The challenge of creating experiences

It is not a surprise that when it comes to tourism education in the universities, teaching about how to create and develop experiences becomes one of the most common topics of the classes. Obviously, since we tourism students we have been taught that unique experiences have become a trending market during the last years!

So let’s take a look at how hard was it to create a new product almost from scratch.

Creating something from nothing

In the course Tourism Product and Experience Design, we formed groups of four students each to create a touristic experience for Echoes Ecomuseum. The idea was to develop a whole experience around a place that already exists, which in our case was Mynämäen kotiseutumuseo​.

During the course we had some classes about the creation of experiences, some advice on how a good tourist experience looks like, and we also had our deadlines for returning some files showing our progress, but nobody told us exactly how to develop our experience, which from my point of view, was a great tool to use our creativity and see how original we would be for this assignment.

The first part of the creation process is to know the place we were going to mold, so everyone must visit their places and take some notes to start the development process, and this was the first challenging step.

It might sound easier when you are watching the power points that say how to actually create a new idea, but have you ever stopped to think about an original idea for something like this? Not easy at all and I’m pretty sure my whole class can relate to that fact!

Going through our location, the museum, taking pictures and notes about what the owner said to us was challenging – we learned more about the place, but our assignment was to “remake” the product, and we realised how difficult it was going to be after all.

And if that was not enough, the places we worked with were all far from the city centers and let’s say they were not too international, I bet I was not the only one who needed the Finnish team mates to translate everything in the museums.

Now that we knew what we had, it was time to get down to work and start thinking about the experience we wanted to develop, and yes as you can imagine, the very first days we were blank, with no ideas about what to do.

It started to go well when we did our brainstorming, some ideas came to us in that great inspiration moment, and we were starting to build something. We might have disagreed sometimes, but there’s no good team with no feedback and different ideas.

Team work and cultural differences

Cultural differences was something interesting for me, and not only because of how Finnish people usually are with things like punctuality (I know, I am late for most of the meetings, but I swear not every Spanish person is like this, I’m sorry team!) But the communication I felt doing this assignment was very satisfactory: I love to work with people who don’t say yes to everything! Feedback is very important in these kind of projects, and that’s something that I loved about working with Finnish people.

Once we had a main idea and the feedback of the teacher, it was time to show our classmates what we had been doing those weeks and to get some feedback. There were many presentations in one day, and all of them with good ideas from challenging places to develop – that is a sign of what this generation could be for the future tourism industry. We all also gave useful feedback to our classmates.

To finish this blog post, I would like to encourage all people with an entrepreneurial soul interested on the tourism industry to think about new, authentic experiences for tourism!

Text: Dorian Espinosa Negrín, exchange student from Universidad de la Laguna
Pictures: Pixabay

Using the sea to clear your mind

Have you ever wondered why it feels relaxing to go and have a walk on the beach or what is so spiritual about being alone in or on the sea?

From walking next to the famous canals of Amsterdam, to swimming in the sea and being on a cruise, blue spaces work really calming for me. As a person that has always lived near beautiful beaches and the sea, I have huge interest for blue spaces. I have always been attracted to coastal destinations and the mental impacts that sea has us to offer.

When I had the opportunity of studying the course Well-being from Blue spaces, I could not let this opportunity pass. To learn more about Blue Spaces would help me develop a lot and would give me possibilities for a future profession.

The presence of a person to water, especially the sea, is related with many positive impacts of physical and mental wellbeing, from higher levels of vitamin D to better social connections. Therefore, living near blue spaces, visiting them, or even enjoying the view has a positive effect on a human.

I think there should be more focus on ways to relieve mental stress in the future. With our world becoming busier with the day, mobile phones being an absolute must, people should be encouraged to let go of everything, and enjoy the beautiful nature. It will have a positive impact both physically and mentally.

Text: Sander Keulemans, exchange student from HZ University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands

Decoding tourism and hospitality

As soon as I first saw the name of the course Roadmap to Tourism and Hospitality Industry, my curiosity was aroused because I was a freshman in International Tourism Management in SAMK from China. In China, hospitality management was often translated into hotel management, so the translation made me confused.

