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Reworking student understanding of tourism mobility: experiences of migration and exchange on a field trip.
Tourism Planning & Development
This paper examines experiences of tourism students engaged in a learning activity based on a visit to a migrant processing centre on the outskirts of Valetta, the capital of the Mediterranean island of Malta. This pedagogical exercise aims to problematize students understanding of mobility and exch...
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This paper examines experiences of tourism students engaged in a learning activity based on a visit to a migrant processing centre on the outskirts of Valetta, the capital of the Mediterranean island of Malta. This pedagogical exercise aims to problematize students understanding of mobility and exchange in the tourism context. Field trips to tourism destinations are an important part of the internationalisation of a tourism curriculum, allowing students to see the industry in practice. However, it is also important to ensure that students embed critical thinking in their reflections on the industry, for example access to mobility. As one of the most southerly members of the European Union, Malta has been subject to proportionally significant numbers of arrivals of asylum seekers since accession in 2004. Student reflections are examined through a focus group methodology and material from reflective journals, reporting discomfort but valuable learning outcomes, particularly in the degree of caring about others forced into alternative forms of mobility. Whilst an uncomfortable visit for many students, we have found this a useful discussion exercise against a backdrop of increasing migration controls, and an important contrast in relation to unfettered tourist mobility. We also highlight the importance of exchanges between students, teachers, hosts and others in alternative economic and educational discourse.
Contextual education, mobility, exchange, migration, Malta, reflective journals
School of Management