Study Tour for Master Students of Faculty of International Tourism has been passed in Lithuania (7)
Two days, from February 15 to February 16, master students of Faculty of International Tourism by carrying out the field research went to the study tour to Lithuania. Both Latvian and foreign students took part in the study tour forming the whole group very different and international. The field research was organized in the framework of the study course "Baltic Tourism Studies" (lecturer MSc Madara Lūka) and "Strategic Tourism Planning" (lecturer MBA Armands Muižnieks).
The aim of the study tour was to explore the Klaipeda-Palanga region in Lithuania, evaluate the main principles of strategic planning, to explore the tourism offer and to analyse the tourism destination and business environment. In the study tour students were enabled to meet both representatives of public, and private sector.
The study tour began with the visit in Liepāja where students met the manager of Liepāja Region Tourism Information Centre Zane Gaile to be acquainted with the main principles of tourism planning in Liepāja district, international cooperation and development plans for future. After visiting Liepāja students went to Lithuania where they met the representative from Palanga Tourism Information centre. Here students had an opportunity to compare the differences in planning of tourism destinations. Then the tour continued to Klaipeda where the meeting with Klaipeda University professors Dr. Ausrine Armaitiene and Renata Bertuzyte was held. The discussion resulted in the birth of new and original ideas; broader understanding of Lithuanian tourism planning was obtained, as well as cooperation of public and private sector in tourism.
Students stayed in Klaipeda hotel Amberton which is Lithuanian hotel chain. In the Sunday morning students had an opportunity to meet the manager of human resources department Lina Poviliune and to learn about the development plans of the hotel to get acquainted with the challenges of private sector in tourism, as well as to understand the business environment in Klaipēda. In addition students visited 5-star health resort Vanagupe in Palanga where the information already obtained was supplemented by the marketing strategy of health resort hotel, cooperation with public sector, as well as international business environment. At the end of the study tour Skrundas manor in Latvia was visited, thus enabling students to compare the information obtained in Lithuania with Latvian example.
In the framework of previous study courses students learn the theoretical backgrounds of development of tourism development strategy, as well as research of the environment of international tourism business environment in the Baltics, planning of tourism destinations and its progression towards the market. This tour results in the jointly developed annex for Kurzeme tourism development strategy by master students which develop it on the basis of experience of Klaipeda-Palanga comparing it to Latvia, evaluating differences in tourism planning, business environment and international cooperation, working out proposals for further development of tourism in Kurzeme in international context. The developed final version of tourism development programme will be presented in April.
The lecturer of Turiba University - M.Lūka