Olá from Brazil! A country where tourism is full of opportunities.
Dr. Mariana Aldrigui
I was invited to join GTTP 12 years ago, as a teacher trainer for an educational program developed throughout the country. When this program ended, I was invited to coordinate GTTP actions in Brazil, which was and still is an honour. As a university researcher, my focus is Tourism Development and Tourism Education.
Back in 2012 I decided to present GTTP’s Passport to the World to all my 1st year students, who are normally eager to understand this whole new universe. Most of them have never heard about the possibilities related to technology and tourism… when, in 2019, Passport to the World was upgraded to an online course, it became a double opportunity – engage more students and develop their English skills (as, you may remember, Brazilians speak Portuguese).
As the academic year in Brazil runs from March to December, this will be an online year for most students who are now deeply concerned with their career opportunities. Teachers are doing their best and have not only used the regular content, but also included virtual visits to international destinations, heritage sites, museums, galleries, and many other options related to tourism careers.
Also, some experts from different tourism areas have been talking to our students using the virtual conference apps that we are now all used to – sharing their views on how tourism will recover from the negative impacts of Covid.
What amazes me the most? Every single one of them is optimistic.They not only believe in a sustainable recovery but also have encouraged students to understand tourist motivations by analyzing social media posts as well as sharing statistics from reliable sources such as WTTC, IATA and Skift.
As for the students, it has been a tough year – they are concerned with their future possibilities and anxious to understand what tourism will be. And that is why we, at GTTP Brazil, are trying to share a lot of good international examples and inspire them to look for creative alternatives, hoping for a better and sustainable future for all.
Larissa Pantalena and Mayara Correa were the two students chosen to represent Brazil at the GTTP Students & Teachers conference in Nice, 2019. They came back totally energized and inspired by what they learned. They will be speaking to all new students this year, inviting them to join the program and sharing their experiences. We have asked them to summarize their experiences, adding the challenge of dealing with Covid-19:
Larissa Pantalena, 18 years old “Covid-19 has practically stopped all tourism in the world. I feel this is a moment where we, as students, should learn how to be patient and persevering, searching online for creative initiatives and examples to inspire us. I always remember how fantastic the conference was, and how much knowledge there was in the same room – a sample of this amazing world! Chatting with my friends from GTTP, each one in a different country, made me understand a lot about how we are equals, despite the cultural differences. I hope this pandemic will be over soon, so more people get to travel again and learn a lot”
Mayara Correa, 19 years old “Winning the GTTP Case Study competition in 2019 made me realize that travelling and learning is not impossible, even for people with background similar to mine. I am really concerned about the tourism market for this young generation – it all has stopped! – and I am anxious to see the world back to a “normal” state and understand how my career will develop. Being in Nice was an extraordinary experience that I will carry with me forever, as it made me believe not only in my choices, but in me as a capable human being!”
Now let’s hear from Anne:
I remember meeting these two students at Nice airport and suggested we share a taxi to the hotel. They were full of excitement and optimism, both for their time in Nice and their future careers in travel and tourism. I hope their stories will inspire future students to join GTTP, take part in the research competition and for the lucky competition winners, to experience something special as Mayara and Larissa did in Nice.