Victoria Tourism Week Blog Series – What Does Tourism Mean to You? Emma Kent
When I told people I was going to study tourism at university I was surprised at the number of people who automatically thought I wanted to be a travel agent. Travel agent? I hadn’t even considered that as a job prospect!
Surely the contribution of several billion dollars to Victoria’s economy every year wasn’t solely the result of the good work of Flight Centre and STA? There had to be other jobs out there. It was clear to me then that not many people
knew what tourism was and who was in the industry. So I got to thinking, did I even know what tourism was?
Internet searches confirm it as ‘the commercial organization and operation of vacations and visits to places of interest’ or ‘travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes’. Having played the tourist quite a bit, these definitions seemed accurate. Straight to the point, with the common themes- visiting and travel, but it all sounds a bit clinical doesn’t it?
As a tourist myself, I don’t count my life in weeks or months, I count it in ‘sleeps’ until my next get away. Domestic or international, tourism and travel is what gives me that buzz; the butterflies in the stomach, the ability to wake at 4am to make it to the airport and the desire to see it all.
Now after working in the tourism industry and seeing millions of tourists enjoy their own butterflies in the stomach, I see tourism from the other side of the fence- the ‘supply’ side, and the above definitions just don’t seem to do ‘tourism’ justice. Nowadays to me, tourism means ‘the facilitation of people’s happiness and enrichment’.
Because let’s face it; tourists (well the most of them) are happy! Being a tourist is not like going to the dentist or getting your tax done, people actually WANT to be a tourist, I WANT to be a tourist. Tourism and travel is what people dream about, it’s what they save for and it’s what they look forward to. They go back home with experiences, knowledge and memories to share and perhaps a novelty tea towel to remind them of their holiday where they didn’t have to do dishes.
We, in the tourism industry, have the pleasure and privilege to be a part of that. We create and aid people’s happy times, their little piece of heaven that they work hard to enjoy, their memories. Do you know any dentists who can do that?
Assistant Manager- Administration, Events and Marketing