Wednesday 12th April 2006 by C. Freeman
A local business manager visited the College to give students the low-down on travel agency work. Suzanne Miller, the manager of Thomson's Corby branch, spent an hour with the Year 12 students who are studying travel and tourism as part of their business syllabus.
The students have to research and design individual travel packages as part of their coursework and Suzanne was outlining the vast range of options open to the adventurous traveller nowadays.
For thrill seekers there's dedicated roller coaster tours in America, or if nature is more your thing then safaris, whale watching or even sighting grizzly bears can be arranged.
Suzanne explained how the whole travel industry has been revolutionised over the past few years with cheaper flights and increased options meaning people travel more frequently, supplementing their main holiday with two or three shorter breaks each year.
Cruises have recently taken off with massive interest from younger age-groups and formerly exotic destinations, such as the Himalayas, Nepal and Bhutan, becoming within the reach of ordinary tourists.
We take on a lot of younger people school for jobs like holiday reps, but there's so many opportunities from pilots down...
Technology has also meant a major change with branches now capable of becoming 'virtual call centres'. At quieter moments staff can log on and process telephone enquiries from customers throughout the UK.
The students also heard how other issues, such as terrorism have also affected the travel industry with bookings affected after terrorist outrages and travellers refusing to fly on September 11.
Suzanne, who has been in the travel business for 10 years and a branch manager for five years would definitely recommend it as a great career because there's so many options available. 'We take on a lot of younger people school for jobs like holiday reps, but there's so many opportunities from pilots down – or you could work your way up, in operations or head office jobs.'
One thing is for sure, a career in travel and tourism is never dull; Suzanne's booked a wedding party in St Lucia comprising 58 people and costing £ 60,000. Other memorable clients include the couple on a lavish round-the-world cruise costing £ 70,000!
Business studies teacher, Dominic Vallier, who arranged for Suzanne to talk to students, Sarah Hadley, Jamie Singh and Kyle Fielding, said: 'This has been a great opportunity for them to get a grasp of what travel packages are available and the issues surrounding the travel industry today. It will prove invaluable with their project work.'