Understanding Employment Aspirations of Future Tourism and Hospitality Workforce: The Critical Role of Cultural Participation and Study Engagement
Purpose: The aim of the study was to identify selected antecedents of Tourism and Hospitality (T&H) students’ participation in culture and to investigate its impact on the youth’s involvement in their studies and their future employment aspirations in T&H. Design/Methodology/Approach: The questionnaire was used to collect data from T&H students from a Higher Educational Institution of Northern Poland. The relationships between study constructs were tested using the structural equation modeling. Findings: The main results showed that T&H students high in culture participation are also much more engaged in their studies, which is reflected by their deeper absorption and dedication towards them. However, only students’ dedication exerted a significant and positive impact on their employment aspiration in T&H after graduation. Practical Implications: This study provides several actions that are recommended to encourage students to participate in culture, develop their cultural competences, and facilitate academic youth’s access to culture. These activities such as introducing a permanent offer for students at preferential prices, developing and implementing mobile applications informing about discounts on cultural events and others interesting solutions are provided in this study and could be undertaken both by universities and by other organizations (the state, cultural institutions, private entrepreneurs). Originality/Value: To the best of Authors’ knowledge, there are no empirical studies that distinctively measure the effects of culture participation on students’ engagement and their employment aspirations in T&H.