Adventure Guiding Option, Tourism & Hospitality Management Diploma

Train on Vancouver Island to become an adventure guide and gain the skills to own or operate an adventure tourism business. Develop essential knowledge to work across cultures, with consideration towards environmental sustainability and risk management. Balance classroom theory with applied learning.


Watch an information session with Adventure Guiding instructor David Pinel

Where: Comox Valley, Online
Starts: September
Length: 2 years On-campus and Digital (Blended)

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After graduating from the Adventure diploma I completed my degree in Tourism Management, then a post graduate certificate in Destination Development. After schooling I continued to guide and even ran my own company. My new career with the Canadian Coast Guard as a Risk Analyst for Maritime Search and Rescue Delivery (RAMSARD) became possible because of my studies, training and experience in marine-based Adventure Tourism.

Trevor Chapman, NIC Adventure Guiding Management Diploma graduate.

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Program Requirements

Year 1

Year 1 and parts of year 2 of the Adventure Guiding option are offered on a cost recovery basis.  Tuition for the field focused skills reflects the cost of delivery and industry certification.  This diploma option pairs our popular Adventure Guiding certificate with elements of the Tourism & Hospitality Management diploma.

NOTE: This year of the program is contingent on sufficient student demand.

Field Focused

Core Competencies

*Note - These courses are all scheduled with reserved sections for the Adventure Guiding option - no separate course registration is necessary.  

Field Skill Options

Two field skill electives totaling 4 credits are required to meet program requirements.  Students may choose additional field skill electives, in which case additional charges will be incurred.

Note: Field Skill course availability and delivery model based on enrolment; registration for the Field Skill Option choices are done individually with a permission form completed in consultation with Adventure Guiding Faculty

Applied Theory

  • THM-211 Sustainable Tourism
  • THM-212 Tourism & Hospitality Law and Ethics OR THM-100 The Tourism Industry
  • THM-225 Cross Cultural Tourism
  • ENG-160 Effective Organizational Writing

*Students wishing to exit at this point must take TGA-700 Work Placement (1 credit) in order to receive the Adventure Guiding Certificate.


Year 2

  • BUS-100 Financial Accounting Fundamentals
  • BUS-162 Principles of Marketing
  • THM-100 The Tourism Industry OR THM-212 Tourism & Hospitality Law and Ethics
  • THM-108 Human Resources Management
  • THM-112 Leadership & Management
  • THM-215 Tourism & Hospitality Managerial Accounting OR BUS-217 Management Accounting
  • THM-222 Entrepreneurship in Tourism

Plus choose one course (3 credits) from the following:

  • THM-107 Accommodating Your Guest
  • THM-170 Food & Beverage Service
  • THM-175 Mixology & Oenology
  • THM-219 Tourism & Hospitality - Year 2 Field Trip

Plus choose one course (3 credits) from the following:

  • DGL-221 Introduction to Social Media
  • ANT-150 Cultural Anthropology
  • BUS-170 Computer Applications for Business
  • FIN-247 Introduction to Digital Photography
  • GEO-111 Environment, Society & Sustainability
  • ENG-116 Essay Writing & Indigenous Perspectives
  • ENG-127 Indigenous Literatures in Canada
  • ENG-216 Travel Writing
  • THM-219 Tourism & Hospitality - Year 2 Field Trip

In addition, choose a minimum of three from the following 2 credit field courses (min. of 6 credits total):

Note: field skill course availability and delivery model based on enrolment

Co-op – mandatory for all students

Students must complete EMP-100 in the Fall term as a prerequisite to Co-operative Education Internship Work Term (THM-197) in the Spring. Co-op work terms must be completed between first and second term for full-time students and prior to the last course term for part-time students.

  • EMP-100 Co-operative Education Pre-Employment Seminar
  • THM-197 Co-operative Education Internship Work Term

Completion Requirements

This is a two year program requiring completion within five years of admission.

To successfully complete the program, students must pass all courses and attain an overall average of C (2.0).

Admission Requirements

  1. C in one of Provincial English 12, English Studies 12, English First Peoples 12, ENG-096, or ENG-098; or C+ in ESL-092 and ESL-095; or assessment; and
  2. C in one of Applications of Math 11 or Foundations of Math 11; or B in one of Apprenticeship and Workplace Math 11 or Workplace Math 11; or successful completion of MAT-033; or completion of Principles of Math 11 or Pre-calculus 11, or assessment
  3. By the first day of the program, completed medical forms.