During the first months of tourism studies, I kept exploring this professional course and following the “road signs” in the lectures and after class, and now I can say I understand the definition of the tourism and hospitality industry.

Firstly, my many original definitions have been refreshed. Tourism is a social, cultural and economic phenomenon related to the movement of people to places outside their usual place of residence, pleasure being the usual motivation (source: UNWTO).

Tourist is a visitor taking a trip to a main destination outside his/her usual environment, for less than a year, for any main purpose (business, leisure or other personal purpose) other than to be employed (source: European Commission). Tourist’s purposes become the basis of classification of tourism products and the tourism push factors.

Furthermore, I understand that “hospitality is the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers” (source: Wikipedia). Hospitality management includes hotel management and plays an important role in tourism.

Several important concepts are used to further explain the definitions, for example the tourism system, and types of tourism product such as food tourism, ecotourism, health tourism, etc. As industries tourism and hospitality produce economic, socio-cultural and environmental impacts and have been affected by the Covid-19 epidemic.

Picture from our course book The Business of Tourism by J. C. Holloway

Secondly, in the framework of tourism and hospitality, restaurant industry, accommodation industry and passenger transportation are common pillars. In the hotel industry, demand is seasonal and safety issues are difficult to deal with. Air, water, and land transports directly affect the volume of tourists. Cruise is both travel and transportation. It is worth emphasizing that travel agencies and tour operators in the chain of distribution promote the development of tourism.

Picture from our course book The Business of Tourism by J. C. Holloway

We used a lot of case analysis in class with Finnish tourism and hospitality analyzed as core cases. Finland’s unique pull factors such as visiting the home of Santa Claus, sleigh ride pulled by huskies or reindeer, sleeping in igloos, saunas and Moomins, stand out from competitors. Pori is renowned for natural attractions and cultural event such as Yyteri and International Jazz Festival.

Tourism carrying capacity is used for measuring the maximum number of tourists at the same time. Tourism accounts such as tourism expenditure and tourism receipts enable the generation of tourism economic data.

During the course I have also done a video presenting tourism in my home country China (you can see it here).

Of course, the first year course Roadmap to Tourism and Hospitality Industry only plays a guiding part for us students. I have interest in continuing to research and read relevant books so as to be even more professional in the future.

Text: Yao Jun, second year International Tourism Management student


Moi! Hallo! Hej from Merikarvia! Digital marketing for tourism development of coastal areas

We are three students from three different universities with three different backgrounds… So how did we end up meeting in the middle of nowhere in Finland?

So the thing is that we all applied for a course called Digitalisation Opportunities among Coastal Tourism Entrepreneurs and Networks 2022, not knowing what exactly to expect. We started the course by doing three marketing-related individual assignments. 

On the ninth of May 2022 we arrived at a nostalgic farm, called Koivuniemen Herran Farmi at Merikarvia, and met each other for the first time. On the first working day we were divided into groups.

So, who are we?

Hallo! I’m Tabea. I am an Erasmus student from Dalarna University in Falun, Sweden. Originally I am from Germany. I study social science at a technical university in Kaiserslautern. Since August 2021 I am living in Falun. I ended up in this course because I love traveling and I am really interested in social media. 

Hej! My name is Wilperi, I’m 24 and live in Turku, Finland. I am a third year Bachelor’s student of Business Administration at Novia University of Applied Sciences. I specialize in marketing but later on I have developed a huge interest to tourism and that is why I immediately knew I wanted to participate in this course once I heard about it.

Moi! I am Siiri, a twenty-year-old student from Pori, Finland. I am studying for Bachelor’s degree in International Tourism Management for the first year at Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. Working with commissioners sounded fun, so I decided to apply for this course.

So, now that you know who we are, you should also get to know what we have done. We spent one week at Merikarvia working hard for our assignments. But, what was our assignment? 

