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Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Program and Course Information

The Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation programs, activities and events at Southwest Virginia Community College are a unique blend of entrepreneurship, tourism, and recreation.  Whether you are interested in starting your own adventure tourism businesses, work for an outdoor based business, become a guide or outfitter, work in a local, state or national park, gain knowledge to keep yourself safe or just have fun, we have the program, activity or event for you. In addition, we have non-credit courses in specific subject area, many of which prepare students for national certifications.

According to a 2012 study by the Outdoor Industry Association, the nationwide outdoor recreation sector generates annual projections of “6.1 million American jobs, $646 billion in outdoor recreation spending, $39.9 billion in federal tax revenue, and $39.7 billion in state/local taxes”.  In Virginia, the outdoor recreation sector generates “$13.6 billion in consumer spending, 138,000 Virginia jobs, $3.9 billion in wages and salaries, and $923 million in state and local tax revenue”. Rarely do we see such a sleeping giant, as the outdoor recreation industry, poised to emerge as the main player in an economically deprived area such as Southwest Virginia.  We are seeing an explosion in recreational opportunities and trail systems being developed and improved.  As the infrastructure and natural resources are developed, adventure tourism and outdoor recreation based businesses will need a trained workforce.

The Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program at Southwest Virginia Community College will provide training to develop a workforce for the outdoor recreation industry and to stimulate economic development.  The training received through the courses will emphasize job preparation for local and regional employers; not just producing recreational activity participants.  The Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program completers will be instructors, guides, and/or entrepreneurs (holding nationally recognized certification credentials) that have extensive knowledge of the outdoor recreation industry, activities, and risk management. They will work for outfitters, local/state/national parks, tourism/economic development, retail businesses, and non-profits.  They will be entrepreneurs opening up businesses to support outdoor recreation initiatives, infrastructure and natural resources, developed and enhanced through various initiatives underway in Southwest Virginia.