Believe it or not, I did in fact come to Australia to study. I am a part of the Tourism and Event Management program with TEAN Abroad, and because of that, have gone to class almost every day and had various field trips that relate to the class. Within this class, we have three hours of lecture going over tourism in general as well as how to plan an event. We have had two projects to complete, as well as a final (which we will take in Cairns). The first project is a huge one which consisted of creating an event to promote tourism in Australia’s Northern Territory, specifically for a national park within the NT called Kakadu National Park. We did make it up to the NT where we stayed in Darwin and Kakadu itself , so we were able to see what it is like up there before giving our presentations, which was immensely helpful. The other project we had to complete was a series of interviews at a place called The Rocks in Sydney, which is a historical site right next to the Harbour. Since this took up a pretty good chunk of time for us while we were in Sydney, I figured these projects deserved their own post. Plus, it is proof that I did do work while I was here!
Within the groups (each of which had a total of 4 people), each individual was given a role, and mine was staging which really means that I was in charge of all of the set up and lay out of the event. My group decided that we were going to host an event in the park, catering towards miners since there are so many of them in the NT. After choosing our target market, we moved onto thinking about what they like, which we narrowed down to live music, beer, food and all around “manly” things. Therefore, we crafted an overnight event in Kakadu involving a Battle of the Bands, a food vendor competition with many different local NT restaurants as well as having a huge beer garden and bonfire at night. At the event, there would be an overnight camping location for all of the guests as well, since Australia takes major pains to avoid drinking and driving.
We had to give a presentation on our event after we had planned it all out, and after convincing my team that a Powerpoint was necessary, we created one and were ready the day of to promote our event to the class. We each presented our own section, first with our project plan, then risk management, followed by marketing and ending with my section on staging. Every question that the professor or our fellow classmates asked us, we had an answer for, and everyone liked our event as a whole, so all in all, it was a success! After all of the presentations had ended, our professor told us that he was going to be sending our proposals to the Northern Territory for them to consider our work for future events, which would be so cool if our class project became a reality.
As for The Rocks, my roommate and I set out on a Thursday afternoon to interview three businesses and three groups of tourists in order to complete our write up. In the process, we learned a great deal about The Rocks in general as well as the tourism of the area.
First we talked to someone at The Rocks Discovery Museum, who told us about the overall management of tourism in Australia. Apparently the government controls almost all of the museums in Australia, which was a little scary to learn because that means that the government is the only entity putting out information for their visitors and habitants to learn…but we also learned about the management structure of how they run tourism all over Australia which was interesting to hear. Next, we went to the information center who told us about international tourists and gave us a break down of who comes to The Rocks (mostly Asians since Asia is so close to Australia, but also backpackers and older people from Europe and North America). Lastly, we interviewed a mean woman at the Ghost Tours for The Rocks who really did not tell us much of anything.
Moving onto the tourists, we met a bunch of really nice people who had come to The Rocks for all sorts of reasons, but all of which who had enjoyed their time in Sydney thus far.
This project was interesting to undergo because none of us had heard about The Rocks area before arriving in Sydney, so it was cool to learn more about a place that is so important to Sydney especially since it is not known in America.
Coming up in Cairns, we will have our final primarily on the tourism lectures that we were given in Bryon Bay and also the tail end of Sydney. Hopefully that will not be too difficult! Luckily for now, I can still enjoy the wonders that Sydney has to offer without worrying too much about that since it is so far away (or so I tell myself).
In less terrifying news, my next blog post will be about Darling Harbour, my favorite area of Sydney, so keep reading to learn more about Sydney’s Aquarium, the Chinese Garden of Friendship and the best place in town, Chinese Laundry!