Meet the UWTSD students exploring our rail network

A group of International Travel and Tourism students from UWTSD took a trip to Milford Haven by rail earlier this month.

Four UWTSD students on the train

Students from the University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) have been exploring our rail network as part of their academic studies, taking the train to Milford Haven last month to visit the town’s museum. 

They’ve returned with an appreciation of the importance of rail travel for tourism in Wales and an appetite to take further journeys by train.

The students are all in their final year studying International Travel and Tourism Management, and they made the trip as part of their module on Heritage and Leisure Attraction Management. 

As well as visiting Milford Haven Museum, they visited Ty Milford Waterfront Hotel, a new hotel in the town. They also met with representatives from Milford Haven Port Authority to learn about the cruise ships that frequent the port and to discover more about the sustainability and renewable energy initiatives in the area.

On top of that, they met up with Ewan Rees who runs VIP Wales, which provides walking holidays and cruise ship excursions around Pembrokeshire. Ewan is an ex-student and worked with major attractions in the Middle East before moving back to set up his own business in Wales – something many of the students are likely to consider, as their tutor Jacqui Jones explains:

“Tourism is such an important industry for the region – it’s a key sector and a lot of the students are focusing on coming back to careers here. Many of our graduates from last year went straight into the industry in the region and others have gone to work overseas but plan to return, bringing their skills back to Wales.”

Examining and auditing current tourist attractions is part of their course, as one of the students, Melissa Duffy, explains:

“The purpose of our journey was to visit Milford Haven Museum with the intention of doing an audit. We went there completely undercover and then to feed back this information to Sue Davies from Milford Haven Museum.

“We’d like to thank Transport for Wales for our train tickets from Swansea to Milford. We were impressed with the on-time departure. Everything just went to plan; we were there on time and the journey itself was really pleasant.”

UWTSD students on the train

The students were also impressed by the Waterfront and Marina, which has changed a lot in recent years, as student Alex Luke, who grew up in the area, explains:

“I’ve seen the Waterfront develop over the years. In the past, there wasn’t so much down in the port but now there are a lot of nice cafes and restaurants, and the hotels becoming a big part of the Marina.

“The other thing that our group found was that there’s a lot of events going on – they’ve had Halloween events, firework displays, big festivals in the summer, and that’s bringing a new type of person to the area.

“Also, the marina and the energy industry are bringing a lot of business tourism into the area and bringing cruise ships in as well. And it was great to be able to get there on the train and see how accessible it is from Swansea.”

Now Jacqui is planning to take her students on more trips around Wales by rail.

“The rail network is very important as a method of bringing visitors in, and we’re looking at using it a lot more than we used to,” she says. “We’re looking at doing a trip up to mid Wales The Heart of Wales Line up to Manchester and Liverpool next.”

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