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Rhodri Thomas

The research I did recently as part of my ESRC Business Placement Fellowship examined how universities and businesses might exchange knowledge more effectively. I spent considerable time reading research publications and talking with senior players in the travel industry. My work cast some light on the contribution collaboration might make to innovation, skills development and, ultimately, competitiveness. ITT has accepted my report enthusiastically and we are now exploring ways of developing the work.

ITT is now formally inviting universities to submit applications for the status of Centre of Excellence. Because I am sure that the benefits of receiving the accolade will be significant, I would encourage fellow academics to apply. Details of the application process and the criteria that will be applied to your submission are on the ITT website. http://www.itt.co.uk/centres

We will soon be inviting applications for the ITT PhD Student of the Year 2010. Academic colleagues supervising PhD students who are worthy of being considered should also visit the ITT website. http://www.itt.co.uk/UC-studentawards.html

Finally, I do hope that more academic colleagues than usual have signed up for the ITT Conference. It has been something of a disappointment over recent years that so few academics attend this event. It provides an outstanding opportunity to build connections with senior personnel who are generally very open to creative partnership working.

If you would like more details on any of the above, please email me at r.thomas@leedsmet.ac.uk

Professor Rhodri Thomas
Leeds Metropolitan University

GTTP Student Competitions

GTTP UK runs two global competitions each year for schools.

The first, GTTP Research Competition & Award is designed to encourage research and analytical skills. The teacher and two students from each winning school receive a trip to Munich where the students present their findings to winners from ten other countries, as well as receiving cash prices.

The second is the GTTP Travel Writing Competition, designed to encourage individual communications skills. The ongoing theme of the competition is ‘Secret Trails of My Country’. Winners at the national and international level win cash prizes.

Unfortunately the Travel Writing Competition has closed for entries this year, but for more information about both competitions, visit the Students section of the ITT website. http://www.itt.co.uk/


It’s been a busy start to 2010 for Education and Training at ITT. As well as our exciting new partnership with the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership (see below), the Diploma in Travel & Tourism received its official launch during British Tourism week. After three years of development, we are now less than six months away from delivery in schools in England. I urge any employers who are not yet supporting this important addition to the 14-19 curriculum to contact the Diploma team via www.tandtdiploma.co.uk. There is an extensive support programme, more details of which can be found on www.diploma-support.org.

I was also delighted to be present at the first graduation ceremony for the TUI Foundation Degree in Travel Operations Management. Anyone who has taken a qualification whilst working full time will appreciate the enormous achievement of these individuals and I congratulate them on their success. Developments like this are crucial for the development and professionalisation of our industry and ITT is proud to have been a supporter from the beginning.

Finally, I’m delighted to announce that following its success at WTM, the “Future You” Conference will once again be held at Excel on Thursday 11 November. ITT will rejoin forces with the Tourism Society to produce an exciting programme of opportunities and guidance for travel and tourism students.

Claire Steiner F Inst TT

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New Diploma Unveiled

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The new Diploma in Travel & Tourism was officially launched at the Best of Britain & Ireland (BOBI) event in March. ITT Chair Steven Freudmann and other senior industry players hailed it as a breakthrough in preparing young people for careers in travel and tourism. Steven Freudmann commented: “Diploma students will have an inherent advantage over others in their applications for jobs in this rapidly professionalising industry.”

ITT Joins with Educational Partnership

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ITT has formed a partnership with the Global Travel & Tourism Partnership (GTTP) to manage its UK programme. This is an important part of ITT’s move to expand its work with young people seeking careers in the industry.

GTTP provides a teacher training programme for a Travel & Tourism school curriculum called ‘Passport to the World’. The training will be offered by ITT as an optional free resource for teachers delivering the Diploma in Travel & Tourism which will be taught in England from September 2010.

Steven Freudmann said: “This latest collaboration is another demonstration of ITT’s commitment to improving links with education and promotion of careers within our sector. It supports our endorsement of the Diploma and we are delighted to be able to help promote GTTP both within the UK and globally.”

Ian Wheeler, Chair of the GTTP Global Advisory Board added: "GTTP UK was one of the first secondary school Travel & Tourism education programmes started by our industry, and it now acts as a mentor to our new members in developing countries. GTTP UK's experience, coupled with that of ITT will contribute enormously to the development of our member programmes."

Visit www.gttp.org for more information.

Responsible Holiday Challenge

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Two students from Prince Henry’s Grammar School in Otley won a once-in-a-lifetime trip to The Gambia by winning Leeds Metropolitan University’s Responsible Holiday Challenge.

Ruth Benson, Jenna Luxmore and their teacher Alex Belton, took part in Leeds Met’s responsible tourism study field trip to The Gambia in February. They were given the opportunity to experience eco-tourism first-hand and gain a unique insight into how the industry can impact on a developing country.

The Responsible Holiday Challenge is a unique competition for year 12 and 13 school students. Sponsored by the Thomas Cook Group and ITT, it encourages young people to think about the impacts of global tourism and travel on society, the environment and local communities; and think of ways in which to travel sustainably.

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