Singapore Polytechnic students get real world working experience in the travel industry, through an initiative made possible by the School of Business and a local tour agency.
Hong Bing Hui flies to exotic locations to inspect hotels, plans travel itineraries, and leads tour groups. But he is not your typical travel agency employee. Bing Hui is actually a 20-year old Singapore Polytechnic student serving a 5-month internship.
Bing Hui will also embark on a trip to Kuala Lumpur as a tour leader to 60 primary and secondary school students and teachers this coming 14 December 2007.
The internship opportunities are made possible through a joint initiative by Singapore Polytechnic's School of Business and tour agency Transinex Travel. The collaboration with SP has led to the set up of the Singapore Polytechnic Innovation Creativity Enterprise (SPICE) Travel Centre on the campus, which was officially launched by National Association of Travel Agents Singapore CEO Mr Robert Khoo today (11 December 2007)
Operating 5-days a week from 8am to 6pm, the SPICE Travel Centre specialises in planning student-related tours and activities. It is also open to the public through walk-in enquiries or the agency's hotline.
Together with 3 other course-mates from the School of Business, Bing Hui run the Centre's day-to-day operations with supervision by a Transinex manager. Marketing collaterals and email flyers are also produced by the students, which are then distributed to the public and emailed to companies. 150 students from the Diploma in Tourism and Resort Management will also stand to benefit when subject modules involve the Travel Centre in future.
Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the job is being able to go overseas and inspect accommodations which the tour group is likely to stay in. The students also go on familiarisation trips where they run through the entire itinerary and learn about the history and culture of the destination before imparting such knowledge to the tour group as a co-tour leader or tour leader.
Mr V. Maheantharan, Director of the School of Business reaffirms the Centre's importance to SP students. "SPICE Travel enables our Tourism and Resort Management students to experience authentic learning in a real setting. They would also have the rare opportunity to develop and market new travel products which would have been difficult to do in any other travel agencies."