Business Newsroom

La Trobe Business School

Tag: hospitality

Vietnam Hospitality tour: A student’s perspective

Study tour group

By Natalie Carri

Deaf Cafe “Reaching Out”

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to Paul Strickland for providing me with the opportunity to participate in the 2017 Vietnam study tour and campaigning for me to be one of the Recipients of the New Colombo Mobility grant. I would like to also acknowledge Monica Hodgkinson and the Equality and Diversity Centre for providing me with Celeste & Jasmine who were my interpreters for the entire duration of the tour and guided me throughout. I owe a deep sense of gratitude to Paul for campaigning for me to be fully supported by the qualified AUSLAN interpreters. I was fortunate to have shared this unforgettable experience with a great group of students. I am proud to have been the first deaf La Trobe Uni Student who went on this Study Tour and thank you for believing in me to help me achieve this once in a lifetime opportunity which truly was a morale booster for me.

I’ve always been challenged throughout my entire schooling life, but it’s always humbling to know that La Trobe University prides itself on supporting students with disabilities to help overcome the some of the barriers they are faced with. I have consistently been dedicated to bettering myself throughout my schooling and being a part of this experience has helped promote self growth and has pushed me both academically and socially.When I found out about the Vietnam study tour, I was interested from the very first moment as I knew it was going to be a valuable learning experience for me. I am immensely grateful that I was accompanied to Vietnam with such experienced staff members and if I wasn’t given this opportunity by the University, I don’t think I would’ve ever ventured to Vietnam on my own. This study tour gave me the opportunity to explore Vietnam and its beautiful surroundings with such a welcoming group of students with whom I have developed close friendships with. Sharing this experience helped connect us through those testing moments where we all felt home sick, frustrated with the humidity/heat or longing for a home cooked meal. This study tour offered the chance to be exposed to the hustle and bustle of city congestion, sample signature Vietnamese delicacies, enjoy popular street food, visit War battlefields that were used during the Vietnam War, participate in authentic cooking classes and participate in guided tours of historical temples and iconic landmarks throughout the beautiful towns of Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi and UNESCO World Heritage Ha Long Bay. This was a valuable learning experience and by being immersed in the culture gave me a greater understanding and appreciation of Vietnam. Everywhere we visited we were always greeted with a warm, welcoming friendly smile from the locals and our three tour guides were always keen to share many informative stories with us.

Thanks to ‘Reaching out’, I got to meet some amazing deaf Vietnamese locals. This was by far one of the most rewarding encounters. I was fortunate enough to visit a Deaf Cafe known as the ‘Reaching Out Teahouse’ which is run & managed by hearing & speech impaired people. The Teahouse is also an art & craft shop which practises in accordance to The Fair Trade principles & helps support people with disabilities and integrate them into the community. Although I found this to be a wonderful cultural experience, it proved challenging not to be able to communicate because AUSLAN differs greatly to the Vietnamese sign language. However, with patience and perseverance, we were able to overcome this by communicating with each other through the use of gestures and mime. I was inspired by the set up and felt that we could learn from The Reaching Out Cafe, and apply some of its principles to the already existing Trade Block Cafe located in St Kilda, VCD (Victorian College for the Deaf) which is run by deaf VCAL students.

I have learnt a lot about myself from this trip as it has allowed me to open my mind and embrace opportunities that require me to take more risks. I have gained so much knowledge through this experience and I cannot emphasise enough the importance of not allowing my disability hinder such an opportunity. Having Celeste and Jasmine, the two amazing interpreters interpret for me during this trip, ensured that I didn’t miss out on any details or information and I was privileged to have been given this wonderful support and funding.

This study tour will stay with me for years to come and has opened doors to new possibilities by being immersed in a culture so diverse to mine. The two weeks that I spent on the study tour helped me acquire greater knowledge of Vietnam’s rich history and culture and I felt that my independence and confidence grew and strengthened during this trip. Receiving this has definitely motivated me and I look forward to giving back to the community beyond my studies. I would highly recommend this enriching experience to all students at the University and in particularly encourage deaf students to broaden their knowledge to embrace a new culture and diverse experiences if given the chance.

 

Tourism and Hospitality International Study Program – THS3ISP – Study Tour to Vietnam

Students from Hanu, Bundoora and Bendigo campuses

by Paul Strickland

The recipients of the New Colombo Mobility Grant meeting with General Manager of Vinh Hung Resorts, Mr Han. L-R: Paul Strickland, Scott Dickson, Taila Howden, Mr Han, Loren Mosetter, Simon Jacobs, Monica Hodgkinson, Sarah Cook

Paul Strickland and Monica Hodgkinson led a delegation of twenty-one tourism, hospitality and event management students and staff from Bundoora and Bendigo campuses to Vietnam for a two-week study tour in June/July 2017. This annual program included two Auslan translators to accompany Natalie Carrie, a profoundly deaf student that was a first for La Trobe. Support and funding was obtained from Vicdeaf, La Trobe University Equity and Diversity (thank you Sally Freeman) and La Trobe Business School. Additionally, five students were fully funded by New Colombo Mobility grants of $3000.00 each and $1500 for staff that aims to bridge the gap in trade between Australia and South-East Asia.

