Research leads to the ideal tourism experience
While working in a Japanese travel agency, Kanae Iwase noticed that when Japanese salespeople visited to sell their tourism products, they hadn't allowed for the differences in the ideal tourism experiences for Japanese tourists and Australian tourists. Japanese people love to travel with packaged group tours scheduled by travel companies, whereas Australian people are more adventurous and love to explore by themselves, so they tailor their travel plans individually.
This realisation made Kanae wonder how she could inform Japanese travel companies about this difference. The answer was research – she came up with the idea of being a tourism marketer, doing market research to fulfil this need and measuring how effective tourism advertising strategies are in attracting visitors.
"I told my course coordinator at William Angliss Institute what I intended, and he happily organised a Tourism Marketing program for international students," Kanae said. "He didn't plan to have international students at that point, but he understood and encouraged my future plans by organising the course."
After completing the Diploma of Tourism in 2017 and the Advanced Diploma of Travel and Tourism, Kanae went on to the Bachelor of Tourism Marketing in 2019. As an international student, she participated in activities such as the language exchange in the student lounge, free breakfast, study support and the Angliss Wine Society wine tour to the Yarra Valley. All with a focus, of course, for students who love tourism, hospitality and culinary industries.
"Being an international student at William Angliss Institute was wonderful as help was available for us such as study support, language exchange, and teachers were always available for questions," she said. "In class, I really enjoyed discussing the difference between Australian and Asian culture. Many teachers and lecturers have experiences living and travelling in different countries, so they were understanding if I had difficulties in my studies."
Kanae put her research skills to work when coming up with two award-winning ideas for Grants Picnic Ground in the Dandenong Ranges. The first was a meditation experience, where visitors can enjoy yoga, pilates and meditation at lunchtime. The second was for night safaris, where international visitors can experience the sights and sounds of the Australian bush, while supporting local accommodation and tourism providers.
"I was so happy to share my ideas to Parks Victoria and be awarded a project winner. This was a significant event in my student life in the Bachelor of Tourism Marketing," she says. "I am glad the project was a success and I enjoyed being a part of it. This accomplishment has inspired me to keep working hard and moving forward in the future."