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Punta Cana: Resort Management

Winter Session: December 27, 2022 - January 11, 2023

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.

 “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.”

Professor and General Manager

Tom Duetsch
Blacksburg Country Club
(540) 552-9165

Ellie Walters
1046 Pamplin Hall
(540) 231-3208