#SBSStudents: Tourism students visit Greenwich

Tourism students were given first-hand experience of how a major international destination operates when a group of second and third years visited Greenwich. The destination contains the tenth most popular tourist attractions in the UK and forms part of one of the UK’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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University of Suffolk Tourism students and staff aboard Cutty Shark. (C) Prof. David Gill.

The students were able to evaluate the visitor attractions of the Cutty Sark that carried cargoes of tea and wool to Britain; the Royal Naval Hospital with its ornate chapel; the National Maritime Museum; and the Royal Observatory and the meridian line. As well as enjoying the multicultural experience of the Greenwich Market, where they were able to savour the international cuisine, the students were impressed with the ease of the transport links to Greenwich: the Docklands Light Railway from Stratford and passing through Canary Wharf; and then returning down the river Thames on the Clipper where they stopped at The Tower of London.

Barrie Kelly, CEO of Visit Greenwich, gave a short presentation to the students to explain how different organisations can work together to make a destination success. Greenwich attracts some 18.5 million visitors a year, and this contributes approximately £1.2 billion to the local economy. The students heard about the ambitious plans to create a new cruise ship terminal in Greenwich to allow more international visitors to access the area.

James Kennell, Principal Lecturer at the University of Greenwich, talked to the students about the centrality of tourism in any plans to develop economic impact. He reviewed his research on the sustainability and effectiveness of Destination Management Organisations (DMOs).

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University of Suffolk Tourism students and staff. (C) Prof. David Gill.

One student was delighted to find that the Cutty Sark had visited his home island of São Tomé in the Gulf of Guinea. The interactive exhibits on the ship included ports that had been served by the Cutty Sark, and contained images of his home town from the late 19th century. Student Guter Narciso said “I was so excited to find that my home had this long-standing connection with the UK.”

Laura Locke, course leader for events and tourism at the University of Suffolk said “Activities such as this visit to London offer such marvellous opportunities for students to experience the reality of the contexts they are studying, to meet key experts and contributors to the tourism economy and to apply the theory to the practice.”

Professor David Gill, Director of Heritage Futures, said “The grandeur of Greenwich helps students to immerse themselves in a major international heritage attraction and to meet those involved with the destination’s presentation and interpretation.”

Professor David Collins, Head of the Suffolk Business School, added “Experiencing a major destination such as Greenwich situates and embeds more conventional forms of learning and in so doing allows students to appreciate the essential complexity of what we too often reduce to tourism. This experience combined with other opportunities to apply knowledge and to develop real-life reflection is what makes our graduates career-ready’.”

The students studying on the Event and Tourism programme are currently working with All About Ipswich to develop the Celebrate Ipswich conference on Friday 12 May at Trinity Park Conference Centre. More information can be found by visiting the Eventbrite page.

#SBSStudents: Learning in Context (and in the sun!)

Students from the Suffolk Business School at the University of Suffolk have recently returned from a cultural tourism field trip to southern Spain.

The students studying Event and Tourism Management and Business Management visited Seville, Cordoba and Cadiz.

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Suffolk Business School students and staff in Seville. Photo (C) Suffolk Business School

Gintare Liutkeviciute, first year Event and Tourism student said “It has been an amazing trip, with the best people! I enjoyed every minute of it and it was great to use our Spanish language knowledge. I was impressed with the discipline and dedication of Spanish students at the Dance Concervatorio, it definitely taught me how important is to focus on my goals and to be committed no matter how hard it can get. Overall, this trip was absolutely amazing, can somebody turn back time por favor?”

Laura Locke, Course Leader for BA (Hons) Event and Tourism Management  who accompanied the students said “We visited museums and galleries, marvelled at the combination of Moslem, Jewish and Catholic heritage architecture displayed in the Mesquita in Cordoba, explored the Plaza de Espana in Seville where Game of Thrones and Star Wars was filmed and questioned the tour guide in Cadiz about the opportunities for developing destinations, thus extending the students’ learning from their year one and two modules.”

“There were many highlights of the tour; students were unanimous that the visit to the Conservatoire for Spanish dance in Seville was enlightening, inspiring, and inspirational.”

Accompanying Laura on the tour was Lecturer Gloria Picton. With a background in banking, Gloria teaches the Language and Culture for Business module so the students were able to put their Spanish to the test.

Fellow student Alioune Sylla said “I would recommend that every university should offer their students this opportunity. We really have been blessed to experience it. This trip offers students to get to know each other at different levels, to connect and also build friendships…we were able to practice what we have been studying in Spanish seminars for the past few weeks.”

 

UCS Student Trip to Valencia 2016

Students on Suffolk Business School Event and Tourism Management degrees have the option of going abroad with members of staff as part of the Foreign Language and Culture for Business modules. This year, Laura Locke, Sarah Harris, and Gloria Picton took twenty students to Valencia to experience international culture and business.

 

Laura discusses the opportunity for students:

For the past five years our programmes have offered an annual visit to Spain, visiting Seville, Madrid, Malaga, Granada, Torremolinos, Barcelona and Sitges, and latterly Valencia. This activity supports the work we do to extend the learning of the students, through practical experiential activities. All of our students study Spanish in the first year of the programme, and this year it was also offered to Business Management students for the first time. The second year option to continue studying foreign language and culture is also proving very popular.

The visit to Valencia provided the students with a wealth of experiences on which to reflect, to evaluate and analyse, and to consider how the theory they are learning in lectures can be aligned with practice. The opportunities to communicate in Spanish, and to immerse themselves in the Spanish culture are invaluable .

 

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One of our students, Cristina Alexandrov, reflects on the trip:

Valencia for me was more than just a trip to Spain. It was an opportunity to meet new people, see new places, learn about other cultures, and improve my ability to learn new languages. I am glad that I had the opportunity because I learned so many things. I overcame my nervousness with networking, and I improved my communication skills. I made new friends and had lots of fun. I also had the chance to participate in an important event in Valencia, ‘La Mascleta’, and it helped me to apply what we had learned in classes to practice, and think about sustainability and the pollution created by such events.

The trip also made me realise the importance of learning new languages, especially when travelling. Not many people in Valencia speak English. The Spanish lectures really helped me improve my understanding and learning of this beautiful language and I was really proud of myself when I realised I could understand what they were talking and I could even respond them in a way that they understood.

All in all, I am extremely happy that I took this opportunity and I really hope that there will be more.

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Please find more photos and videos of the trip of the Facebook page.