Experiential Learning at its Best! - School of Tourism and Hospitality Management (STHM)

Experiential Learning at its Best!

Greg Cornwall and Hupfeld Hoerder, representing the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, organized a field trip to the Coral coast in Sigatoka for an educational excursion for the first weekend in September. The trip involved students from two undergraduate level two courses, ‘operational issues in hospitality’ and ‘rooms division management’.

The first property visited was the Shangri-La Fijian Resort & Spa. Here, the student group was warmly welcomed by the new General Manager – Mr. Craig Powell and his management team. The first main presentation of the day was concerned with understanding the operations of the rooms division and the event department. This presentation was followed by a ‘questions and answer forum’ which encouraged students to seek clarification concerning the important functions of these two core operations. The group then joined the management team for lunch at the resort, along with Jurgen Ali-Trail, who is an intern from the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management studying on the B.Com programme in Hotel Management.

Dinner was held at the second property, Outrigger on the Lagoon Resort and Spa, which was another productive dining experience for all the students, where they participated in the ‘Fijian Magiti’ theme night and observed the live singing and ‘Meke’ dances. Greg Cornwall emphasized the importance of this component of the field trip in terms of producing constructive learning outcomes: ‘Students were also able to witness the significance of good service delivery, the effective use of local produce in producing unique dishes, the purpose of presenting food professionally and creatively, and the way in which the perfect dining experience relies heavily on achieving the right ambiance’.

The group was accommodated at The Crow’s Nest in Sigatoka that provided students with a 2 star hotel experience in a serene surrounding. Here, they were able to understand the important role that budget accommodation providers perform in terms of accommodating wider market segments, and in terms of offering a comfortable and clean environment. Hupfeld Hoerder reiterated the overall importance of the field trip: ‘The whole event was definitely a success story in terms of what the students learnt through observation and experience, and whom they met and interviewed. Field trips of this kind are a good example of experiential learning and this is something which we really try to nurture in the School of Tourism and Hospitality Management’.



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