservation systems such as Apollo by Travelport and Sabre
  • online booking tools like Expedia, Travelocity and Travel Partners’ agent areas
  • automated accounting software connected to the booking systems.

Professional internship and study tours

Between your first and second year of study, you will apply your skills in a professional paid internship. In addition to gaining experience in a real-world environment, internships provide valuable connections and opportunities to network with future employers.

As a student, you can also take advantage of exciting international study tours. Previous tour locations have included Peru, Turkey, China, Central America, Vietnam, Egypt, Morocco and Southern Europe. We also offer study exchanges through the global education network to Australia and Singapore.

Work toward your Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) designation

Graduates with a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of semester five are encouraged to apply to write the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies (ACTA) national certification exam to progress toward the Certified Travel Counsellor (CTC) designation.

Is this the right fit for me?

Working in a retail setting can mean long hours sitting at a desk, interacting with clients, working with computers. Keep in mind industry hours can include weekend and evening shifts.

Airline careers or working as a tour operator often require heavy lifting (baggage), travel and shift work.

Sales and marketing careers may require frequent travel.

Most successful students spend approximately 20 hours per week doing homework and review, with additional study required to prepare for exams.

The material is presented at a fairly rapid rate. For the greatest level of success, you must be present and take responsibility for your learning experience.

You must be able to read, write and comprehend the English language at a level exceeding basic conversational English.

Students with higher grades in high school usually experience more success in SAIT programs.


The Travel and Tourism diploma program is endorsed by the Association of Canadian Travel Agencies, a national association that certifies and designates travel professionals across Canada.

An endorsement is granted when a travel program meets or exceeds the educational standards based on the nationally validated occupational standards for travel counselling.

Completion of the program prepares students to write the exam required to become a Certified Travel Counsellor. For more information on becoming a Certified Travel Counsellor, contact the Canadian Institute of Travel Counsellors.


After successfully completing this program, graduates will receive a SAIT diploma in Travel and Tourism.

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We've moved!

Take your Travel and Tourism career to the next level. Please visit our new Hospitality and Tourism Management diploma program. Same world class education, more opportunities for you to explore.

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Career opportunities

Graduates can pursue job opportunities in: 

  • retail and corporate travel 
  • airline customer service 
  • reservation call centres 
  • resorts and cruise lines 
  • destination attractions 

Related careers include: 

  • government tourism offices 

Tuition and fees per year*

Year 1: $5,768
Year 2: $5,355

Year 1 (International): $18,365  
Year 2 (International): $16,816

Year 1: TBA 
Year 2: TBA

Year 1 (International): $17,223 (+fees TBD)
Year 2 (International): $16,755 (+fees TBD)

*Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change

Full costs
Tuition and financial aid


You will be offered admission to this program through direct entry if you meet the admission requirements and space is available.

Admission Requirements

When can you apply?

  • Applications for Fall 2020 open Oct. 2, 2019, until July 1, 2020. 
Term Program start
Fall 2020 Sept. 8, 2020 

How to apply

How hotels are adapting and recovering during COVID-19

Hotel leaders from Calgary and New York share how the pandemic’s impacted their business and what’s next.

Admission Requirements

Admission and selection

  • Fall 2020 start: applications are accepted Oct. 2, 2019, until July 1, 2020.

Admission requirements

At least 50% in the following courses or equivalents:

  • Math 20-1 or Math 20-2 or Math 20-3 or Math 24 or Pure Math 20 or Applied Math 20
  • English Language Arts 30-1 or English Language Arts 30-2.

All applicants must demonstrate English Language Proficiency prior to admission, including students educated in Canada.

SAIT accepts high school course equivalents for admission. If you don't meet the requirements, consider Academic Upgrading.

SAIT evaluates international documents for admissions. After you've applied, consider our international document assessment service if your education is from outside of Canada. 

Direct entry: four-step process

Step 1: Read the program information to see the qualities needed for student success.

Step 2: Ensure that you meet all of the admission requirements listed above.

Step 3: Apply to Hospitality Management and submit your transcripts and/or anticipated final grades.

  • Admission will be extended on a first-qualified, first-offered basis until the program is full.

Step 4: Find out how to monitor your application status after you apply.

Communication during selection

Email is the primary source of communication during the selection process. Ensure your personal email account is managed appropriately to receive our emails, files and communications. 


Program outline

Looking for course descriptions and requisites? Visit the course catalogue

First year

Semester 1

Course Code Course Name Credit
COMM-256 Professional Communication and Presentation Skills 3.0
GEOG-225 Destination Studies I 3.0
TOUR-206 Leisure Travel Basics 1.5
TOUR-225 Tourism Career Explorations 1.5
TPRD-225 Tourism Product Essentials 3.0
TSAL-215 Customer Service Excellence 3.0
Semester 1 Total 15.0

Semester 2

Course Code Course Name Credit
GEOG-250 Destination Studies  II 3.0
MGMT-230 Organizational Behaviour in Tourism 3.0
TKTG-202 Automated Airline Reservations and Pricing 3.0
TPRD-250 Leisure Travel Products 3.0
TSAL-251 The Profession of Selling 3.0
Semester 2 Total 15.0

Semester 3

Course Code Course Name Credit
PRAC-274 Travel and Tourism Professional Internship 3.0
Semester 3 Total 3.0
First Year Total 33.0

Note: This course continues into semester 4.

