TDM group in Melbourne

The Tourism Destination Management students have arrived at the first destination of their field research: Melbourne; their new (research) home for a month. Let us share a quick overview of their first week:

The programme started on Monday with a guided tour through the city by so called Greeters from the Melbourne Visitor Centre. In the afternoon the students were welcomed by Ms Helen Hardwick (Program Manager Destination Management at City of Melbourne) and her colleagues.

On Tuesday meetings with a.o. Brendan Downey (Group Manager Events) and Mark Stone (CEO) of Tourism Victoria ensued. After which the students got yet another view of Melbourne in the Botanical Garden. Here they met with a representative from the local tribes. He shared his stories about the local way of life and the importance of planets, trees and animals to the native inhabitants. This same afternoon students had a tour through Metropolitan Melbourne, one of the research areas this year. The focus was on the different sub city centres, often with their own, specific ethnic origin. Many of these centres are in a process of change: they are upgrading to “la di da”, Australian for trendy upper class, or have become more alternative, or are “changing nationality”. These precincts might contain therefore a leisure and tourism potential that is hardly made use of till today.

A visit to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), the largest convention and exhibition centre in the southern hemisphere, was on the programme. Here they met with Clive Dwyer, the MCEC marketing director and Chris Buckingham, Chief Executive Tourism Melbourne.

Besides an excellent introduction, all these meetings provided the students with invaluable input and direction for their research on the context, trends and major developments relevant for tourism. In the coming weeks several more stakeholder meetings will take place, as well as on-location lectures by our NHTV teaching staff. At the end of this month, the students will report relevant information meant for specific stakeholders groups to prepare for future policy directions in Melbourne.

Exciting and most definitely educational weeks are ahead in Melbourne for the master in Tourism Destination Management students. We’ll keep you updated on their progress!