Leading industry visitor inspires travel students

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Students studying for a career in Travel and Tourism at New College Lanarkshire have been given advice from the top – after a visit from the chief executive of the most influential leadership group in Scotland’s Travel and Tourism Industry.

Marc Crothall, chief executive of the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA), visited HNC Travel and Tourism students from the Cumbernauld and Motherwell Campus to discuss the importance of the tourism for Scottish economy.

Labelled by the Scottish Government as ‘Scotland’s most important industry’, Marc spoke to the students about his work with STA and his progression in the industry, the numerous opportunities he has had and the ambition that drives him to succeed.

With an estimated 6,000 extra jobs to be created in the sector alone, students studying for a career in the industry are encouraged from an early stage to think ahead to their career path, and networking opportunities and industry leader visits are regularly scheduled into the curriculum, giving students the chance to get advice, gain confidence and get to know the big players in the industry.

Sophie Young from the Motherwell campus said: “I found Marc’s presentation so inspiring. I learned that travel and tourism is more than becoming a holiday representative or travel agent and is a more varied career choice than I first thought when I started the course.

“This talk has motivated me to think outside the box when deciding which path to take within the industry.”

Classmate Jodie Fleming said: “Marc’s talk opened my mind to the amount of possibilities that are available within the tourism industry and has motivated me to work hard during my HNC and to continue onto the HND next year.”

Caitlin Duffy also commented: “Marc inspired me especially when he talked about his various opportunities to work abroad, from being offered to work in Paris to spending nearly six years in Africa.

“His talk has motivated me to do well on the course as it has made me realise there can be various job opportunities you can explore. It has also made me realise that the harder you work within the tourism industry, the more recognition you build for yourself and this allows for those various job opportunities to arise and become available to you”.

Maja Kinga, a student originally from Poland now studying at the Motherwell Campus said: “Many people think tourism is only temporary; the job is only during holiday time but Marc shows that the tourism industry offers a variety of jobs.”

The STA has now offered six ‘star’ students to attend the STA Signature Conference in the SEC Glasgow on 1 March, which kicks of tourism month.