Students of RIAT are silver medalists of “TravelSkills”, the First All-Russian Championship in the field of tourism
On March 14 and 15, 2019, the team of Russian International Academy for Tourism (RIAT) took part in “TravelSkills” – the First All-Russian sectoral championship in the sphere of tourism, which was held in Moscow according to the WorldSkills methodology.
WorldSkills International (WSI) is an international non-profit association whose goal is to raise the status and standards of professional training and qualifications around the world, to promote working professions through international competitions around the world. Founded in 1953, WSI currently has 79 countries. Russia joined WorldSkills in spring 2012.
The RIAT team for the Championship included Elizaveta Meshkova, a fourth-year student of “Tourism” Bachelor’s Degree program and Vladislav Shlyk, a first-year student of “Management of Tourism Destinations” Master's Degree program.
“TravelSkills” Championship was conducted within three tourist competencies: travel agency activities, tour operator activities, and the organization of excursion services. For each competence, juniors (age from 14 to 16 years old), students enrolled in secondary vocational education programs (age from 16 to 22 years old), university students (from 16 years old and above) and specialists from the industry (who had to be active employees of a tourist company) took part. The RIAT team participated in the “Tour Operator Activity” competence. Teams from the largest state-run universities of Russia implementing educational programs in this field were involved in this competence.
The competition task of the Championship included two modules: “Presentation of a tourist destination” and “Attestation of a tour operator”. As part of the first module, the teams had to demonstrate the skills of conducting a business event to their partners. For this, it was necessary to prepare a presentation and develop a layout of an advertising booklet of a previously chosen tourist destination. Of the three proposed destinations, Elizaveta Meshkova and Vladislav Shlyk chose Indonesia. The second module for the purpose of “certification” involved testing of country studies knowledge.
During the championship a great role was assigned to the experts. An expert is a person who has a number of competencies: knowledge of his profession, knowledge of WorldSkills standards and regulations, knowledge of the competition procedure, participation in the preparation of a test task and in defining evaluation criteria. The experts at “TravelSkills” - the First Industry Championship were specialists from leading tour operators and travel agency networks.
During their performance, Elizaveta Meshkova and Vladislav Shlyk demonstrated excellent teamwork skills, communication skills, as well as general cultural and professional competencies gained in the process of studying at RIAT. Within seven minutes, which were assigned for each team, Elizaveta and Vlad spoke about the specifics of the chosen tourist destination, drew attention to the peculiarities of the tourist product formation and resort selection in accordance with the purpose of the tourist trip. Their presentation, which had been developed for this project, reflected the most modern trends in the marketing of tourist destinations.
Preparation for the championship and participation in the competition itself is a serious teamwork. Yulia A. Kireeva, the team instructor and RIAT head of the department for tour operating and Roman M. Arseniy, senior teacher of the department, not only coordinated the content and technical development of the project for RIAT team members, but also presented the RIAT support group, which inspired the participants of the competition. The support group included teachers and students of the Academy, as well as RIAT graduates who participated in the championship from representatives of the travel agency network (for example, Alexandra Budnaya, the 2013 RIAT graduate participated as a specialist from the industry in the “Travel Agency Activity” nomination).
The competent jury highly appreciated the performance of RIAT team, and the team members received offers for employment in reputable tour operator companies right after the performance, which is certainly an indicator of high-quality training of RIAT students.
According to the results of the championship, the RIAT team was awarded the second prize. We congratulate Elizaveta Meshkova and Vladislav Shlyk on this high award in the “TravelSkills” First Industry Championship in Tourism!