Second year

Semester 4

Course Code Course Name Credit
ACCT-200 Accounting Fundamentals I 1.5
GEOG-325 Destination Studies III 3.0
HLAW-325 Travel and Tourism Law 3.0
MKTG-318 Introduction to Tourism Marketing 3.0
TOUR-325 Special Interest Tourism 3.0
TSAL-320 Travel Agency Orientation 1.5
Semester 4 Total 15.0

Semester 5

Course Code Course Name Credit
CONV-350 Business of Events 1.5
GEOG-350 Destination Studies IV 3.0
MGMT-365 Human Resource Management in Tourism 3.0
TOUR-315 Entrepreneurial Studies in Tourism 3.0
TOUR-350 Tour Planning and Design 3.0
TSAL-380 Travel Agency Operations 1.5
Semester 4 Total 15.0
Program Total 63.0


Students must attain a PGPA and/or a CGPA of 2.0 or better in each semester and pass the necessary prerequisite courses to progress through the program. To qualify for graduation, students must pass all courses, attain a CGPA of 2.0 or better and complete course requirements within the prescribed timelines.

Transfer options

The opportunity to advance your education through transfer to, within or from SAIT is available with the following universities and colleges:

  • Business Academy Aarhus, Denmark
  • Capilano University
  • Dublin Institute of Technology
  • Hong Kong Polytechnic University
  • Robert Gordon University, UK
  • Royal Roads University
  • University of Gloucestershire, UK
  • University of New Brunswick, Saint John
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Vancouver Island University

To learn more, visit  Transfer Options.


2020/21 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $4,546 $682 $288 $252 $5,768
2 $4,133 $682 $288 $252 $5,355

2020/21 International Tuition and Fees*

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2020/21 total
1 $17,053 $682 $288 $460 $18,365
2 $15,503 $682 $288 $460 $16,816

2021/22 Domestic Tuition and Fees*

Check back for updates on the 2021/22 domestic tuition and fees. 

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 TBA $- $- $- TBA
2 TBA $- $- $- TBA

2021/22 International Tuition and Fees*

Check back for updates on the 2021/22 fees and program total.  

Year Tuition fees SAIT fees Saitsa fees Health & Dental Plan 2021/22 total
1 $17,223 $- $- $- TBA
2 $16,755 $- $- $- TBA

*Fees and tuition are based on a two-semester full course load structure. There may be additional fees for practicums and terms held outside this time frame. 


Campus athletic and recreation Fee: $171.20
Universal transit pass (UPass): $310 - Check eligibility here.
Student support fee: $100
Student technology fee: $100

Health and Dental Fees

Domestic Students 

  • Health Plan: $122
  • Dental Plan: $130
  • For students with existing health and/or dental plans, please refer to the Saitsa website for information on opting out.

International Students 

  • Health and Dental Plan: $344
  • For more information on Health and Dental Benefits for International students please contact the International Centre.

Books and supplies*

  • Books and supplies are approximately $1,500 for year one and $750 for year two.

Find out about tuition and financial aid.

* Tuition, fees, books and supply costs are subject to change.

Next steps for incoming students

Have you been accepted to this program? Here's what you'll need for your first day of classes.

Important dates and deadlines

Find important dates applicable to all students, including your transcript and tuition payment deadlines on our Important Dates page.

Important Dates

Fall 2020


Orientation for new students will take place online on Sept. 4, 2020.

To find the time and platform, visit our orientation page.


All classes in this program will be delivered online for the Fall 2020 term due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated health and safety guidelines.

How to register for classes

You'll follow an adjustable block registration process to enrol in your classes. Learn how to register on our registration and schedules page.

Computers and laptops

This is a bring your own device program with a standard hardware and software requirement. See the specific requirements on our computers and laptops page

Preparation courses

To support your success, SAIT offers some short courses before classes start, including PREP 100: The SAIT Experience and ETHI 110: SAIT Ethical Practices. 

Required textbooks

The booklist will be available about two weeks before classes start.

Can’t find your program or course? The bookstore didn't receive a textbook list. Contact your program directly to determine if they’re still refining course details or if you're in luck, no textbook purchase required this term.

Anticipated supply costs: You will need to purchase books and program supplies in your first week. Your books and supplies will cost approximately $1,150 for year one and $750 for year two. This is not included in your tuition.

Internship: Between your first and second year of study, you will get to apply your skills in a mandatory professional internship. Internship course fees are due in May of your first year (approximately $422 for domestic students.) This is included in the overall tuition listed in the fee table, however, it often comes as a surprise since the bulk of your tuition is due in August and January.

Optional international study tour: There is an optional international study tour between the first and second year. Interested students should budget approximately $3,500.


Andy Trache, Academic Advisor
Phone: 403.210.4343
Email: andy.trache@sait.ca

Academic chair

Hala Dehais, Academic Chair 
Phone: 403.210.4343
Email: hala.dehais@sait.ca

Have questions about this program?

Contact us at

School of Hospitality and Tourism

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