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Punta Cana: Resort Management

Tentative Dates: December 29, 2020 – January 13, 2021

Students at the resort
Pool at the resort
Casa de Campo

The Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 3 credit hour Education Abroad Program will be held over a 15‐day period. The foundation of the course will be provided in the classroom within the Punta Cana Resort and Club and will include faculty and invited guest lectures complimented with field trips to appropriate sites. Punta Cana is one of the premier resort destination locations in the world, with an incredible diversity of resort experiences available (all inclusive, family, wedding destination, sustainable, etc.).

The program will include an overview of hospitality in the Dominican Republic with instruction on various aspects of resort management including service, sports amenities, and food and beverage operations, cruise ship operations, destination weddings, marketing, agro-tourism, and crisis management.

This course features behind-the-scenes tours of some of some of the most beautiful properties in the Dominican Republic such as Club Med, Hard Rock, Paradisus Palma Real, and Sanctuary Cap Cana.

Itinerary includes a number of half day opportunities to take in the sights, hang out on white sand beaches, golf, go to the spa, etc.

Learning Objectives:

  • Review common resort design principles and practices and examine the relationship between developers, land, and golf course communities.
  • Discuss the environmental impact of resort development in Punta Cana and ways in which clubs and resorts are using environmental and socially sustainable initiatives.
  • Examine the burgeoning spa business and the impact it has on resort management.
  • Review the uniqueness of timeshare resort operations. Explain crisis management for clubs and resorts, especially as it relates to natural disasters such as hurricanes.
  • Explore the impact of the $20 Billion destination wedding industry.

Faculty Leader:

Tom Duetsch is the program leader and instructor. He is an adjunct instructor in the department of Hospitality and Tourism Management and has taught HTM 3044 (Club Management), HTM 2515 (Catering Management) and HTM 1414 (Introduction to Hospitality). He is a certified club manager through the Club Managers Association of America and has been General Manager of the Blacksburg Country Club for 18 years.

Undergraduates will receive three credits for HTM 3954. This course can also be substituted for the Area 2 and/or Area 7 requirement. Graduate students can receive three credits for HTM 5954, Study Abroad.

Note: This program is designed to provide a more economical option for students who want to study abroad and do not have time to do so during the summer.


Students will be able to travel home from Blacksburg at the conclusion of the fall semester and enjoy the holiday. An added benefit of this study abroad is that you do not need to travel as a group and can fly from an airport of your choosing to Punta Cana. You should plan to arrive in Punta Cana no later than 6pm on December 29.

At the airport, you will enjoy VIP Service to the Punta Cana Resort. A representative will be waiting for you as you deplane and will personally escort you through Customs, assist you in baggage claim, and provide transportation to your room on the Punta Cana Resort property.

Your departing flight can be anytime on January 13. Again, VIP Service staff will take you from the resort to the airport, escort you through airline check-in, custom security area, and walk you to your departure gate.


Each student must have a valid passport from their home country. You can apply for a passport in Squires Student Center.

You should insure that you have the proper vaccinations for this program. This can be done through  a county health department or your family physician. Your family physician usually does not have the more specialized vaccines and should refer you to the county health department. You can see a list of recommended vaccinations and other health information at the CDC travel website.

These sites have additional information:


Details coming soon!

Punta Cana Bookmark.pdf

Program fees are $1,950. Virginia Tech tuition, fees, and other costs are noted below. A non-refundable deposit of $500, payable online is due after acceptance into program, with the balance of program fees due October 10.

APPLY EARLY; Acceptance on first-come basis with priority given to HTM students.

Deadline for Applications: Oct. 1, 2020



 Pre-trip Personal Costs:



 VT GEO Application fee

 $                       50

 $                       50

 VT GEO Participation fee

 $                       50

 $                       50


 $                     550

 $                     550


 $                      145

 $                       145




Pamplin billing:

 $                   1,950

 $                   1,950




 Required Group Travel






 Medical Insurance






VT tuition & fees (based on 2018 rates):

 $                  1,262

 $                 3,267




Funds required during program:


Personal Expenses

 $                       20

 $                       20

 Meals not included

 $                        -   

 $                        -  




Total Estimated Costs

$  4,027


Note:  Virginia Tech reserves the right to make cancellations, date and cost adjustments, and other necessary changes in the program. Prices may change due to global economic conditions.  

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Your financial aid eligibility can apply to this program. You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to the University Financial Aid Office.

In addition, you must submit the study abroad cost documentation form to the Global Education Office at the International Affairs building, 526 Prices Fork Road, room 131.  The form can be found on the Global Education Financial Aid page.

Due to prepayment on items such as air and lodging, billing may not be in sync with financial aid payouts. Please be prepared to pay costs in advance, and be reimbursed with any payouts later.

Preference will be given to HTM students until June 1, 2020.

Registration is on a first-come-first-served basis once all paperwork is completed, with priority given to HTM students.

Apply Here...coming soon!


  • HTM 3954: 2.3 overall GPA or instructor consent.
  • HTM 5954: 3.0 overall

 “Absolutely life changing.”  

“I learned so much about Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic, and got to have so many incredible experiences with amazing people.  None of us ever wanted to leave.”

“It was absolutely amazing… I learned so much that could only be taught outside of the classroom, hands on.”  

“Nothing will ever be able to prepare you for the cultural experience you are surrounded with on this trip.  The people you meet will honestly change your life and views.”