TSU’s College of Business prepares students for Nashville’s booming tourism industry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University’s Hospitality and Tourism program in the College of Business is helping students capitalize on the state’s multibillion-dollar tourism and hospitality industry.

Last year, Nashville took in $7 billion from tourists, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation.

Zuhair Al-Bunni, a TSU junior majoring in business administration with an emphasis in hospitality. (TSU Media Relations)

TSU has been a leader among other local colleges in providing education in Tourism and Hospitality to meet the needs of the booming industry in Nashville.

“The partnerships we’ve cultivated with businesses and organizations across the city have been vital to our success as educators,” says TSU President Glenda Glover.

“From the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp., to the Music City Center, to a long list of hotels and entertainment attractions across Davidson County, these community partners have helped launch careers for area university students. In return, these organizations receive ambitious, energetic young minds who help meet a growing employment need as the Music City’s brand continues to draw millions from across the globe eager to experience our rich and friendly culture.”

Dr. Millicent Lownes-Jackson, Dean of the College of Business at TSU, echoes President Glover’s sentiments that the university is in a unique position to provide students the very best education and workforce preparation in the industry. 

“We are fortunate to be located in a city that is on the move!” says Dr. Lownes-Jackson. 

“In 2018 alone, 15 new hotels and 131 new restaurants opened and Nashville was repeatedly named as one of the best travel destinations of the year. This represents a tremendous opportunity for our students to grow and lead within an industry that is thriving in Nashville.”

The College of Business dean adds that TSU’s Hospitality and Tourism program combines “rigorous academic training with real-world experience in the industry.”

Zuhair Al-Bunni is a junior majoring in business administration with an emphasis in hospitality. Through TSU’s Hospitality and Tourism program, he currently has an internship at a local hotel, and plans to one day be a general manager at one.

“The program at TSU is helping to give me real-world experience,” says Al-Bunni. “The market is expected to keep on booming. So when I graduate, I will have all I need to be successful in this industry.”

The university’s Hospitality Management program in particular gives students the opportunity to build their entrepreneurial, managerial, functional, operational, and analytical skill set to maximize their success.

Because of Nashville’s lucrative tourism industry, they are able to benefit from a dynamic local, national, and global competitive environment

“The College of Business has partnered with the leaders of Nashville hotels, restaurant groups, and others within the tourism industry to provide our students with a forward-thinking experience that will prepare them to lead within the industry,” says Dr. Chunxing Fan, chair of the Department of Business Administration.

There were 71,140 hospitality industry jobs in Nashville in 2018, and 15.8 million visitors traveled to the Greater Nashville area in fiscal year 2019, a 7 percent increase over FY18’s 14.8 million, according to NCVC.

“It is no secret that Nashville’s economic boom is intimately tied to its growing hospitality and tourism community,” says Marie Sueing, NCVC’s vice president of multi-cultural community relations. 

“A professional workforce is critical to the continued success of this industry, and great programs such as the one offered at Tennessee State University will help to prepare individuals for the many career opportunities available in the hospitality and tourism field. Of equal importance, is having a rich and diverse workforce to ensure that visitors from all over the world feel welcome in all of our communities. TSU will play a significant role in helping to fill the need for these leadership positions throughout Music City.”

To learn more about TSU’s College of Business Hospitality Management curriculum and its other programs, visit www.tnstate.edu/business/index.aspx.

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209

About Tennessee State University

Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a  premier, historically black university and land-grant institution offering 38 bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and seven doctoral degrees.  TSU is a comprehensive research intensive institution with a R-2 Carnegie designation, and has a graduate school on its downtown Avon Williams Campus, along with the Otis Floyd Nursery Research Center in McMinnville, Tennessee.  With a commitment to excellence, Tennessee State University provides students  with a quality education in a nurturing and innovative environment that prepares them as alumni to be global leaders in every facet of society. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.