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Teacher back from former Soviet republic

• COC instructor travels abroad to teach tourism

Posted: June 19, 2008 12:30 a.m.
Updated: August 20, 2008 5:03 a.m.

A College of the Canyons teacher had the chance to share his knowledge with students abroad recently as he traveled to the Republic of Georgia to teach a seminar on tourism.

Since the era of Soviet Union rule came to an end in 1991, Georgia, located on the east side of the Black Sea, has experienced not only an economic boom, but a wave of visitors anxious to see the sites. So at the end of May, Kevin Anthony, chair of hotel management at COC, taught a group of 25 students at Tbilisi Ilia Chavchavadze State
University about the value of customer service. "They were very interested in learning how we approach customer service and wanted to see how we do it here in America," Anthony said. "So I gave a three-day seminar on the tourism industry, basically focusing on customer service."

Anthony was able to make the trip thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of State and the International Research and Exchange Board. Anthony was invited to teach the workshop by a former COC student of his who is now a magazine editor in Georgia.

"It was interesting to step into a country that wants to start a tourism economy," Anthony said. "Georgia is going to have terrific tourism - they have the resources."

While in Georgia, Anthony was able to do a little touring himself, visiting Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia, and Sighnaghi, a popular tourist destination.

"They've restored this city that is basically a medieval town," he said. "The day I happened to be there, they had a festival of Georgian dance, which was fabulous."

Back home, Anthony said he will never forget his trip.

"You take a trip like that and it expands your horizons," he said.


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