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Travel and Tourism Class Attend Travel Daze Expo!

Macleay Travel and Tourism students attended the 'Travel Daze' expo and learnt all about event management and business sustainability. 

Travel Daze is a yearly event held for the travel industry. It consists of a series of TED talks relevant to Industry. This is the third year I have had to privilege of attending with my Travel and Tourism students. The theme this year was SUSTAINABILITY, a topic close to my heart.

In keeping with the theme of the day we were given a Frank Green keep-cup upon arrival, and there was no single-use plastic to be seen. This was a great start with everyone queueing up at the coffee cart to commence their Sustainable Journey for the day. We were all pretty excited with anticipation of what lay ahead and how much we would learn.

 

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Lecturer Fran Cummings and Travel and Tourism class outside 'Travel Daze' expo! 

 

The speakers at the event were highlighting both the pluses and minuses of the tourism industry’s powers and responsibilities. From many speakers, such as Jennifer Bartelle, (Senior Advisor – Sustainable Tourism), we heard about the negative impacts of tourism, its responsibility for greenhouse gas emissions, orphanage Tourism, cruelty to animals (e.g. elephant riding and Tiger selfies) and over-tourism where destinations are being spoilt. Darrell Wade, from Intrepid Travel, had no solution for our carbon emissions and the future of aviation. We were shocked to learn that there are fifty-two dolphins being bred to perform at “SeaWorld” on the Gold Coast. Ben Pearson of World Animal Protection strongly suggests that breeding and keeping animals in captivity purely for our entrainment should be a thing of the past. This resonated with the students.

Fortunately, we also heard positive news with many companies giving back to local communities in underprivileged parts of the World, and hotel chains getting rid of the single-use plastic shampoo minis and banning plastic straws. Intrepid tours promotes “Under-Tourism” taking travellers to less known destinations. Ex-Green Politician and key note speaker, Bob Brown says “Don’t get Depressed, Get Active”.  

 

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The key-note speakers included Brown and Costa Georgiadis of the TV Gardening Show. The students were particularly engaged with Costa’s talk, as he was informal and spoke to them on their level. His theme was “How Do I Fit in the Sustainability Narrative?”. He talked about all the little things everyone can do, and instead of a PowerPoint he brought other more interesting props - bees-wax wraps, water bottle, keep-cup, boomerang bags, cutlery….and reflected topics that we had talked about in the classroom where my students know not to bring single use plastic to class. He was a bit of fun amongst some serious speakers, even throwing toilet paper into the audience!!

The students and I were also totally connected with Giles Gilbert from Malaysian Airlines, as he told us the story of recovering from a crisis – this is exactly one of the research assessments the tourism students complete in their “Introduction to Tourism” subject so they could relate. 

In all Macleay’s Tourism subjects I incorporate and discuss sustainability issues ranging from using Apps and online resources to avoiding unnecessary printing, to debating the amount of waste generated by airlines, cruising companies and hotel chains. The students were able to easily understand the presenters’ points of view and facts as they have pre-empted so much in class with discussion and research

I can’t sign off without thanking the team at The Misfits Media Company, who give the tourism students this wonderful opportunity each year to network with Industry. The students, team  and I were all uplifted and finished the day’s journey fully inspired.

 

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