In early May, Destination NSW invited a handful of William Blue Tourism and Event Management students to participate in the ATE Volunteer Program. The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism trade event, designed to sell Australia to the world. Around 1,500 Australian spokespeople from approximately 500 companies, 700 key buyer representatives from over 300 countries, and over 80 international and Australian media attend this global event.
This years event took place at the International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC Sydney) from May 14-18 2017. Together with providing insights into the delivery of a world class trade event, the ATE program enabled William Blue students to see firsthand how the tourism industry collectively promotes Australia as an international tourism destination. To participate in the program, students must complete at least one semester of their current course.
L-R Skye Vickery, 2 x student volunteers, Katy Horvath, Daniella Hart & Hannah Johnson.
Tourism Management students Kathy Horvath, Danielle Hart, Hannah Johnson, Rebekah Sharpe and Skye Vickery were amongst the fortunate students to participate in this years ATE Volunteer Program. The girls were responsible for numerous tasks including assisting with the flow of delegates registering at the event, distributing delegate bags and badges, administering information directly to exhibitor booths as required, and acting as ‘human signposts’ on the trade event floor including meeting and greeting guests.
Coupled with engaging William Blue students in the trade event, Tourism Australia invited Senior Hospitality Lecturer, Sarah Hind to attend a walkthrough of the event. Sarah explains, “Destination NSW did a fantastic job in coordinating and running the event at the ICC. The dynamic space brought together Australian tourism businesses, tourism wholesalers and travel retailers from around the world”.
William Blue College facilitates hands-on work opportunities like the ATE Volunteer Program for students to access real world learning in conjunction with their studies. For instance, the program presented student Rebekah Sharpe with the opportunity to be recognised by Tourism Australia and Destination NSW staff. With this in mind, a Tourism Australia staff member handed Rebekah her business card as a means of contact to nominate her for any volunteer work, internships and possible jobs.
“It was very interesting to do some volunteer work for an event that is actually related to my degree, it also gave me more of an idea about where I want to end up”, says Rebekah. “I really enjoyed being part of the ATE Volunteer Program. It was really fun and interesting to meet people in the positions that I might like to be in myself once I have finished my degree.”
Upon completion of the Volunteer Program, Destination NSW awarded each William Blue student
with a certificate of participation for their efforts during the four day event. Together with providing a unique firsthand glimpse into Australia’s travel and tourism industry, the program helped to aid student learning and development as Tourism and Event Management professionals.
Want a career in tourism? Consider a course in tourism management.