Each group got a commissioner to work for, and ours was the Municipality of Merikarvia. One part of our task was to analyze Merikarvia’s online platforms which included their webpage, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Based on our analysis, we came up with how to optimize the use of these platforms and created a few Instagram posts, ready to be published. During the making of these posts we got to visit some really nice locations with beautiful scenery and also learned more about Merikarvia’s history and culture.

Fireplace kräsoora
Relaxing on the dock

The first thought about our commissioner was that we have a bit of a difficult one, because we had such a wide topic. It was challenging to decide what we should do and where we should concentrate. But overall, the assignment turned out very well, and we had so much fun during our week.

Another thing that challenged us was the Finnish language. This was problematic, because only two of us understand Finnish. All social media pages of our commissioner were only available in Finnish. Also, our commissioner was mostly talking in Finnish.

Merikarvia gang

During our stay we got to know our whole group, and we played a lot of social games together, learned how to take care of the animals at the farm and ate a lot of good food. And because this course was held in Finland, we of course had a sauna-night with grilling sausages and making pancakes. We also got to visit the Yyteri beach and hotel, and some of us were brave enough to take a bath in the ocean.

Icebathing

Would we do that again? Absolutely! If you ever have a chance to join a course like this we suggest you grab the opportunity!

We wish you the best! #snyggt


Text: Siiri Romoi, Tabea Busch and Wilperi Jalonen
Pictures: Helena Larilahti, Tabea Busch and Siiri Romoi

Old life experience in Kauppilan Umpipiha

For our Tourism Product and Experience Design course, we got a task to develop services for various rural places related to the Echoes Ecomuseum project. Our group got to work with Kauppilan umpipiha in Laitila. This place was completely unknown to us before the course – both for the Finnish and the Erasmus students in our group.

When we got to Kauppilan umpipiha, we discovered a mill, sheep, red barns, an interior court as well as a museum (which we unfortunately could not visit because it was already closed after summer).

Once there, we remembered our teacher’s advice and took the time to feel the sense of place. We sat down in the grass and let our senses guide us. We could hear the sheep and the wind in the foliage and the birds singing. We could also smell the old wood and grass. It was at this point that we began to realize the potential of this place!


Back at SAMK, and during the meetings with our group, ideas on how to develop the place quickly came to mind. We brainstormed for a long time to put all our ideas together and came up with three main ideas:

  • make an educational farm for children
  • renovate the museum part of the farm, and
  • create a traditional festival on the farm grounds.

    Eventually, we decided to concentrate more on a detailed planning of a festival that could be organized in Kauppilan umpipiha. The theme of the festival would be Return to the past. This theme would allow visitors to immerse themselves in the life of the 17th century. As soon as you would enter the festival, you would disconnect from the modern world and enter a very unique experience. In this festival, visitors could walk between the stalls of local craftsmen, dance and sing to traditional songs and have fun with typical Finnish games. Children could play with animals, get a face painting, or milk a cow. All these activities are small examples, but there would be many more to come. We also planned a drive-in cinema, which could attract many types of visitors.

Creating this experience as our course assignment was very exciting for us, and we were able to let our imagination run wild without too many constraints. We felt really free in our ideas!

Text: Marie-Amandine Moulin & Camille De Borman, exchange students from Haute École Galilée University of Applied Sciences in Belgium
Pics: Marie-Amandine Moulin


My dream job is organizing events

How did I end up studying tourism?

I may not have the most common background for a tourism student. Most of the tourism students have traveled at least a couple of times, and they have interest in travelling itself. So how am I different? I haven’t traveled anywhere abroad except for Estonia, and I have for example never been on a plane. How did I end up studying tourism with no travelling background?

Studying tourism isn’t just learning about travelling, holiday destinations or package holidays. It’s so much more. For example, I’m studying tourism because I am deeply interested in event management. Studying tourism here in Satakunta University of Applied Sciences gives me great start towards my dream job in event management field.

