Academy of Hospitality & Tourism: A Distinguished NAF Academy


  • The Academy of Hospitality & Tourism was established in 1987 through support from the American Express Foundation.  Over the years, its goals have remained constant; to expose high school students to the wide variety of opportunities and career paths in one of the world's largest industries and change high school education to make it more real and relevant.  Today, the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism education reform model is found in over 100 schools across the United States.

    Through small learning communities focused on the area of hospitality and tourism, Academy of Hospitality & Tourism students learn real-life lessons in related businesses outside of school that are consistently connected to regourous curriculum inside their classrooms.  This concentrated program demands that students build a strong academic foundation in social studies, business and language arts, which prepares them for post-secondary studies in hospitality and tourism and other disciplines, as well.  The Academy of Hospitality & Tourism is committed to having students graduate prepared for college and professional success beyond high school.

What is Career Technical Education

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Corporate Participation and Support

  • Through the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism, business leaders partner whit schools by securing internships, volunteering in classrooms, acting as mentors, and serving on local advisory boards.  National partnerships with NAF position many of these hospitality and tourism companies to engage their employees in Academies, assisting students to prepare for college and careers and providing the companies with an important workforce investment for the future.


  • Curriculum for the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism includes essential content based on expertise from leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry, and education experts.

    Courses include:

    • Principles of Hospitality & Tourism
    • Geography for Tourism
    • Delivering Great Customer Service
    • Event Planning
    • Hospitality Marketing
    • Sustainable Tourism
    • Graphic Design
    • Professional Ethics
    • Entrepreneurship

    Along with their required academic courses, students take one or two specialized, industry-related courses each semester and a college-level course in their senior year.  Every student is encouraged to take at least three years of mathematics, a semester of computer applications and at least one foreign language.  NAF curriculum applies project-based learning and integrates literacy instruction through an extended inquiry process that simulates professional knowledge and workplace behavior.

Paid Internships

  • Each summer, Academy of Hospitality & Tourism students work as paid interns at hotels, museums, travel centers, tourism bureaus, sports facilities and other hospitality and tourism-related settings.  These internships connect academies to the real world of work and establish important relationships between students and adult professionals in hospitality and tourism.

Last Modified on March 21, 2022