Guest blogger Produced by

Martina Gardeva (Bulgaria)

My name is Martina Gardeva and I am a Bulgarian postgraduate student in MSc Tourism Management and Marketing. I would like to share my experiences so far on this exciting course. It’s an innovative course, with great professors and industry professionals, very practical and with focus on digital marketing and technological trends.  

A great start – a field trip during Induction Week 

During the first week, apart from the welcoming lectures, there were field trips for all tourism master’s students. Ours was to the old Bournemouth Echo building (a newspaper), which is now home to the inspiring start-up company called This Work Space. After the tour of the historical building, we headed to the Urban Reef restaurant and had a presentation by the entrepreneur who owns the place, as well as the Head of Marketing for Bournemouth and Poole Tourism. We finished with a talk on the pier by one of the leading figures from the council. He talked about the future projects that are coming up for the coastal town. It was a great way to meet your classmates, get to know the lecturers and have a nice lunch on the beach.

The teachers are amazing 

The course leader is Dr Philip Alford, who is a great lecturer, really friendly and with a strong connection with all the students. He is part of the Board of Tourism for Bournemouth and the Visit Wiltshire organization. He has a great deal of experience in destination management and a wide set of digital marketing skills. Head of Department is the famous Professor Dimitrios Buhalis, known for his love for technological innovations and social media. Both of them are truly impressive teachers.

The projects are practical and creative 

The best part of this master’s course is that we don’t have any exams, only course work! During the first term we had to make an analysis of the destination marketing plan for Bournemouth, a report about the impact of tourism, a group work analysing the financial aspects of a company (which sounds harder than it is) and a few short individual essays. In the second term, we have very interesting projects related to eTourism. Two of them is to design a marketing campaign for the Great West Way, a new touring routing between Bristol and London,  and an essay about Smart Tourism innovations. This is the time where you also have to start thinking about your dissertation and have to choose an optional unit.

It’s not only about studying… 

Some of the best parts of doing the course are attending several events related to tourism. My favourite is the World Travel Market in London, where countries from all around the world present themselves and show their culture on truly stunning stands, costumes and designs. Another one is the Fusion Conference organised by the Faculty of Management, where students have the chance to network with many tourism-related companies and former students.

If you decide to take this course, you will never be bored and will have the chance to show your creative side!

By Martina Gardeva, MSc Tourism Management Marketing, Bulgaria, 2017/18