The objective of the study tour was to examine and observe the cultural, social and environment aspects as a tourist, the impacts of government policy and the legacy of war. Students were strongly encouraged to try all pre-ordered food, partake in cooking classes, meet high level management and fully immerse themselves in the culture. Vietnam has a very ‘dark’ history due to its strategic location between China and western societies therefore is an ideal case study for political, cultural and touristic examination.

The assessment tasks include a case study relating to war and ethics, a daily reflective journal, a formal report evaluating the differences between the hotel and restaurant standards of Australia and Vietnam and a group presentation based on photo journal on a given topic. The study tour includes all flights, accommodation, three meals daily, activities, entrance fees, bottled water, buses, guides, drivers, footmen, and tips for approximately $2800.00.

The study tour started in Melbourne and continued to Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hoi An, Hue, Halong Bay and Hanoi. The tour visited Hanu (Hanoi University) and where we met with eleven local students studying at La Trobe University who live on campus. Conversations focused on the differences between Bundoora, Bendigo and Hanu campus life. We also had site visits at local resorts, restaurants and a private ceremony for the fallen Vietnamese and Australian soldiers on the original battlefield.

The evaluation forms are extremely positive and students have indicated a willingness to be ambassadors for La Trobe and their courses at Open Days, in classrooms and other promotional opportunities. Although it is a very full itinerary and extremely tiring towards the end, feedback included ‘it has helped me with my tourism and hospitality related studies’ and ‘so many great sites/places visited and amazing food in all restaurants’ and finally, ‘10/10’.

It was recently announced that this tourism and hospitality international study program has secured a further ten New Colombo Mobility grants of $3000.00 each and $3000.00 for teaching staff totally $33,000 to travel to Vietnam in 2018. We have added Van Lang University on the itinerary for a site tour and presentation in their department of tourism plus a NGO to see the impact of charity work. Having government funded support through student grants makes it possible for low-socio economic and high performing academic students have an opportunity to participate which we wholeheartedly welcome.

LBS Associate Professor Elspeth Frew on Radio National’s Nightlife

LBS Associate Professor Elspeth Frew

Recently, LBS’s Associate Professor Elspeth Frew was interviewed on Radio National’s “Nightlife” for an hour discussing dark tourism, together with her research collaborator Dr Leanne White.

During the program there listeners across Australia called in to speak about their experiences at various dark tourism sites and how these visits had impacted them.

To listen to the full episode, click here.

La Trobe subjects among global elite

La Trobe University has cemented its position amongst the world’s top institutions in the latest QS World University Rankings by Subject.

La Trobe now ranks alongside the world’s elite in almost half of the subjects assessed – an increase of 25 per cent from last year.

Published annually since 2011, the rankings are based on research impact, as well as academic and employer reputation.

La Trobe’s now ranks in the top 50 (50th) globally and sixth nationally in the new QS category of Hospitality and Leisure Management. This is due to the academics linked to the University’s Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality), which has established connections to major players in the tourism, hospitality and events industry, as well as  world-class research.

Another four subject areas ranked in the world top 100:

  • Archaeology (5th nationally)
  • Nursing (11th nationally)
  • Sociology (7th nationally) and
  • Sports-related subjects (7th nationally)

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar welcomed the rankings, which were released the same day the University celebrated its 50th anniversary.

“This is more proof of La Trobe’s long-standing international reputation, the strength of our teaching and research, plus the recognised calibre and employability of our graduates,” Professor Dewar said.

“Overall our academic reputation has improved in about three-quarters of the ranked subjects – which is a clear reflection of the outstanding work, dedication and expertise of our staff,” Professor Dewar said.

Other subjects to feature in the top 400 include: History, Linguistics, Philosophy, Agriculture & Forestry, Psychology, Accounting & Finance, Communication & Media Studies, Education, Law, English Language & English Literature, Modern Languages, Biological Sciences, Business & Management Studies, Economics & Econometrics and Computer Science & Information Systems.