Transfer Credit & Credit For Prior Learning

The NIC Tourism and Hospitality program accepts transfer credit from a wide range of post-secondary institutions and professional organizations. Detailed course transfer information for BC institutions may be found by accessing the BC Transfer Guide. If you possess other applicable prior learning, you may request prerequisite waivers for selected courses.

To Be Successful

  • You are encouraged to gain as much tourism industry experience as possible before the program starts, either through work experience or volunteering. The more service industry experience you bring to the program, the more relevant your learning will be.
  • We recommend consulting with an Adventure Program Coordinator before selecting your field specialty courses.
  • You will be required to use a variety of Microsoft Office software immediately upon entering the program. Refreshing or developing your computer skills before entering the program is encouraged.
  • It is strongly recommended you take ENG-160 in your first semester of studies. This course focuses on the theories and principles of effective business communication and provides foundational skills for the tourism and hospitality program.
  • If you wish to apply your diploma toward a university degree, you should book a planning meeting with an educational advisor as early as possible.

Accessible Learning

Making education accessible for those with a documented disability is a key priority for NIC. We offer a wide range of services, supports and resources for students. For more information visit: Accessible Learning Services.

Pedro Caraballo Acosta

Pedro Caraballo Acosta


Tourism & Hospitality Mgmt

MBA (University of Wales, 2012)


Subjects: Tourism Customer Services, Tourism - Food And Beverage, Tourism & Hospitaly Mgmt, Tourism Management
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4240 | Location VLG - G3

Harley Elias

Harley Elias


Business Administration, Tourism & Hospitality Mgmt

MBA, Strategic Planning and Marketing (University of Washington)

Subjects: Business, Tourism & Hospitaly Mgmt
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4014 | Location TTB - 114

Murray Erickson

Murray Erickson


Business Administration, Tourism & Hospitality Mgmt

Bachelor of Business Administration (Simon Fraser University)
Chartered Accountant designation (CPA Canada)

Subjects: Business, Tourism & Hospitaly Mgmt
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4032 | Location TTB - 114

Mike Neville

Mike Neville


Tourism & Hospitality Mgmt

Bachelor of Tourism Management, (Vancouver Island University)

Master of Recreation Management, (Acadia University)


Subjects: Tourism Adventure Guiding, Tourism & Hospitaly Mgmt
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4117 | Location VLG - G4

David Pinel

David Pinel

Coordinator, Faculty

Tourism & Hospitality Mgmt

M.Sc., Rural Planning & Development (University of Guelph)

Subjects: Nautical, Tourism Adventure Guiding, Tourism & Hospitaly Mgmt
Comox Valley Campus 250-334-5000 ext. 4667 | Location VLG - G4

Program Highlights

Unique in BC, NIC’s Tourism and Hospitality Management diploma is designed to be fun and flexible, while maximizing your options and opportunities. You’ll get a solid business education as well as the practical experience and knowledge necessary to launch a management career in one of the world’s fastest growing industries.

The program offers domestic and international field trips, a solid and far-reaching co-op program and international exchange opportunities that are fun and effective ways to earn academic credit while connecting with the industry and honing your skills while you study.

Adventure Guiding Pathway Option

The adventure guiding option is designed for students who wish to have it all – to gain the skills necessary to be an adventure guide working in the outdoors but who also want to gain the business skills necessary to operate or own an adventure business. In your first year, you will receive a balance of hands-on learning and theoretical classroom learning. You will develop essential knowledge for working across cultures, with consideration toward environmental sustainability and risk management. In your second year, you will develop a broader understanding of the tourism sector while further refining your field guiding skills. This diploma option pairs our popular Adventure Guiding certificate with elements of the Tourism & Hospitality Management diploma.

An Education that Meets Industry Needs

Tourism is one of the world's fastest growing industries offering a wide variety of career possibilities. It employs over 200,000 people in BC and, according to Statistics Canada, 354,000 job openings are predicted nationwide in the next 10 years. Over 65,000 of those openings are anticipated to be for supervisors and managers. So, whether you are just starting out, looking to advance your current situation, transferring yours skills from another industry or run your own businesses, NIC can put you on a path to a successful career.

We recognize that people are central to the success of every tourism business, and your interpersonal development while at NIC will be critical to your professional future. That's why, throughout the program, employability skills such as communication, teamwork, leadership and public speaking are strongly emphasized, giving you a marketable advantage in the workplace.

As a graduate of this two-year diploma, you will have the confidence and knowledge you need to launch your career in this global industry or continue into a degree program, here at NIC or at one of many hospitality, tourism, or business degree programs across Canada.