I was 15 years old when I did my first volunteer work in Helsinki. I was a volunteer in Eurobasket 2017 (European Championships of men’s basketball). I had never been in any big event like this, not even in the audience, but somehow my 15-year-old-self got the courage to go to work there. So, there I was, the youngest volunteer of the event, in the middle of the chaos of a huge event. I was so scared and nervous, but the one-week-long event ended up being the best experience of my life.

The volunteer crew of Eurobasket 2017. There were almost 1000 volunteers working in different fields of the huge event. Picture: Ville Vuorinen

After the experience of Eurobasket 2017 I started to do more volunteer work in different sports events. Since then, I have volunteered around 15 times for different events, mostly international basketball games, like qualification games to world championships or friendly matches against different countries.

Another bigger event where I have been is Lahti Ski Games, where I have volunteered four times now. In February 2022 my role there changed, and I worked as a team supervisor for the first time. The highlight of my volunteer career is when I met my all-time-favorite athlete in Lahti, when I was there for the first time.

Every event has been unique, wonderful, and unforgettable experience. In my opinion, the atmosphere in the events is something everyone should experience at least once – in the event management crew or in the audience.

Part of the volunteer crew of men’s basketball national team’s qualification games to World Championships 2019. The qualification windows lasted from November 2017 to February 2019. Picture: Ville Vuorinen

Me, my best friend, and the ski jumping team of Austria in Lahti Ski Games 2019. We met the team by accident while we were arriving to the event area – anything can happen when you’re working in events!

Eurobasket 2017 made me curious of how these events are built. It was an eye-opening experience to see how much work, resources, and volunteers it takes to build such a huge event. I was honored to see all the things that happen behind the scenes, not to mention how incredible it was to see some of the best players in the world playing there, just in front of my eyes. Long story short, that’s how I got interested in event management, even though it took me couple more years to realize that I actually want to build a career in the event management field.

Now that I’ve seen many different events, I know where I want to focus on in the future. My absolute dream is to work with sports world, I want to be there making those events. One of the most impressive moments for me was when our team in Eurobasket 2017 got good feedback of our work straight from the athletes. I can’t describe how it felt, because after all, we were just such a small piece of the whole volunteer crew. It was amazing to see that our work has been noticed. For me, the athletes were my idols. It was such an absurd feeling to hear that they appreciate our work, and that it’s important to them that we’re there doing our job, so that they can do theirs.

Mainly because of that small moment, in the future I want to be in a position where I can influence the conditions where those athletes are working. They’re just doing their job, and the whole event crew should make sure that they can do it in the best possible conditions.

Text and pictures: Siiri Romoi, first year International Tourism Management student


Brainstorming with international students

SAMK is one of the best Universities of Applied Sciences in Finland. We have the best quality in tuition and have always been among the six best ones. Every year, before they finish their studies, high school students visit our university to take a look at what we have to offer. In addition to local high school students, we had international students from Italy and Germany, doing an Erasmus program for one week here, come to visit us at SAMK as well.

The student group had the usual tour of SAMK by our staff, and in addition to that, they were taught basics of marketing. They also had some background information on studying international tourism management at SAMK, in which we, degree students and some exchange students also participated in.

We mostly talked about our experiences in SAMK so far and told them about the studies and the many things we can do in SAMK besides just sitting in classrooms all the time. We have all kinds of activities to make the students feel safe and not too overwhelmed with large amounts of schoolwork, which to me has been a very pleasant surprise since coming to Finland.

The international students also had a session of brainstorming, where we divided them in groups and had them discuss about making brochures for Koivuniemen Herran Farmi, which they had visited prior. We had a SAMK professional explain to them the factors of a good brochure, explain the pros and cons, and then give them an assignment to make their own brochures in groups. 

This is the goup of Italian students.

I was helping the Italian group in brainstorming, and in my opinion they did a very great job on dividing the ideas of their project and working as a team to find templates for their brochure to look good. I think they understood the idea of brainstorming, making lists and writing all the possible ideas down before actually getting into the project itself.