LBS student Achan Amol on her overseas internship: “It was an unforgettable experience”

On top of the Helipad Bar gazing at the Petronas Towers

On top of the Helipad Bar gazing at the Petronas Towers

By Achan Amol

Going into my second year of studies in a Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) at LBS, I was eager to travel, as travel has been a massive passion of mine. In June/July 2016 I travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the help of the study abroad team who got in contact with an organisation called CISaustralia. The La Trobe Study Abroad team gave me a tremendous level of support in enhancing my trip, so that it became an unforgettable experience. I was advised of the opportunity to do an internship abroad. Then the rest of the work was completed by the awesome team at The Global Student who worked together with CISaustralia to find me a great position at a four star hotel called Crystal Crown Hotel, Petaling Jaya. I worked there at the front desk of the hotel as a receptionist.

During my six weeks at the Crystal Crown Hotel, I was able to put the theory that I had learnt in my first year of studies into action in a practical environment. I was greeting, checking guests in and out, making bookings, answering phone calls and undertaking all the other duties that came with the position I was working in. I also learnt a great deal about culture as a majority of the guests coming into the hotel were either locals or international visitors from all paths of life. The opportunity to work as an intern in Malaysia has broadened my perspective of the world around me and made me aware of the different cultures around the globe.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

With my final year just around the corner this internship gave me hands on experience in an ideal potential future job that I could undertake after completing my degree. Being able to work as a full time intern overseas opens a wide range of career opportunities and also provides opportunities such as networking, experiencing a new culture and meeting new people.  I highly recommend it.

Achan Amol is in her second year of studies in a Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) at La Trobe Business School.

Galileo software and LBS tourism student employability outcomes: a look into the back-end of the travel industry with Yvonne Lennard

Almost everyone who travels has at one time or another booked a flight or accommodation through a travel agent. Central to this process and widely used in Australia, but often invisible to the customer, is the booking software Galileo.

Yvonne Lennard, who is a Galileo specialist, teaches tourism and other students at La Trobe Business School about how to access and use the system. Yvonne explains: ‘While the system is complicated, anyone can do it. We see a lot of our students pick it up very quickly and in a very intuitive manner. Funnily enough, for students who are extremely technical, navigating the Galileo interface sometimes proves to be harder for them, mainly because of preconceived ideas they may have when it comes to navigating software platforms’.

The Galileo system is one of three operating systems for travel agents used globally. To use the connected database, travel agents use a set of command lines that resemble shorthand, to look up airline codes and travel dates. ‘Learning how to navigate the system is similar to learning a language, really,’ Yvonne Lennard comments. ‘All it takes is practice and common sense.’

Yvonne has been delivering a subject in the Galileo software at La Trobe Business School for over ten years. Students are tested through an online examination and a live examination. When they pass without any issues, they receive a certificate that makes a significant difference in the travel industry, enabling graduates to hit the ground running: ‘In this course, students have to learn about every aspect of making a booking. For their live examinations, we use a simulation system that works with real time flight data. To pass, students have to process a realistic and complicated booking where they have to book space for extra luggage, find a hotel, and book tickets and special meals for fictional customers. If they eventually opt to work in the travel industry, they can skip the training entirely. Even when they go to Europe, where most companies use Amadeus, a similar booking system, they only need one training day. The two systems are so similar that a certificate will make a difference, no matter where you go.’

The classes themselves are very hands-on: ‘The students love that [practical] side of it. At university, a lot of courses tend to be heavily theory-based, so for students to work with something so hands-on, Galileo can be an exciting thing.’ Yvonne says. For her, that practical approach was one of the main reasons why she ended up in the travel business. ‘I studied Health Science, but sometimes things were a bit too dry for my liking. I tumbled into the travel business after managing a Flight Centre store. When a training centre for Galileo was set up in Melbourne, I was approached to become a trainer. I was immediately fascinated, and have been training people ever since.’

In December last year, Yvonne Lennard was presented with a teaching award at the Travelport Forum, after being nominated by her students. ‘The experience was enormously rewarding, and it’s nice to receive that validation. Being a teacher isn’t just understanding the system: it’s understanding how students approach it when accessing it for the first time, and knowing how best to convey knowledge to them.‘

When asked if she thinks the system is facing trouble with the growth of on-line sites like booking.com, Yvonne is a positive thinker: ‘Booking through a travel agent will always provide a customer with the kind of ease you will never get from internet bookings. Airline websites can be hard to navigate, and when you have to book flights, accommodation and rental cars while wading through visa regulations, things can easily become overwhelming. What happens quite often, is that people don’t realise they need certain documents in order to travel, like insurance papers, or specific visas. When they realise this too late, they end up paying twice as much to get it processed quickly. A travel agent can save you all that trouble for little extra cost. The booking systems are definitely changing, but I have faith that the travel industry will change with it.’

For LBS tourism students, having skills with Galileo clearly enhances their employability on graduation.

© 2019 Business Newsroom

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