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Master’s Program in Tourism Destination Development

Leaves are turning yellow and red, and I haven’t shared a word about my studies here yet! Travelling and socializing is great, but studying…. is also great, in fact!

I’ve been searching for my interests and inclinations for quite a long time and couldn’t come up with what I want to be eventually. I studied languages, business administration, and psychology in the past, and worked in the tourism industry in Egypt for over a year. And I decided to go for Tourism. Why? Because first, it combines all my education background into one direction; second, it is all about my passions, such as travelling, interracting with people, and developing new tourism ventures in a sustainable way.

After a month of my studies at Dalarna University I’ve realized that its master’s program in tourism is exactly what I was looking for. I have identified a few points why this program is perfect for me.

1. Only 1 year long. After working in a resort area without much mental load, my Brain wouldn’t accept 2 years of academic load, because he got used to a more relaxed atmosphere already 🙂 And to say it seriously, I’m tired of long academic years and want to take a short program to finish faster and start working again with richer knowledge and a better understanding of the industry.

2. Practical. I prefer reading less and doing more. The program involves both individual and group projects, which give a chance to interract with groupmates and make some long-term friendships at the same time. My favorite part about the program is the field trips! We’ve been to the Ostrich farm already, which was a lovely experience. We’ll have a longer fieldtrip in January, I will definitely write about it. Being on the move, visiting new places, meeting new people, and learning new information makes this program trully exciting to me!

3. Focus on sustainability and entrepreneurship. I’m a fan of ecology, protection of the environment, animals, nature, and everything related to  “green” and “sustainable”. Initially I was looking for a master’s program in entrepreneurship and sustainability and couldn’t figure out what exactly I wanted. And who would ever believe that a program in tourism would combine that all? I just look back and get amazed at how “the dots are getting connected in life”.

4. Relevant to my previous work experience. I worked for Pegas Touristik in Egypt, which is the leading tour operator in the Russian market. And of course I’m applying all the information that I receive to my work experience. And I must say many things have just been eye opening. For example, I’ve learned that sustainable tourism focuses on 3 types of sustainability: economic, cultural, and environmental. Besides being economically and environmentally sustainable, any tourism development should benefit the local society and preserve their culture. It made me think, whether my company was really sustainable in that way or not. I started evaluating things from another perspective, at a deeper level. I also worked in two hotels in Egypt before joining the tour operator. And I could relate that experience to the studies as well.

5. Gives me hope to contribute. This program will enable me to  develop tourism destinations in a professional and sustainable way. I want to apply my knowledge in places that really need development, and tourism is a great development tool, if used wisely. So, my hope is to contribute to the well-being of the disadvantaged societies and to make the world a better place for all.

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