You’ll gain a strong foundation in key management functions such as accounting, marketing, human resource management, leadership and computer skills, have an opportunity to visit one of Canada’s top tourism destinations and receive a practical introduction to restaurant and hotel operations. You will be introduced to the major tourism sectors, including accommodation, food and beverage, adventure tourism and recreation, events and conferences, transportation, attractions, tourism services and travel trade.

You will have an opportunity to specialize in hospitality, sustainable tourism, a combination of both or adventure guiding. If you choose hospitality or sustainable tourism options you can use your electives to take more sustainable tourism and hospitality courses, to study a foreign language or prepare for transfer directly into the third year of a number of tourism, hospitality, or business degree programs across Canada.

Career Opportunities

As a graduate you will be qualified for employment in all areas of the tourism, including luxury hotels, ski and golf resorts, restaurants, tourism services and the travel trade. Some graduates have chosen to operate their own tourism business, while many others choose to work in small or large tourism organizations on Vancouver Island, Whistler, Vancouver and elsewhere in Canada. The possibilities are endless.

Visit go2HR Job Board - the leading free job board for tourism and hospitality jobs in BC and the Yukon to learn more about today’s job opportunities.

Co-operative Education

A mandatory component of the program, co-operative education alternates paid, program-related work experiences with academic study. The practical experience gained on your supervised and structured work terms is an integral part of your education. The result is increased confidence, new employment contacts and practical work experience.

Co-op staff and program instructors work closely with you to determine how your work term can best fit your individual interests and career goals. You may find work locally, on Vancouver Island, provincially or internationally.

You must complete Co-operative Education Pre-Employment-Seminar (EMP-100) as a prerequisite to Co-operative Education Internship Work Term (THM-197).

Field Trips

In each year of the program you will participate in a required field trip as part of your studies. You will receive academic credit for these dynamic courses.

As a first year student, you will travel to major Canadian tourist destinations, such as Vancouver and Whistler, stay in a four or five-star property and experience its daily operation, guest accommodations and services. Lab fees cover the cost of travel.

During year two, you will travel to an international tourist destination where you will experience tourism and/or hospitality operations first hand. Lab fees cover the cost of travelling to destinations such as Vegas, but in previous years students have chosen to participate in fundraising activities to increase field trip options, travelling to popular destinations such as New Orleans, Hawaii, Mexico and Cuba.

Study Abroad options

Tourism and hospitality students at NIC can travel the world and expand their education. Check out our Study Abroad page to learn more.

Tuition & Costs Estimate

Additional fees may also include necessary equipment, supplies, NIC appointed uniforms, or field trips not included in these estimates.

While we do our best to share accurate and timely fee information, changes may occur. For more information, visit our tuition page.

Domestic Fees

Year 1 Year 2 Grand Total
Tuition $10,129 $5,263
NISU Fees $155 $140
Books $900 $1,000
Learner Resource $178 $178
Health and Dental $275 $275
Total $11,637 $6,856 $18,493

Equipment: costs for clothing, personal gear, and books vary.  Students may spend up to $3000.

Book costs noted are estimates for planning purposes.  Accurate book costs are available by course through the NIC book search.

Students may choose additional Field Skills electives, in which case additional charges will be incurred.

Find out if this program is eligible for Student Aid BC funding.

Full-time students are automatically enrolled in the mandatory Health and Dental Benefit plan ($275).


International Fees

Year 1 Year 2 Grand Total
Tuition $18,682 $15,606
NISU Fees $190 $170
Student Services Fees $1,132 $1,040
Books $900 $1,000
Learner Resource $195 $184
Health and Dental $275 $275
Total $21,374 $18,275 $39,649

Additional costs for International students include the $100 application fee (required). 

Students may choose additional Field Skills electives, in which case additional charges will be incurred.

Equipment: costs for clothing, personal gear, and books vary.  Students may spend up to $3000.

Book costs noted are estimates for planning purposes.  Accurate book costs are available by course through the NIC book search.

Full-time students are automatically enrolled in the mandatory Health and Dental Benefit plan ($275).

For more information on tuition costs and refunds refer to International Tuition and Costs.

Bridge into NIC's Business Degree

Tourism & Hospitality Management diploma graduates are eligible to bridge directly into NIC's Bachelor of Business Administration degree, Marketing major and General Management major. If you are considering these options, speak with an NIC educational advisor as early as possible about course requirements and admissions details.

