NHTV Master in Tourism Destination Management students in Sydney

To many people, Sydney is just another city. Located too far away for comfortable travel and virtually indistinguishable from any other urban metropolis, Sydney struggles to make itself heard and felt in between the melee of New York, the glamour of Paris and the inordinate chaos of the Mumbai. And hence to many, that’s where the story of Sydney begins and ends – one amongst a thousand cities in the world.

For someone who was privileged enough to live in and experience this city for a whole month, I say you haven’t even scratched the surface. Sydney is not just another city. It may not be able to boast of the glamour afforded by its competitors over the world but Sydney’s charm does not lie with highflying jet setters and glamorous settings. It teems within the city itself.

Sydney is a multicultural, warm, vibrant and welcoming destination. It is teeming with life and energy, but does not descend into chaos and bedlam. Somehow, Sydney has managed to hit a perfect balance between dynamic and laid back, between fast paced and mellow. And this is what makes Sydney a unique city – the people, the flow, the balance.

As with any first time visitor, The Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House were first on our ‘to-do’ list, with the koalas as a close second. But we soon discovered so much more to see and do. Whether it was exploring the Saturday Glebe market, spending the day in Centennial Park, soaking up the sun at Bondi Beach or strolling down Darling Harbour at night, Sydney afforded something new and interesting everyday.

Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games. Within a week, we were hard at work.

NHTV, Master in Tourism Destination Management students in Sydney

As our first destination, Sydney was the perfect place for TDM 2011 for the kick off of our much awaited Phase 2. Divided into groups of six, we scoured the city in search of Public Organisations, Large Travel Operators and Small and Medium Enterprises. For the first time, we were sent into the real world and told to ‘go for it’. For many, this was the first time we had done anything of this sort. It meant organising, planning, reading articles, getting in touch with industry professionals and converting all that assimilated data into viable results. A process that is both rewarding and intimidating.
As students, we learned and experimented with new techniques and unfamiliar and unconventional methods. We had the freedom to explore and make mistakes, find solutions to new and unexpected challenges. Sydney was the perfect starting point for this process as it was a hospitable and developed tourism climate with experienced professionals who were willing to share their experience and insights. Challenges of time and know-how were experienced, but were adapted to quickly and we were able to get the desired results.

All in all, Sydney is a turning point for all of us at TDM 2011. It was a rewarding experience which presented many opportunities and possibilities. It was our first ‘real world experience’ and has left us better prepared for new challenges and expectations in Thailand and Bali. For me, it was an unforgettable month and Sydney has a permanent place in my memories. It was truly an incredible journey.