To recognise those universities delivering excellence in Tourism, Hospitality and/or Aviation courses and working closely with the industry sector(s) to help them enhance their student offering and promoting opportunities and careers. 




  • Use of an ITT Centre of Excellence logo 
  • Access to high level industry speakers 
  • Access to senior industry figures for research purposes 
  • An annual ITT Centre of Excellence Student of the Year award certificate. The student is nominated by the university.
  • A place on the ITT Education and Training Committee
  • The opportunity to host an ITT Future You Roadshow
  • The opportunity to nominate ITT Student Ambassadors.


University members of ITT are invited to apply by sending an email to Claire Steiner, Chair of the Education and Training Committee, who will explain the process of application. Applications can be made at any time (i.e. there is no closing date). 


The criteria used to judge applications are listed below. Institutions must submit an application that addresses each of these criteria.

The judging panel will comprise:

  • Chair of the Education and Training Committee  
  • Five or more members of the Education and Training Committee

The judging panel will review each application and make one of the following decisions:

  • approve the application
  • seek confirmation/evidence of selected claims
  • seek clarification (and possibly evidence) of aspects of the application

Successful applicants will be promoted on the ITT Website and ITT Education & Training Portal.

ITT’s University Centre of Excellence status lasts for three years. ITT will contact the university at least two months before the status elapses, inviting them to apply for continuation.

Unsuccessful applicants will be entitled to a written explanation within 21 days of the judging panel informing them of their decision.


1) Courses and the curriculum

  • Course provision that ranges from undergraduate to PhD level in travel and tourism.
  • A curriculum that is informed by research on industry trends and the perspectives of practitioners (indicative evidence might be reports written by departmental staff, industry panels, partnership work with industry).
  • Trends in the labour market are used to inform course design and delivery (indicative evidence as above but relating to the labour market).

2) Tourism research

  • An extensive and established track record of high quality research. This would be illustrated by a blend of the following: PhD completions, research council and other funded projects, publication record of staff, ‘home’ of journal(s) and books.

3) Tourism consultancy

  • An extensive and established track record of influencing international, national and regional policy and practice in the private and/or public sector (indicative evidence might include private and public sector clients, prominent reports that are referred to by decision-makers, senior non-executive roles on national or international sector bodies).

4) Learning resources

  • Extensive library collection including official sources and electronic journals.
  • An estate/facilities that exemplifies best practice.

5) Academic staff

  • Well qualified academic staff with sufficient critical mass for specialist functions (indicative evidence would include numbers of staff with PhDs, fellowship status membership of professional associations).
  • At least one professorial appointment.
  • A network of Visiting Fellows (industry) and Visiting Research Fellows (academics).

 6) Graduate employment

  • An exemplary record of graduate employment in the sector (indicative evidence might include first destination statistics and case histories of students who have progressed within the sector).
  • Demonstration of engagement with employers and research on employer needs and expectations.
  • A programme of activities to enhance the employability of their graduates. This would normally include networking events where students could meet employers.

7) Partnerships

  • Established and functioning partnership activities with industry, other universities and schools/colleges (indicative evidence might include membership of a Diploma consortium, business clubs, sponsorship agreements, hosting events with partner organisations, staff with active membership of professional associations, staff undertaking roles of responsibility in academic or research networks).

8) Added value

  • A programme of events and other embedded activities that significantly enhance the contribution the university makes to students and the sector. (This is an opportunity for institutions to showcase additional strengths.)