Employability a focus of tourism trip

London Metropolitan University strives to give students a quality learning experience, as reflected by a recent trip to Palestine.

Date: 24/02/2012

London Metropolitan University strives to give students a quality learning experience, as reflected by a recent trip to Palestine.

MA International Tourism Management and Development students visited sites across the region as part of their Theory and Practice module, which aims to give students a taste of working on live projects. 

The trip was organised in collaboration with two organisations; the Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation and Bethlehem University.  

Jonathan Karkut, from London Met, said: “We have many good contacts in Palestine following projects we have conducted there in the past, so this was a good opportunity to build on these links. For example, one of our graduates now runs a tourism business in Palestine, and they helped organise all of the logistics locally for the trip.

“The visit gave the students a chance to put the theory they’ve learned in the classroom into practice, and also to experience working in an environment which presents challenges for tourism to develop and thrive.

“The students were a little nervous before we arrived but by the end of the week they were all asking when they could go back!” 

As well as holy sites the students visited the ancient village of Battir, where olive trees and vines have been grown using the same method since Roman times. 

Battir is one of 20 places identified to become new UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and so it was an excellent case study for exploring the relationship between tourism and development. 

The students also benefited from high level contacts that had been established thanks to previous project collaborations, and liaised with the Mayor of Bethlehem and the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities as part of their research.

MA International Tourism Management and Development student Viviana Deplanu was one of the participants in the trip. She said: “I am glad to have taken part in this project, which was about the promotion and development of the fantastic tool that is tourism. 

“Visiting Palestine has definitely been one of the most extraordinary and unforgettable experiences I have ever had.”

As well as providing exceptional experience for the students, the trip is also yielding exciting opportunities for the future. There are now plans to provide opportunities for London Met students to conduct their business work placement module alongside Palestinian tourism businesses.

Such initiatives are at the heart of London Met’s postgraduate commitment to providing real world experience to boost the employability of its graduates. London Met's work in Palestine is an excellent example of how teaching, research and providing experience to students can generate further employability opportunities.

For the students, the trip to Palestine is one they’ll remember for some time. Chiara Martello, MA International Tourism Management and Development student, said: “I really would like to thank London Met for making it possible for us to visit and discover the beauty of Palestine."