We're back! 2023 Travel & Tourism Student Convention at Disneyland® Paris recap

Rachel Lewis

13 Feb 2023, 16:35
by Rachel Lewis

It was a sight to behold as the humungous cinema at Gaumont Disney Village filled with travel & tourism students & tutors ready to be wowed by live talks from real industry experts at the Voyager School Travel Travel & Tourism Student Convention at Disneyland® Paris.

Read on to hear all about this year’s convention and what you can expect on your next educational visit to Disneyland Paris.

  • Date: 31 Jan – 3 Feb 2023
  • Location: Disneyland® Paris, France
  • Accommodation: Disney's Hotel Cheyenne
  • Transport: Coach & Eurotunnel
  • Learning objectives: Support Travel & Tourism curriculum

Who went on the trip?

This year saw both Business Studies and Travel & Tourism conventions sell out at the Gaumont Theatre in the Disney Village. Over 600 students from colleges and high schools from across the UK took the 4-day/3-night trip option which included a subject focussed convention with industry experts, exclusive and topical learning resources and a two-day park pass, with some groups also including an excursion into Paris.

What did students learn?

The Travel & Tourism convention kicked off the day with a fascinating insight into Walt Disney Company marketing from Natalie Sykes and Emilia-Jade Gibson. We learnt how Disney works across different media and partnership channels to reach different audiences and how they focus on user experience to design their digital marketing.

Students also heard from Jane Batty who delved into how the exceptional Disney customer service is underpinned by a clear strategy, strong foundations, recruiting talent and continuous creativity to appeal to changing audiences.

To complete the morning, Danny Waine talked us through his incredible journey to Head of Membership at ABTA; the rollercoaster of trends in the past few years and the myriad of career opportunities in the industry.

The range of speakers and topics gave students really broad, real life experiences of working in industry and some of the challenges and celebrations which may be expected. The honesty and insight offered from these real industry players offered an invaluable opportunity for learning about different aspects of travel and tourism.

What was different this time?

This year were able to split our Business Studies and Travel & Tourism conventions into subject-specific events. We chose speakers and topics tailored to each group to ensure students were offered relevant and valuable content. We included Danny this year to provide hands on experience of career opportunities in Travel & Tourism. Students really enjoyed the personal stories and hearing career journeys that our speakers shared.

We moved the convention to January, which worked well in the school calendar, with one parent commenting: “I feel the timing was perfect; a break after the stress of the mocks and before the stress of GCSEs.” This time of year also meant that the parks were quiet and as queue times were short, students were able to spend more time on rides and enjoying the whole Disneyland experience.

Also new for us was the addition of the epic Avengers Campus in the Walt Disney Studios Park. We wandered among Black Panther, Spider-Man and their Avenger friends and foes before taking on the exhilarating Avengers Assemble: Flight Force. Not to be missed (or taken lightly!). Once the sun had set, the sky above the campus was lit up with pyrotechnic wonders and 500 drones for the Avengers: Power the Night show. Along with the 30th Anniversary light show, we were spoilt for evening entertainment.

Were there any challenges?

The biggest challenge this year were workers’ strikes announced on both sides of the channel on our travel days. To pre-empt issues at the ferry ports on the journey to Paris, our tour co-ordination team worked tirelessly to secure alternative travel arrangements via Eurotunnel.

When is the next student convention at Disneyland Paris?

Once again, both the Business Studies and Travel & Tourism conventions will take place during the same trip in 2024. This means that students of both subjects can travel together and spread transport costs across a bigger group.  

Business Studies Student Convention 2024
30 January–2 February 2024
4-day/3-night package
Travel & Tourism Student Convention 2024
30 January–2 February 2024
4-day/3-night package

 See you there!

Hellenthal Eifel student love cropped

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