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Once in a Lifetime Trip to Tunisia – the Jewel of the Mediterranean

12th May 2014

Recently level 3 year 2 Travel and Tourism students were given the opportunity to embark on a once in a life time trip to Tunisia. Situated in the north of Africa this culturally rich country gave students the chance to develop their knowledge and further their skills. Being a Travel and Tourism student myself I was lucky enough to be a part of this.

The trip was designed and organised by my fellow students and myself along with help from our course leaders Gemma Thelwell and Angela Forsey. This unit has allowed us to explore every aspect of the travel and tourism industry from the process of designing and booking a holiday; to witnessing first hand a diversity of different industry job roles in operation.

As part of the unit we were very fortunate to have a degree of control over every aspect of the residential from picking our hotel, destination and excursions; to writing our own code of conduct. This has been a great way of putting all the theoretical knowledge we have gained throughout our Travel and Tourism course into practice.

During the trip we went on several once in lifetime excursions where we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to feed elephants and giraffes. As well as watching African Zulu dancers and traditional Tunisian dancers whilst tasting the local cuisine. We also watched our very own holiday rep alongside the Thomas Cook team and the famous Dream Girls in the variety show.

Along with participating in these great excursions we also got the chance delve into Tunisia by exploring the local medinas of Hammamet and tried our hand at bartering with the locals. We also visited a local family who welcomed us in to their home with open arms and offered us Tunisian tea, customary of any Tunisian household. After which they dressed us up in traditional Tunisian dress as they serenaded us with music and taught us some national dances.

Another great aspect of the trip was the ability to observe first hand everything that we have learnt and put into to practice by those working in the industry. We witnessed welcome meetings and transfer speeches. In addition to this, our Thomas Cook holiday rep gave us a talk about her role as a holiday representative; we took this opportunity to really probe her with lots of questions which gave us a great insight in to the role which was greater than any textbook explanation.

Throughout the trip we participated in a variety of activities lead by our hotel entertainment team which included beach volley ball, crazy tennis, archery and water aerobics. These activities were great fun, but we also got to see how the entertainers did their job and how difficult and time consuming there role are. We also passed on some of our knowledge to them as we taught the team a dance we had learnt for a previous unit; they then informed us that they would be featuring the dance in their future entertainment programme.

The trip has been a great stepping stone for my fellow students and myself. For most of us it was the first time that we had been abroad without our parents, so it gave us the perfect chance to be independent. Overall we all found the trip a very enriching experience not only did we develop our skills and knowledge but we gained a better understanding of the world around use and the different cultures that live within it.

It was a truly once in a lifetime experience which will always be remembered.

Written by

Billie-Jo Cochrane

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