It’s graduation season, which means that students who have just finished matric are eager and eager to enter the workforce.
The University of Houston graduates were inspired by their first keynote speaker, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy, as she spoke about how travel and tourism affects many sectors, and how it changes people’s lives.
Carnival Cruise Line President Encourages Graduates
On Friday, May 12, 2023, Carnival Cruise Line President Christine Duffy delivered a spring commencement address to the graduates. Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership at the University of Houston.
“It is an honor to thank this hardworking group of graduates and welcome them, our future leaders, in the travel and hospitality industry as they begin to take action in their lives and careers,” he said. said Duffy.
In his speech, Mr. Duffy emphasized the economic importance of the travel and hospitality industry, including how large and small communities are affected by tourism.
“The impact of travel and tourism extends beyond cruises and hotels and theme parks. Our industry generates billions of dollars in investment and innovation each year in technology, sustainable energy, food security and water conservation, and construction,” said Duffy.
“We have a responsibility to lead beyond our business and to set an example for other sectors on how to innovate, improve people, protect the environment and create a workplace that is diverse and inclusive.”
Not all aspects of travel, hospitality, and tourism intersect with other areas, but at their core, these industries bring together families and friends, old and new, to create new memories and lasting moments.
“It’s a big responsibility, but after speaking to the students here in Houston today, my hope for a better future is as strong as ever,” he said. He continued. “The good news is that the demand for travel and hospitality in 2023 is even higher than it was in 2019 – that’s what your future holds!”
Duffy also highlighted the increase in travel, and highlighted how the global pandemic has affected the industry.
“This pandemic has shown us how important ‘Freedom to Travel’ is,” he said. “Even though shipping has been closed for 16 months, many countries and the world have experienced restrictions that have prevented travel. Sometimes it takes losing something to realize its value.”
Different Work as an Example
Throughout his speech, Duffy emphasized the diversity of the travel and hospitality industry and how it can take graduates from anywhere.
“There are so many different places a career in this industry can take you,” said Duffy. “I am a good example of that, given my beginnings as a receptionist in a travel agency – until 40 years later, to be the President of the most famous ship in the world!”
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Duffy’s career as the first female president of Carnival Cruise Line has been a long and varied journey that began not with a college degree, but as a travel agent in Philadelphia.
He has worked with industry conferences and events, and was president and CEO of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), and served on various boards and with various travel promotion organizations.
In 2014, Duffy was named president of Carnival Cruise Line, taking over after Gerry Cahill retired.
It’s diversity that Duffy credits for adding strength to the travel industry, that diversity of opinion strengthens a team and promotes success.
Today, college travel, hospitality, and tourism professionals are in demand for leadership positions and bring their expertise to all aspects of the industry. The Conrad N. Hilton College of Global Hospitality Leadership at the University of Houston offers a variety of programs to help students become professionals with seven undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degree programs.
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The school has about 650 undergraduate students, and about 125 Master’s students in various special courses. Together, the student body represents 30 different countries, and over the years, more than 9,500 of the school’s alumni work in hospitality positions in more than 50 countries around the world.