Brainstorming is very useful especially when working with a team and having a tight schedule, because when doing a group project, it’s very important for everyone to get their point listened to and taken in consideration.

These were the ideas they came up with for their brochure, as well as a template on how many pages they wish it to be and how they could fold it if they were to do it on paper, which I found really creative and interesting:

The group had lots of spontaneous ideas, which could sometimes be confusing, but everything seemed to work out for them in the end. I was very happy to help them with everything I could, and to be honest, I wasn’t the only one teaching them things, but they also taught me new things about cooperating with my team in a project.  

In the visiting high school students’ opinion, the help of SAMK professionals and degree students was useful, and I hope they got an idea of how it is to study at our university. I also hope that I will see them on SAMK corridors as degree students too, eventually!


Text and pictures: Alexandra Marin, first year International Tourism Management student


The Pros and Cons of Being an International Working Student in Finland

As an international student and SAMK alumni, I’ve learned a thing or two of being a working student here in Finland. If you are thinking of seeking a job while studying, I’d like to share my learnings and experiences with you before you make your decision.

In general, being a working student brings multiple benefits for both to your personal and professional growth. However, you also need to prepare yourself with the disadvantages and sacrifices that come with it.

Let’s take a look into some of the pros and cons of working while studying abroad.

The Pros of being an international working student

You’ll have a sustainable income to support your studies and cost of living (and everything in-between)  

You’ll start to establish and build your network in the Finnish market (reference, reference, reference!)

You’ll gain Finnish working experience and strengthen your time and financial management, teamwork, leadership and multicultural skills (among other skills you’ll be able to discover and acquire on your experience).  

The Cons of working while studying

You’ll have less free time for other things (depending on your working hours contract)

You’ll get exhausted (to some extent)

You’ll be prone to facing a multitude of stressors.

Are you ready to learn more? Keep on reading.

The Pros of Being an International Working Student

You’ll have a sustainable income to support your studies and the cost of living (and everything in-between)

Bills. Bills. Bills. They never stop coming. Having a sustainable income is an obvious advantage to work, most especially, if you are a paying student. Despite the scholarship programs that SAMK offers, the cost of living in Finland can be really expensive. Luckily, Pori is known to be a student-friendly city, wherein you can find cheaper rental fees.

Plus, who doesn’t want to have a little extra money, right? It can make your university experience even more enjoyable.  Having extra money means little freedom to do the things you love. As for me, I enjoy traveling, I do save up to explore different cities around Finland/Europe. How about you? How would you like to spend it?

Photo is taken in Praque, Czech Republic
You’ll start to establish and build your network in Finnish market (reference, reference, reference!)

This is very useful for you as an international talent in Finland. How? I’ll give you a personal experience of mine. My first ever job in Finland was in a cleaning company in Pori (totally not related to my previous working experiences in the Philippines). I’ve worked there for more than two years, and since then, I’ve been fortunate to curve my way back to the hospitality industry. Years later, when the practical training approached, I began sending my internship applications to different hotels. To cut the story short, the hotel manager called my former cleaning manager after my interview. They know each other personally. Small world, isn’t it?

Whether your part-time job is related to your studies or not, my advice is to take the opportunity. It will open many opportunities for you to start networking. Establishing and showcasing your good working ethics in the Finnish working environment is essential. It will benefit you later on in your career. A good character reference helped me jump-start my career in Finland – and so it can for you!

You’ll gain Finnish working experience and strengthen your multicultural competencies (among other competencies you’ll discover and acquire in your experience) 

As an international student, by working, you’ll be able to adjust, adapt and learn more about Finnish working culture while studying. It will prepare and equip you with the necessary competencies you’ll need later on. The experience of working in Finland allows you to acquire transferable and valuable competencies such as time and financial management, leadership skills, teamwork, and multicultural skills. Understanding and respecting one’s culture increases team spirit and productivity. It will also give you the growth and confidence to handle things outside your comfort zone.

