Devlin McCloskey from Kilmarnock, HNC Travel and Tourism tells us all about the merits of studying tourism at Ayrshire College.
What did you do before you came to college?
I always wanted to work in the tourism industry, so I started at Ayrshire College studying NC Travel and Tourism after I left school. I’ve just completed HNC level and I am moving on to HND in September.
What have been the highlights of your tourism journey so far?
My main interest is the tour guiding. It’s a lot of fun going to different tourist attractions. As part of the course, I’ve been to loads of visitor attractions, including Edinburgh Castle, the Scottish Parliament, the Scotch Whisky Experience, Loch Lomond as well as places in Ayrshire.
We even got to go behind the scenes at Glasgow Airport, sitting behind the check-in desks, with the chance to go air-side onto the runway.
It’s been a great opportunity to get out and about to different places, and become a tourist myself. I definitely want to stay in Scotland as it’s a fascinating place, and I’m really keen to share it with visitors and make sure they come back time and time again.
The courses I’ve done so far are really varied. We get industry experts coming in to the college from time to time, which is good, as it brings the jobs to life for us. Over the last year we’ve had visits from British Airways cabin crew and the owner of a travel agent explaining how that side of the industry works. And of course, you make great friends which makes it all the more enjoyable.
I enjoyed the course as a whole but a personal highlight was getting an article published in the student magazine – The Student Voice, ahead of The Open Championship at Troon this summer. I wanted to promote the golfing experience that can be enjoyed in Ayrshire, and what makes Scotland, and particularly Ayrshire, an attractive location to play golf. I felt like I was doing my bit for Scottish tourism!
What advice would you give to others interested in a career in tourism?
I would say, if you want to come and study tourism, there are so many opportunities. Things like volunteering at events like The Open are all great for your CV.
The courses are really good, lots of fun and interesting, and I’ve learnt so much about other countries, and Scotland itself. It’s a good starting point, getting to know all about your own country.