Travel and tourism students had the opportunity to visit a range of destinations during their course in 2017/18. Students opted for The Gambia for a life-changing experience and to participate in eco-tourism, Llandudno as an activity residential and Florence to learn about specialist tourism.
The five-day visit to Iceland at the end of November 2015, saw students from the BTEC National Diploma in Travel and Tourism and the Foundation Degree in Tourism and Event Management visit a range of tourist attractions in Iceland, where they investigated the impact of cruising on the country.
Places such as Reykjavik, Thingvellir National Park, the Strokkur geyser, the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa, the Suourland glaciers and the world-famous Reynisfjara black sand beaches were visited so students could explore the geographies and investigate how the tourism industry is affecting Iceland.
Programme area leader for travel and tourism Sarah Heeley said: “The students used their time very meaningfully and came back to college with some great information which will assist them well in their studies.
“Our groups made some great connections with the Ferda Mala Stofa – the Icelandic tourist board to gather information for their primary research. I’m confident that they will be producing some interesting projects after this amazing visit.”
What course did you study at college?
I studied the Level 3 travel and tourism course, with the extended diploma – which meant I was able to learn about working as cabin crew.
The course was so much fun and provided me with everything I needed to know for my role in this industry. When I first attended college, I didn’t know what to expect; the course isn’t just learning about destinations as previously thought, but the different job roles and how to get involved.
What job have you since gone on to do?
I’m now a Thomson entertainer, working with children. At college I was taught all the skills needed for interview – from how to act to what to say – which helped me to secure my job with Thomson.
And what’s the favourite part of your job?
My favourite part of the job is getting to be around children. There’s lots of singing, dancing and acting involved. We perform in a lot of pantomimes which gives me the chance to be a big kid myself!
What are the key attributes you need to work in this industry?
You need to be yourself – working so closely with people – your true personality will shine through, so it’s best to let people know the true you from the word go. If you go into the role as you are, you know you’re getting the job on your own merits!
Confidence is a big one too. Working in travel and tourism often means leaving home; you could end up alone in another country with no family and friends to hold your hand.
You need to find your own path through life – you’ll learn quicker that way.
What skills have you learnt at college to help you in your role and in your personal life?
The biggest thing college gave to me was confidence. My role involves lots of speaking to an audience – so you need to be prepared! Three years ago I would never have had the courage to speak on a mic – but college gave me this courage, and now I love the buzz of the stage!
I also learnt how to liaise with the customer. In this job you meet people from all walks of life. It’s important you have the skills to talk to everyone – from young children to mums and dads and large audiences.
What would you tell people looking to do this course?
If you want to go abroad, learn about new places and see how other people live in different countries I’d advise you to do this course. It helps to build your confidence, gives you the skills needed for a job – and opens up thousands of doors for you with lots of job opportunities to branch into once you’ve finished your course.
It’s the best course I’ve been on and I’ve no doubt that the travel and tourism course has shaped me to be the person I am today. It’s a comforting feeling to know that you’re leaving college ready for your job role.