Even on campus, SAMK will help you strengthen these competencies. You will encounter being in a multi-cultural group to work on your assignments and organize events and collaborations with various companies (within Finland or other European countries). Personally,  working in a multi-cultural environment helped me grow as a person and as a professional. Strengthening this skill made me approach a culturally diverse environment with a mindset and actions that lead to many benefits – for myself, my associates, and my employer.

The Cons of Working while Studying

You’ll have less free time for other things (depending on your working hours contract)

As an international student, especially if you are a paying student, your top priority is your degree. If you have an exam, report, or group activities to finish, you need to prioritize spending your free time studying over choosing to go to work.

As a working student, it’s all about balancing and managing your time efficiently. Planning will help you make the most of your free time. In SAMK, the course schedule is published well ahead of time, and usually the employers are flexible in scheduling your work shifts based on your school schedule. I have to say, that’s one of the huge advantages of working and studying here in Finland. Both the professors and the employers are approachable and considerate of your situation.

One of the downsides of working is having less time with your family, friends, and classmates. In some cases,  you will miss attending school events and parties. This is why it is so important to create and make friends at work. Making friends at work will make your time pass quickly, and responsibilities become lighter and more fun to carry out.

You’ll get exhausted (to some extent)

You can only perform at your best in your degree and work if you are well-rested and getting enough sleep. Working and studying at the same time has the possibility of draining you out and, eventually, it may harm your studies.

To work and study effectively, here are some of the things you can do:

  • Map out your schedule. Write down your work shifts, lectures, seminars, study time, and personal time for yourself or time to socialize with your friends. This way, you’ll be able to visualize your upcoming weeks or months ahead of time.
  • If you can visualize your schedule ahead, you will be able to inform your employer. You can ask to lessen/increase your working hours in advance.
  • Prioritize your health. Do not take more responsibility than you can handle.
You’ll be prone to facing a multitude of stressors

Being a working student, you will have a multitude of stressors in your personal life, at work, and at school. Being exposed to dealing with various responsibilities, different nationalities, and unfamiliar practices can be overwhelming. Learning to manage your stress is essential for a working student and in life. Don’t worry, I will share with you some of the tips I learned that helped me manage my stress.

  • Identifying your stressor(s). Knowing the source of your stress is one key to managing your stress. If you caught yourself struggling at university, take some time to re-evaluate your situation. Does your work have a huge impact that causes your stress?
  • Identify your stress relievers. What kind of activities do you like that will help you calm down and de-stress. In SAMK, various activities promote well-being, such as gym, sports, etc. You can check out CampusMoWe for more information. Plus, you may also find it relaxing to go to the swimming hall and enjoy their various pools and saunas!
  • Talk to someone. Talk with your family or friends about it. It will help you release some of the pressure. Knowing that you have someone to talk to is very important, not only for your health but also for your mental health. You can also find helpful services that offer this kind of support at SAMK.

With practice, you’ll get better at remaining calm even under pressure. I highly recommend exploring different post-work hobbies such as meditation, yoga, relaxing walks, watching movies, or reading books when things get overwhelming. These activities helped me and will help you calm your mind after a hectic day at school or work.

In the end…

You’ll develop your self-discipline and deepen your self-awareness

Being a working student requires self-discipline and self-awareness. Strengthening these traits will enable you to pause, think, and gain clarity about your current situation. Self-awareness helps you recognize and assess your own emotions before making any decision or reaction.

On the other hand, self-discipline will help you stay focused and keep you on track with your goals. Remember, you will always find yourself being in a stressful situation. Therefore managing and knowing how to handle your thoughts and emotions are important.

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and if you start to feel discouraged, remember: Diamonds are made under extreme pressure. You’ve got this!


Text and pictures: Johnnie Mae Väkelä, a recently graduated Bachelor of Hospitality Management


Designing tourism experiences: how to create something from nothing

The Echoes Ecomuseum project assigned the international tourism management students a group project for the course Tourism Product and Experience Design, including various assignments related to designing, implementing and developing tourism products and experiences.

