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Busman's holiday for Stansted Airport College students

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Travel and tourism students at Stansted Airport College took a busman's holiday to Portugal

The students, all working towards an HNC (Higher National Certificate) in international travel and tourism management, enjoyed a visit to a vineyard owned by Sir Cliff Richard, an excursion to the birthplace of piri piri chicken and travelled by boat to see the Algarve's famous caves and dolphins during their fact-finding mission.

One of them, Billy Green, 19, said: "It was great to put what we've learned in the classroom into practice. International travel management is what we're studying, so learning about the different sectors within the industry and seeing how they come together so people can have their holidays is really interesting."

Stansted Airport College students in Portugal (57396568)
Stansted Airport College students in Portugal (57396568)

Sustainability was one of the key aspects of the visit according to Ruth Gray, the further education institution's deputy head.

She said: "Because aviation has such a large impact on the environment, sustainability is integral to everything we do at the college and it is incorporated into all the courses and units that we teach, focusing particularly on the initiatives that are being undertaken and what new innovations could be more globally adopted in the future."

Billy added: "Sustainability within the travel and tourism industry is really important, and with Portugal being a vast tourist destination, it was interesting to see how they're putting a lot of work into green technology, with electric buggies to move people around the resorts. It would be great to see more of this happening in the UK – it's the way forward and we'll all have to achieve it eventually.

The Stansted Airport College students at the terminal
The Stansted Airport College students at the terminal

"The HNC course really opens your eyes to how vast the aviation industry is and how many sectors make up the industry. You might think that travel and tourism is just people going on holiday, but it's so much more than that and this course really shows you that."

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