Adult learners studying Travel and Tourism at Havant & South Downs College gained insight into the industry when they visited Stansted Park on 31 January.
The students, currently studying a City & Guilds Level 2 Extended Certificate in Travel and Tourism, visited the tourist attraction on a tailored educational trip. The aim of the trip was to ‘understand the appeal of Stansted Park to general visitors’, ‘understand the factors that can affect the success and failure of a visit’, and ‘understand the careers available and their roles and responsibilities’.
Lecturer Anna Thorn said: “As with any learning, bringing what they are doing in the classroom to life and seeing it in action adds a realness to the subject. Within Travel and Tourism, it is a natural progression to take what they learn about in the classroom out into reality.
“Towards the end of November I contacted Stansted Park to see if they were able to accommodate an adult learning group. I spoke with Fiona Oakley, the Education and House Steward Coordinator, for the Stansted Park Foundation Trust, who is responsible for all their educational group visits.
“Fiona and I discussed the current educational visit options, which became clear didn’t meet the need of the adult learners. I shared with Fiona the criteria for part of a unit specifically looking at visitor attractions, and Fiona took this and developed a bespoke session for us. “
The day trip included a tour of Stansted House and ‘behind the scenes’ access to areas that are not open to the public. The learners took part in activities to understand the appeal and features that draw visitors to Stansted Park every year. The learners also completed activities around the job roles of current members of staff, exploring their areas of responsibility.
Anna added: “The whole day was fantastic, the learners explored areas of the house and grounds including the chapel and where able to ask questions and get a real experience of how a visitor attraction was run.
“In the following weeks lesson the learners expressed their enjoyment and said how interesting they found it. There are plans for more organised Travel and Tourism Adult Learner trips, a repeat visit to Stansted Park is planned, to see the house and grounds when they are open to the public, so the learners can have the visitor experience.”