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Columbia Southern University

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Southern New Hampshire University

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Colorado State University Global

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Grand Canyon University

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Colorado Christian University

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Full Sail University

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Regent University

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Purdue University Global

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Walden University

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Herzing University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

Where Can I Find Free Online Tourism Courses?

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Irvine, offer free online courses that relate to the tourism industry. Students will have access to course materials on topics such as hospitality, spas, and other service industries.

What You Need to Know

Whether you're an aspiring or current tourism employee, you can increase your knowledge of the field with the following free online tourism courses. Course materials typically include lecture notes and case studies.


University of California, Irvine

Through its OpenCourseWare project, UC Irvine offers a course in spa and hospitality operations. Students can access the course for free online.

What Will I Learn?

You can learn administrative and management strategies in the hospitality, spa and tourism industries. The course covers operations issues such as front and back of house, revenue and operating procedures.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

Assignments include creating a schematic for using a 5,000-square-foot spa space. Additionally, you can summarize the compensation model you would use to pay spa workers.

What Materials Are Provided?

The course includes a case study of a poorly performing spa. You can also perform the 'drag-and-drop' exercise, where you can test yourself on the pros and cons of internal and external recruitment theories.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Although not specifically targeted to the tourism industry, a graduate-level MIT OCW class on management of services covers topics that pertain to a wide range of service industries, including hospitality, entertainment, transportation and food service. Through this series of free lectures, you can study how both profit and non-profit service organizations use different service operations and frameworks to make their businesses more efficient and profitable.

What Will I Learn?

Lecture notes cover topics such as the role of the consumer and the employee in service organizations, consumer insurance and how to use Web services like digital media and cloud computing. You can also look at MIT student projects that compare the operational systems of different service organizations, including restaurants and specialty grocery stores.

How Can I Access the Course?

You can download the lecture notes, project examples and assignments directly from the site. Over 20 case studies are discussed in the course, and you can view the notes for those discussions as well. The syllabus has a list of texts for this course and optional readings that complement the course material.