Our group consisted of two degree students, Julia and Jere, as well as two Spanish exchange students, Paula and Marina. Sammallahdenmäki, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Rauma, was selected as our group’s project location, and the objective was to come up with an innovative tourism experience design there.

We started with visiting the destination together in order to come up with ideas and to evaluate the site. At the latest at this point we realized how challenging this project would be for us: not to belittle the historical value of the location, but for an average visitor like any of us, it was literally just a forest area with piles of stones. However, after brainstorming, planning, getting feedback, developing, and adding a little bit of imagination and creativity, we created our final experience design: an augmented reality tour into the Bronze Age in Sammallahdenmäki.

The designed experience is a guided journey into the past along the natural path from the comfort of your own home. Within the six stops on the 1,5-kilometer trail, the live guide will tell compelling stories about the hereditary value of the site and the livelihoods of the people of the past. The tour will be recorded in advance and there will be performers acting scenes to bring history to life. Overall, we also got good feedback on our concept.

We found this learning experience in general very interesting, as we have been able to analyze the current state and future needs of a place that only consists of a pile of rocks, and we have also been able to analyze all the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in order to start creating the experience.

This final experience made us open our imagination to create an attractive and original experience and we liked doing this practice, as it is not easy to find the potential and opportunities for this place.

We believe that the idea we have come up with is the one that best suits our destination, as it can be used to great advantage, a plan for whole family without having to leave home and at same time learn about the history of a destination recognized by the UNESCO.

Augmented reality is a way of getting to know the most hidden – or not so hidden – places to people from all over the world, giving the places the value they deserve.

Text and pictures: Julia Alankoja and Jere Iivari, second year SAMK International Tourism Management students & exchange students Paula Carrion Serrano and Marina Marin Martin from Universidad de Málaga

A traveler who found passion in aviation

Could you imagine that my dream job before working as Cabin Crew was always a criminal researcher? But then tourism and travel took a place in my heart more than murders! Let me tell you all about it..

I guess my background (being born in Thailand) is one of the reasons I ended up in the travel and tourism industry, but in addition I have a passion for exotic and unique destinations, people from different cultures, as well as for aviation and its development. It has been a quite journey to follow this ride since 2015 when I started my studies at Travel College, and everything changed.

I started to wonder is there any reason why I love traveling and working in this industry so much. Originally, I thought I will move to the Canary Islands to be a travel guide for the rest of my life. That was part of the highlights I saw from the travel industry. But since then I have experienced so much more than I could ever had imagined as a traveler and employee of the tourism industry.

Tourism is part of every one of us. You are planning to take a trip to summer cottage in countryside or taking a city break to London to see culture and experience the five-o-clock-tea. When you are a tourist outside of your home base, you are described as a tourist, either inside your home country or abroad.

When we do research about tourism and explore the world, we will see that tourism is a huge concept with several possibilities. I think one of the reasons why I chose the tourism industry is the diversity and sustainable developing of the whole industry. Tourism has so many job possibilities and you have colleagues worldwide.

I found my passion in aviation

During these six years of working in the travel industry I have finally found my passion. I have a special passion for aviation, which started at Finnair and has been a part of my life since 2018. I was so excited to start my career at work which included thousands of rules and strict legislation from uniform to speaking style. Later, I finally got my wings to the aircraft and received my dream work – Cabin Crew Member. As a steward, I get to see so many interesting and unique (and of course warm) places such as Singapore and Cape Verde. I learned from the locals about their culture around the world and felt a warm welcome wherever I traveled. Exploring cultures with locals and seeing different people onboard, my eyes were opened by the world. It has been something I have, somehow, dreamed about.

When working above the clouds, I finally realized that I am studying and working in the right industry with full of joy and inspiration from different factors. It is great to see how the industry has been developed and to be a part of its international atmosphere. In the future, I see myself as airline employee, and hopefully I will become one sunny day the instructor for new cabin crew members.

Welcome onboard and see you up there!

Text and pictures: Suti Niemelä, first year International Tourism Management student