Sapphire Coast's tourism boom boosting the region

It’s time to jump on board with the Department of Employment reporting the Travel and Tourism industry is set to grow nationally by 25 per cent in the next three years.

Taking full advantage of this boom is the Sapphire Coast, with 16 significant events planned for the first quarter of 2017.

Home for the Christmas break, 23-year-old Bega local, Isabelle Philistin has always been an advocate for the tourism industry.

After studying the Diploma of Tourism in 2012 at TAFE NSW Bega, she now works for an international travel tour organisation.

“I wanted to do something different with my life. Having the qualification on paper is what future employers look for,” says Isabelle.

On her study experience: “The TAFE teachers were fantastic. They explored our interests and tried to tailor our learning towards it.”

Deirdre Jory, Head Teacher of Tourism, Hospitality and Events remembers Isabelle as a vibrant and dynamic student.

“Isabelle had a very clear career goal and she has achieved that dream. She is very determined and took every opportunity to enhance her learning,” says Deirdre.

“The way Isabelle handled things under stress at such a young age was memorable. I still use her as an example in class.”

Isabelle has lived overseas for four years and calls the Greek Islands home, for the moment at least.

“The Greek culture is different to anywhere else; it’s really family oriented and the food is amazing. Greece is a beautiful country. There’s so much history behind it,” says Isabelle.

Deirdre is excited about the tourism potential in the Sapphire Coast, with the Eden Wharf upgrade announcement and the promise of cruise ships next year.

“There were approximately 17 cruise ships in 2016 and Singapore Airlines now flies into Canberra.”

“We need to make sure we have tourism professionals that are excited by the growth on the Far South Coast. TAFE is well placed to provide the best training for these people with its’ strong links with Cruise Eden, South Coast Tourism and other key tourism companies.”

If you have aspirations to work in the tourism industry or follow in Isabelle’s footsteps, the Diploma of Tourism is set to commence in 2017 at TAFE NSW Bega as a full-time study option (three days per week).