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Hospitality & Tourism Case Studies



Name: Anika M.C. Hoyer

Programme: BSc International Tourism Management

Year of Placement: 2005/2006

Organisation: Schwarzwald Tourismus GmbH, Germany

No. of Employees: 30

Type of Business: Black Forest Tourist Board

Project Topic: The Black Forest a growing (world) tourist destination?


Just a few brief paragraphs on your placement experience: (including areas such as: range of work carried out, key experiences, high points & low points)

  • I visited a Travel Exhibition in Brussels, Belgium where I joined the representatives of the German Tourist Board for one week. It was very interesting to see what it means to work on an Exhibition and not just be the visitor.
  • My main project was to organise an exhibition in the Black Forest. The organised tourism in the Black Forest has it's “birthday” 2006 and I co-ordinated the exhibition.
  • I had to represent the secretary during her three weeks holiday, which was a very busy time, but I was honoured that they trusted me to do her job.
  • I carried out a range of tasks. Most off all I worked with the press and the secretary, but I helped wherever there was need.
  • Another enjoyable experience was the “Black Forest Experience Day” which I helped to organise. It took place in the Europa Park, which is the biggest roller coaster park close by. Lots of Black Forest traditions and food were available to see. 
  • Another three day exhibition that took place was the Black Forest Day; an even bigger event. It takes place all around the biggest lake in the Black Forest. It is like the “Black Forest Experience Day” but much bigger and with even more attractions.

Sometimes my work was quite repetitive, which I didn't enjoy so much.

Key skills developed: Team work skills, communication skills, telephone skills, computing, organisation skills, research skills

Key benefit of Placement Year: Gaining work experience opportunities in Germany are very important and I believe that I will have a good chance to find a job after graduation due to my experience. Moreover, my manager is very well known in the tourism industry in Germany. When he writes me a good reference I will have even better chances!


Victoria Hill

BSc Cruise Operations

Victoria Hill

My name is Victoria Hill and I am currently in my third year of study, midway through my placement year. I am working towards a BSc in Cruise Operations Management at the University of Plymouth .

I chose to do my work placement with Princess Cruises as it is a multi million dollar arm of the Carnival Cruise Corporation. My placement began in August of 2005 when I flew from London to Seattle. I spent two weeks training on one of the biggest ships in the fleet, the Diamond Princess. Whilst cruising between Seattle and Alaska I received tuition for my Hotel Intern role which is similar to that of a Junior Assistant Purser ( JAP ). This involved training in cash handling, customer service, operational procedures, health and safety and product knowledge.

After successfully passing all exams we were then disembarked and flown to our next vessel ready to take up our roles as a JAP on the front desk, the first point of contact for all passengers. This role would include such duties as dealing with customer complaints and requests, bureau de change, providing port information, managing customer accounts and to identify and solve passenger problems. I was also responsible for managing and balancing my $10,000 float daily.

I joined the Dawn Princess, part of the Sun class fleet in Whittier, Alaska, having spent two days in a luxury hotel in Anchorage (at the companys expense!!!). The next four months went quickly. I continued on an Alaskan itinerary for two months, travelling to Victoria and Vancouver in Canada, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay, Tracey Arm and Ketchikan in Alaska. The following two months were spent cruising the Mexican Riviera and California. The difference in climate was a welcome change. The ship visited places such as San Francisco, San Diego, Catalina Island, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas.

Shifts onboard were long, tiring and sometimes extremely hectic. There were lots of early mornings and late nights and at all times you were expected to do your best and give 100%. This however was not an obstacle to me enjoying myself, it’s surprising how little sleep you do need! I was able to enjoy several shore excursions, whilst working day shifts. These were usually limited in time however 2 to 3 hours shopping or sunbathing on the beach made a nice change to being in the ship environment. Whilst working night shifts for two cruises I discovered that you have the whole day to play!

I have had some wonderful experiences over the last four months, from jet skiing, quadbiking across the Mexican wilderness, horseriding along the beaches of Cabo San Lucas, Pirate ship adventures, steam train rides into the mountains of Alaska, visiting Alcatraz in San Francisco and most memorable of all a helicopter flight above the glaciers and actually landing and walking around on the magnificant ice structures! Not really things you get to do every day in England.

As it is my aim to forge a career in the cruise industry I have chosen to take part in this placement specifically, I feel it will not only enhance my knowledge, skills and abilities but give me an important insight into ship life. Before commencing this placement I was aprehensive to say the least. I thought being such a long way from home with strange people that I didn’t know, in what I thought would be a claustrophobic environment, that I would feel homesick, lonely and trapped. The opposite was in fact the

truth. I enjoyed every minute of being onboard both the Diamond and the Dawn Princess and have made some very good friends amongst the welcoming and friendly crew. My personal as well as professional confidence has increased dramatically as well as my zest for life and want for new experiences.

I would definately recommend this to anyone who wants a worthwhile career and the chance to see the world at the same time. I look forward to my second contract in the Carribean and Meditterranean onboard the Grand Princess.

Victoria Hill