Seminole County Launches First-Ever Virtual Hospitality and Tourism Academy in the Nation

New, virtual program will cater to individuals seeking careers in the service-providing industries


ORLANDO NORTH, SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2020) — Beginning in January, Seminole County Virtual School, in collaboration with the National Academy Foundation, launched the nation’s first virtual program in hospitality and tourism. The new initiative follows the framework set forth by the American Hotel and Lodging Educational Institute, and provides innovative solutions for students seeking management and leadership careers in the Hospitality and Tourism industry.

Unlike brick and mortar schools, Seminole County Virtual School allows students the ultimate flexibility for academics, internships, and employment. Students are able to continue taking courses at their zoned school while taking virtual courses in hospitality and tourism. “This program is a great addition for students who are passionate with this industry,” said Assistant Principal of Seminole County Virtual Schools, Courtney Kavanaugh. “Successful program completers will earn a variety of industry related certifications which will provide them an advantage after high school and when they are ready to enter the workforce.”

Although the virtual school has been implemented into the county since 2009, the addition of the hospitality and tourism program is promising news for the growing tourism market. The travel and tourism industry directly contributed 5.29 million jobs to the U.S. economy in 2017 and is on track to create an estimated 10.5 million jobs by the year 2026, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. With Central Florida ranking among one of the largest tourism markets in the world, a large percentage of those jobs will be created right here in the Sunshine State. While this growing market is beneficial to the local economy, many jobs are left vacant due to the lack of trained professionals to fill the position. “We believe that providing a hospitality and tourism program to our students is vitally important for the future of our local economy” said Seminole County Tourism Director, Gui Cunha. “This new curriculum will play an integral part in shaping the future workforce and will help fill leadership positions with qualified professionals.”

Currently, the program is open to a small pilot group of students who are reviewing curriculum materials, and will be open to all Seminole County students beginning August 2020. Students residing in Seminole County should contact their school counselor for more information on the program. Additionally, any student who maintains a residence in Florida can also take these courses and are encouraged to visit for more information.

About Orlando North, Seminole County:

Teeming with old Florida charm and young Florida vibrancy, Orlando North, Seminole County offers visitors nature-based attractions, eclectic dining, a booming micro brew scene, plus a year round calendar of festivals and events. With over 2,000 waterways, you’ll discover a wide array of thrilling outdoor activities from paddling in clear freshwater springs and rivers to airboating among alligators, or zooming through an aerial zip line course. It also features an array of sports and training facilities for amateur tournament play, including the 102-acre Boombah Sports Complex at Seminole County. And getting here is easy via Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), Orlando International Airport (MCO), aboard the Amtrak Auto Train, or via auto on I-95 and I-4; and you’ll save 30% on accommodations over Orlando and beachfront hotels. All this and it’s less than an hour’s drive to area theme parks and beaches too. 1-800-800-7832 or 407-665-2900 or visit: