The Canadian Academy of Travel & Tourism (CATT) program introduces and promotes careers in tourism to high school students across Canada. The CATT program is integrated into the current high school curriculum, and allows students to specialize in tourism through a successful work and study approach.
The CATT program was first launched in 1995 by the American Express Foundation and housed under Tourism HR Canada. In 2007, CATT became a permanent Tourism HR Canada program. With the support and guidance of educators and industry partners, the program has grown to provide high school students across the country with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to succeed in the working world.
To date, over 3000 students have achieved certificates from the CATT program in over 100 schools across Canada.
The Canadian Academy of Travel & Tourism program can be offered at three levels, and allows teachers to engage students in the subject of tourism while continuing with their high school curriculum.
At all levels, schools receive access to helpful online teaching resources and suggested learning activities. Teachers work with local business representatives to arrange for work and volunteer experience opportunities for CATT students.
Level I Program
The Canadian Academy of Travel & Tourism (CATT) Level I program offers an introduction to the tourism sector and the CATT National Learning Outcomes—the skills students will need to be successful in a tourism career.
To receive a CATT certificate of recognition for Level I, students are required to:
- take one high school tourism course/credit
- complete at least 25 hours of volunteer experience
- tourism career workshop – completed in conjunction with local Tourism Human Resource Office (THRO)
Level II Program
The CATT Level II program builds on the knowledge and skills introduced in Level I and encourages students to take a greater interest in tourism careers. Essential skills are further developed, and the CATT National Learning Outcomes continue to be addressed.
To receive a CATT certificate of recognition for Level II, students are required to:
- take two high school tourism courses/credits
- complete a tourism career workshop (organized by local Toruism Human Resource Council)
- complete at least 100 hours of work experience
- customer service certificate such as SuperHost/Service Excellence/ServiceBest – completed in conjunction with local Tourism Human Resource Office (THRO)
- two other Employability Skill certificates
Gold Level Program
The CATT Gold Level program helps students prepare for a tourism career and develop the skills necessary for postsecondary education and lifelong learning.
Gold Level graduates are able to demonstrate the learning outcomes associated with the National Occupational Standards for Transferable Skills developed with industry by Tourism HR Canada, and Essential Skills defined and developed by Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
Schools starting a Gold Level program work closely with the CATT office and their local Tourism Human Resource Organization to lay the groundwork for the program, establish ties with local industry members, and recruit students to participate.
While the CATT Gold Level program has no associated fee, a minimum commitment of three years is required.