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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

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Travel consultant Rhiannon Bevin makes holiday dreams come true.

Rhiannon Bevin has certainly made the right study choice. We recently visited the Travel & Tourism graduate at her work at the House of Travel in Havelock North. It’s a busy time for Rhiannon who started the job seven months ago. “January to June is full-on. It’s the time when the cruise ships come in, most people are planning their holidays and we are hosting most of our destination info nights.”

Rhiannon enrolled at EIT after a gap year working in hospitality, on her father’s farm and in a local vineyard. “I met people from so many cultural backgrounds which sparked my interest in travelling,” she says. A trip to Bali that Rhiannon organised for a group of friends was the moment she decided to pursue a career in the travel industry.

The 22–year-old completed a certificate in Tourism and then added a diploma in Travel and Tourism. “I really liked that the classes were very intimate. We were able to bounce ideas around and everyone just felt comfortable to engage and contribute.” As part of the course Rhiannon wrote a destination report about Waitomo. “This was definitely one of the highlights. It was great how we went beyond the travelling side and were able to explore environmental and marketing issues.”

In between the two programmes Rhiannon worked at the iSite in Napier where she expanded her knowledge about booking systems, the cruise ship industry and also about how to overcome language barriers.

“Travelling is always a learning experience. Every place offers and teaches you something different. I find that the novelty never wears off. Years later, people are still thinking and raving about a particular trip,” she says.

Rhiannon is not the only one in her family who has the travel bug. One sister lives in London, the other one just moved to the United States with her partner and three children, and her parents set out for a long trip to Europe last year. Unsurprisingly, Rhiannon’s bucket list is large, however, Europe ranks first.

There is a lot to love about her job, she says. “I like the mix of people that I deal with. There are the ones who have never travelled before and might just want to book a flight to Australia. But then we also advise the experienced globetrotters wanting to book a cruise around the world. It’s awesome to support all these people and help realise their dream holidays.”