A review by HMIE of hospitality and travel and tourism provision in Scotland's colleges found a number of strengths, including: relevant work- related qualifications; effective support for the principles of Curriculum for Excellence; good student support; opportunities for team-working through joint projects; and good links with schools.
However, the report also found that attainment rates for students on full- time higher education programmes were declining and a "significant proportion" did not obtain a qualification.
The wide range of hospitality qualifications was confusing for prospective students and employers, and staff needed to give more detailed feedback to students on the standard of their literacy.
HMIE called for better links between colleges and employers to support work-experience opportunities.
The report added: "Few staff benefit from planned industrial updating experiences to ensure that their teaching practice is in line with industry standards."