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Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration

College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

The recreation, parks and tourism administration program prepares you to embark on a career in the experience industry that includes experiential marketing, experience design, sport management, tourism, hospitality, destination management, outdoor recreation, adventure travel, and non-profit and community recreation.

San Luis Obispo, California

The recreation, parks and tourism administration major is an interdisciplinary program focusing on experience design, leadership, diversity and inclusion, experiential marketing, planning, management, finance, risk management, sustainability and assessment.

Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration Curriculum

Event Planning and Experience Management

This concentration prepares you for a career in experience design, event planning, leadership and management for a variety of event genres including corporate events, conventions, festivals, meetings, exhibitions, mega and hallmark events, sporting, international and non-profit events. Courses focus on strategic event planning, experiential marketing, structured experience and co-created experience design, implementation and management. 

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Sport and Recreation Management

This concentration prepares you for management positions with sport and recreation entities ranging from professional sport franchises to community nonprofit organizations to adventure recreation outlets and intercollegiate athletic programs. Areas of study include sport marketing and promotions, sport and environmental ethics, leadership and facilitation, special event planning, sports-based youth development, community relations, grant funding and development, and coaching.

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Tourism, Hospitality and Destination Management

This concentration prepares you for a career with organizations that provide visitor and guest experiences at local, national and international destinations. You may choose to emphasize in areas such as resort and lodging experience management, tourism planning and destination management, food and beverage experience management, tour operations, tourism, hospitality, destination marketing or entrepreneurship. 

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About the Program

Recreation, parks and tourism administration faculty will teach you how to design, plan, co-create, execute and manage events and experiences for individuals, communities and the global society.

The degree will equip you with the knowledge to design, plan and manage experiences across all sectors of the experience industry in California and around the world. You will work closely with our faculty in and outside of the classroom to create optimal experiences at events, programs, venues and destinations in one of the world’s largest and most dynamic industries. The department has earned a national reputation of distinction and excellence and was recently ranked third in the nation by College Factual. The program is accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions.

Learn by Doing

This major allows you to learn to design, create, execute, and manage structured experiences in a variety of real-life settings. Through the program’s 1,000 hours experience requirement and the culminating internship, you will be immersed in the real-world experience industry applications from your first year in the program to graduation. This allows you to network and design experiences with various industry organizations including George P. Johnson Experience Marketing, Visit SLOCAL, Special Olympics and the San Francisco Giants.

800 x 450 FPO

Experience Adventure Travel

Learn first-hand about the culture and the tourism industry of another country such as Costa Rica.

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Our Graduates

Recreation, parks and tourism administration students pursue careers as event planners, destination management specialists, hospitality managers, sport supervisors, sales and marketing directors, outdoor recreation planners, recreation business owners, travel trade managers, tourism marketing directors, park and recreation directors, and customer and employee experience design specialists.

Our graduates have worked with the Los Angeles Clippers, T-Mobile Sports Marketing, Visa North America Events, LinkedIn, Salesforce, TripAdvisor, Mission Viejo Recreation and Community Services, the National Park Service, Visit California and numerous other experience industry organizations.