Degree Opportunities

The Tourism & Hospitality Management diploma provides two full years of transfer credit toward a variety of four-year degree programs, including:

  • Bachelor of Business Administration, North Island College (NIC)
  • Bachelor of Commerce, University of Victoria (UVic)
  • Bachelor of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Mount St. Vincent University (MSVU)
  • Bachelor of Applied Management in Hospitality and Tourism, University of New Brunswick (UNB)
  • Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurial Management, Royal Roads University (RRU)
  • Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management, Royal Roads University (RRU)
  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management, Vancouver Community College (VCC)
  • Bachelor of Tourism Management, Capilano University
  • Bachelor of Hospitality Management, Vancouver Island University (VIU)
  • Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Management, University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC)

Important: Each university has its own unique deadlines and transfer requirements, such as course prerequisites (particularly for math courses) and grade point averages which must be met. Transfer and degree requirements may also change frequently and without notice. If you are interested in pursuing a degree, you should meet with an NIC educational advisor to develop a study plan as early as possible.

Explore some of the many Tourism specialties below and learn how NIC’s programs can prepare you to work in the Tourism area of your choice.

About the Global Tourism Industry

Tourism refers to all the activities of people/visitors travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment, for leisure, business and other purposes, for a limited period of time.

Canada, Mexico and the United States share a standard industrial classification system known as The North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS). The system supports the production of common statistics, terminology and sector information. NAICS enables each country to determine the health of its own economy and its projected growth rate, in comparison to the other countries. NAICS has classified all economic activity as either goods-producing sectors or service­producing sectors. It recognizes tourism as one common service-producing sector, further subdivided into distinct industry sectors.

NAICS Industry Sectors:

Tourism activities consists of five sectors within the Industry:

  1. Accommodations: All forms of lodging at all levels of service
  2. Food and Beverage: The largest sector, encompassing food service and drink
  3. Transportation: All modes of transportation to and within a destination
  1. Recreation and Entertainment:  Includes Attractions - permanent sites that educate and entertain visitors, Events - temporary activities that last a short period of time as single happenings or in some recurring form, Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation (ATOR) - Activities that provide hands-on, physical interaction between visitors and the environment
  2. Travel Services: Support services that work with customers providing Information, packages, and sales services

The sectors of Tourism answers five simple questions:

1. How will I get there?

2. Where will I sleep?

3. Where will I eat?

4. What will I do?

            5. Who will help me do this?

Your studies will prepare you to work at all levels within the five sectors or become an entrepreneur in this industry.

Your studies will introduce you to the functional areas of all businesses: marketing and sales, administration and human resources and administration and finance.

Your studies will help you decide what sectors and functional areas of business you like and want to be part of.


Specialize at North Island College

Tourism & Hospitality Diploma Programs at NIC – What are they?

What is the Hospitality Diploma option?

A hospitality diploma is a two-year business program that prepares you for working/managing in the hospitality components of the industry. Hospitality is a grouping within Tourism that consists of three sectors. The first is accommodations, which includes hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, and other lodging businesses. The next area is food and beverage. This area comprises restaurants, fast food chains, and other establishments that provide food and beverages. Food and beverage providers might be located within accommodations or be standalone facilities. The last sector included with hospitality is transportation, which includes airlines, trains, cruise ships, ferries, buses, motorcycle, moped or bike rentals and taxis.

Our diploma program supports students working part-time at a hospitality operation or doing a co-op or internship between semesters.


What is the Sustainable Tourism Diploma option?

A tourism diploma is a two-year business program that prepares you for working and managing in the industry in the recreation and entertainment sectors in fields relating to travel, events and conference planning, entertainment and attractions, travel services and all the activities people do when travelling. These programs look at how to make visitors feel more comfortable and satisfied while traveling with an appreciation of operating in a sustainable manner. Our program requires you do a co-op or internship as part of your studies.


What is the Adventure Guiding Diploma option?

Adventure Guiding is a two-year specialty field of study within the Events and Recreation sector of Tourism.  Adventure guides are trained to organize and conduct expeditions for sports enthusiasts, adventurers, tourists or resort guests at all levels of interest. They work for adventure tourism companies, resorts, parks, lodges or campgrounds; or they operate their own small and medium size businesses. They might take clients white water rafting, fishing, hunting, kayaking, mountain climbing, trail bike riding, skiing, snowshoeing, rock climbing, caving or other hard and soft outdoor activities depending on the season and your specialty skills.  You have the skills to provide and manage activities that provide hands on physical interaction between your guests and the environment.