Global human resources
The Global Program (GP) was launched in the Faculty of Tourism at Wakayama University in 2016. The GP is a part of the tourism curriculum where the students study tourism studies courses in English. The authors analyzed the student records to reveal the achievement and challenges in this ongoing program. Students took the GP courses up to 60% of the curriculum and actively engaged in overseas study activities. However, the scores of the language proficiency tests have not improved as expected in the program of learning tourism studies in English for four years. These results suggest three challenges in the GP structure: 1) The objective and the incentive of the program should be more specific for participants to have a clearer vision of their study plan, including their learning goals; 2) Well-developed language learning process should be provided inside the program; 3) The evaluation method for the program should be considered using an indicator other than student records. The study reveals that the GP framework encourages students to foster their global competence, an important skill required for everyone involved in tourism today. However, at the same time, the framework can exclude certain groups of students who are not interested in global issues. We conclude that tourism education in Japanese universities should provide a curriculum for all tourism students to acquire a multi-dimensional capacity, including fostering global perspectives. This case study contributes to current discussions on international education for tourism students in Japan, offering insights into what skills should be cultivated and what a building a “global perspective” means in Japan today.