The Next Tourism Generation competition invited young people with aspirations to work in tourism to come forward with their ideas for the future of the industry in Wales. Today, those winners were announced by BBC presenter Huw Stephens at the NTG 2021 virtual awards ceremony and skills symposium. The event was attended by tourism and hospitality students and tourism industry leaders from across Wales.
The Next Tourism Generation (NTG) project based at Cardiff Met aims to improve collaboration between tourism industry and education and provide resources to address sustainability and digital skills gaps in Wales. The competition, which is in its second year, was organised by the Next Tourism Generation (NTG) team at Cardiff Metropolitan University with PLANED and Tourism Society Cymru.
Tourism industry leaders judged competition entries from students, including those attending Bridgend College, Cardiff and Vale College, Cardiff Metropolitan University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Coleg Llandrillo, Coleg Menai and Pembrokeshire College.
Entrants were asked to select 1 of the 4 award categories and respond to the question ‘’ What should the future of tourism in Wales look like? What skills and training will the next generation of tourism professionals need to support this sustainable development?
- Ming Zhang from Cardiff Metropolitan University won the Tourism Industry and Infrastructure category, sponsored by Tourism Society Cymru.
- Jenna O’Brien from Coleg Menai won the Digital Tools and Technology category, sponsored by M-SParc.
- Siôn Nicholas Charles from Cardiff Metropolitan University won the Environment and Ecology category, sponsored by Bluestone Resort in Pembrokeshire.
- Martha Wilson from Pembrokeshire College won the award for Local Communities category sponsored by community support charity, PLANED.
The winner for each of the four categories won £250, whilst this year’s Digital category winner, Jenna O’Brien from Coleg Menai, was named as the Overall Winner of this year’s competition. Jo Quinney from RibRide and Digital Tools and Technology judge said, ‘’I was extremely impressed by Jenna’s presentation. She has a great understanding of the current stresses and strains within the tourism industry. The training need was clearly explained and she made a very good case for upskilling the Welsh workforce. I especially liked the fact that she thought that tourism courses need to be rewritten to include new, relevant units and modules. I hope her ideas are heard and that changes can be made.”
Attendees also enjoyed talks from competition sponsors, Marten Lewis, Bluestone National Park Resort on tourism and the environment; Rebecca Armstrong from Tourism Society Cymru on the sustainable future of the tourism industry in Wales; Iwan Thomas from PLANED on the role of Welsh communities in sustainable tourism; and Emily Roberts from M-SParc on the use of digital technology in tourism.
The Next Tourism Generation, Tourism Society Cymru and PLANED wish to thank all the judges and entrants. The NTG2021 competition was open to tourism and hospitality students, aged 16–25 working in the tourism sector including those furloughed and made redundant during the Covid pandemic.
Winners from left to right are Jenna O’Brien, Siôn Nicholas Charles and Martha Wilson.
Unable to attend the awards ceremony was Ming Zhan from Cardiff Metropolitan University.