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Students have their say on tourism in North Wales

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April 17 2015

Students are having a say on the future of tourism in north east Wales.

Nadine Isaacs, pictured left, and Natasha Berry were invited by Wrexham’s Destination Management Partnership to represent the views of young people in the region.

As students on the Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management programme at Glyndŵr University – spearheaded by lecturer Jacqueline Hughes-Lundy - the duo took the opportunity to gain valuable experience for the degree and to share opinions on what will appeal to visitors and those living in the town.

Their presence was welcomed a recent workshop held at Chirk Castle; destination manager Joe Bickerton hopes they will become a permanent addition and have a key input into Wrexham council’s Destination Management Plan.

He said: “I asked Jacqueline to see if students would like to join us at a recent workshop with Wrexham's Destination Management Partnership and was delighted with the response.

“We were keen to get some student input, particularly having worked closely with this group since the start of the academic year in September.

“I'm really hoping to keep Nadine and Natasha and other students on the course involved with the delivery of the plan going forward.”

He added: “The workshop at Chirk Castle was to thrash out the projects which Regional Tourism Engagement Funding (RTEF) would be needed for from Visit Wales to help us improve the visitor experience and welcome here in the county of Wrexham.

“Natasha and Nadine gave some really good input into the session and provoked some exciting discussion based on their own perceptions and experience.

“A couple of these ideas have been taken forward and incorporated into our 2015/16 funding bid to Visit Wales.

“Being part of this is a great learning opportunity for the students and going forward I'll be offering Nadine and Natasha the opportunity to attend future board meetings and workshops to help their own development and see the projects they’ve helped bid for come to fruition.”

There are 16 businesses represented on the Wrexham Destination Partnership Board, ranging from leading accommodation providers and attractions to government representatives and micro firms.

As founding trustee of the Inspiring Young Women Foundation and Principal of Olivia Henry Associates, Jacqueline is keen for her students to have a more hands-on approach to event management and the practicalities of strategy and methods of increasing tourism and revenue.

More importantly, she wants the cohort to have fun while they learn and to take as much as they can from external organisations and projects such as Destination Wrexham.

Nadine revealed this has been the case, with the students garnering enjoyment from involvement in community schemes and activities, including the upcoming Focus Wales festival later this month, which is partly held on the University’s Plas Coch campus.

“Being part of the workshop was a fantastic opportunity for both of us,” said the 18 year-old, from Acton.

“They wanted more input from the younger generation, and as someone who has grown up in the Wrexham area I could share views on what the area needs, particularly for prospective students looking to live and study here.”

Nadine added: “We talked about ways businesses could engage with each other – through competitions, awards ceremonies and networking – and how to create a buzz in Wrexham.

“It’s a great town but we don’t shout enough about the good things, like the facilities here at the University which attract top names in music and comedy.

“We’re really grateful to have been given a platform on which to share the student voice and look forward to being part of the management plan as it develops, both for our degree and the future of Wrexham.”

More about Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management at Glyndŵr University.

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