By Guadalupe Santos-Sanchez, Staff Reporter
The new Tourism Club at CNM is just at its inception with the members having just had their orientation the last week of September, said Juan Flores, president of the Tourism Club.
In meetings they talk about new projects for the club and what they want to do to try and get the most out of the events that they participate in all while thinking or ways to get the word out about the club, he said.
“It is really important that we contribute to the community because the community is an essential part of tourism and hospitality”, he said.
The most recent event the club participated in was at the Santa Ana Golf Course were business leaders in the Hospitality and Tourism field held a golf tournament, he said.
Management and other leading members of the industry were all present to partake in this e event which allowed members of the club opportunities to network and meet their potential bosses in the fields they study, he said.
“We were able to help them set up the tournament and we were able to have some fun by monitoring the players and interacting with the various groups that passed through and it was a really good time,” Flores said.
At this event, the members of the club were able to get first hand exchange and input from people in the business and get the word out about who they were, Flores said.
Monique Martinez, Secretary and Treasurer of the Tourism Club said the club is going to help students get the networking and exposure that will be extremely beneficial in the Hospitality and Tourism industries in order to get good jobs after graduation.
“It’s always cool to have a sense of belonging and unity, so I think at the very least people will get support for each other, but hopefully they’ll also maybe find a pretty decent job or at least be able to promote their own businesses that they choose to open later,” Martinez said.
Lynne Cash, Vice president of the Tourism Club said the club will also help others in the CNM surrounding community become aware of what Hospitality and Tourism is really all about.
The club is working hard to get the CNM name out there and word of mouth is one of the most important things to be able to do when it comes to network, Cash said.
“Hospitality and Tourism is basically the way a person is treated by another, it is a way of opening up your doors, it can be a home, an establishment, a business or an organization, and making any visitors or guest feel happy, wanted and satisfied with all parts of their visit,” she said.
Tourism Club advisor, Dr. David Mack Jackson said the members of the club are going to apply what they are learning in the classroom to real world situations.
What they are learning about hospitality is how it applies to all business, he said.
“The Tourism club is an awesome way that Hospitality and Tourism students at CNM can actually apply what they learn in the classroom, not just at a community level but at a national level and I recommend any CNM student to join this club because it’s so enriching,” he said.
It is going to help Hospitality and Tourism students apply the concepts of 21st century hospitality, Jackson said.
“Plus they make connections, my main focus with all my students is to help them get a job, the tourism club will help them because it’s going to put them in the right connections, the right networking, and with the right people,” Jackson said.
They are also learning that tourism cannot exist without a destination’s unique history, he said.
All the students in this club are exploring the unique history of New Mexico and its local historical value so when a person wants to know what there is to do or what there is to see they can be given a list of items with a detailed history on each one which is what most visitors request when planning to see a new location, he said.
Luis Estrada, Hospitality and Tourism major and club member said the club is going to help people know why things are here and where they originated from because a lot of people in the city might not even realize the amount of historical stuff located right here in the city.
“I’m really looking forward to being in the club, I’m hoping to learn how tourism works and how to make it work for me, also to get experience,” he said.
In these explorations club members will be able to meet with different businesses like the Great Albuquerque Innkeepers Association and the Albuquerque New Mexico Tourism Association, Jackson said.
These organizations are the leaders in the industry in the state of New Mexico so this provides unique opportunities for the members of the club, he said.
The club is currently planning future events which may include conventions, the Breaking Bad Tour, the Dia de Los Muertos Parade, and various educational opportunities on different landmarks in Albuquerque, Flores said.
The club is also planning to work with The Chronicle to bring in some of New Mexico’s unknown history and share it with the student body of CNM, he said.
“People will benefit a lot more being part of the club because it will increase the value of what they are learning”, Jackson said.