Students on the patio at a Hawaiin-themed potluck

Instructor Blog: Travel, Tourism and Culture by Gwynne Whitby-Thomas

Travel and tourism is a program with a broad set of outcomes. Many of our students are people who have travelled quite a bit and want to formalize their knowledge and turn their experiences into a career. At the other end of the spectrum we have many students who have not left the city of Vancouver/Surrey and want to see the world.

Our students will learn the fundamentals of arranging travel, be exposed to industry experts and visit some of our industry partners. One of the aspects I love about teaching the programs that I do is that our content is ever changing to ensure we are meeting the needs of the industry and giving our students the tools they need for success. With this in mind we have just launched a pilot project called “It All Adds Up” which is sponsored by RBC. This class highlighted for our students some key strategies on how to handle their money and ways to use their cash flow to prepare for their future. The facilitator, Dolores Isidoro, is former staff of CTC and a very energetic and enthusiastic person who really connected with the students. The follow up comments were very positive and having Dolores as the facilitator was what really made the difference. Many tools were learned in a fun and interactive workshop that will allow the participants to make wiser decisions as they plan for their future. Dolores delivered one of the three seminars available and we look forward to enjoying the other seminars in the near future.

Following the above workshop our class returned to our current topic which is World Destinations and I am really looking forward to the cultural presentations that each student will do. They may choose their own culture of origin or another one that intrigues them. We all share in the information as students present on topics such as music, food, clothing and language. In the past we have learned Aboriginal dreamtime painting from Australia, Japanese calligraphy, how to make sushi, playing a ukulele, Hawaiian dancing and so much more. Our class recently decided they would like to create a Hawaiian-themed day as they transitioned from one program to another. so the end result was an abundant pot luck, the story of Moana and colourful dress on everyone’s part.

During my twenty years with CTC I have watched many students grow and flourish as they pursued careers with Collette Vacations, Destinations North America, Westjet, Flight Centre, Fairmont Hotels, and specialized in the many niches available such as destination weddings.

Gwynne – Travel and Tourism Instructor, Surrey Campus

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