Why practical lessons are key in tourism training

Instilling practical skills to students during their course of study has been regarded as one of the best learning tool. Tourism and Hospitality Courses have many practical aspects, the most common being educational trips which take the learning experience outside the classroom. These trips have helped enhance students' learning and increased their practical knowledge.

Kenya Utalii College has interwoven such visits to its training model. Early February 2020, third year Travel and Tourism students visited Hells Gate National Park, Lake Nakuru National Park, Lake Bogoria National Reserve and Maasai Mara Game Reserve for 5 days. These parks and reserves are known for their scenic beauty and abundant wildlife that includes the Big Five. These Lake System of the Great Rift Valley that has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site are also known for flamingos.
Lake Bogoria is also known for its hot springs.

The students also undertook a guided tour of Sarova Woodlands Hotel in Nakuru and Lake Bogoria Spa Resort in an effort to familiarize themselves with accommodation facilities available within the circuit they were traveling in. "This trip enhanced the learning gained in class. I could relate the field trip to the learning objectives of a variety of topics," said Sharon Mueni, a final year TTM student.

The educational trips expose students to key tourist circuits, accommodation facilities as well as attractions available - important for itinerary designing in tour planning.  Students also get an opportunity to practice their tour guiding skills and as a result gain practical knowledge of the flora and fauna of a region. The students also familiarize themselves with the people and cultures within a circuit - an important feature in cultural tourism.