The students started out in Waterford before cycling to Kilmacthomas, the halfway point along the Greenway where they met a guest speaker and visited some local businesses
Students of the Higher Certificate in Business (Tourism) recently experienced the Waterford Greenway together as part of their course.
The trip was part of the Introduction to Tourism and Customer Management modules, and the event was sponsored by the WIT Student Transition Fund.
The Waterford Greenway is a 46-kilometer paved cycling path that starts out alongside the River Suir in Waterford city and weaves its way all around base of the Comeragh Mountains, before reaching Dungarvan town, with moments of great delight and splendour at every bend.
The students started out in Waterford before cycling to Kilmacthomas, the halfway point along the Greenway. After cycling for about an hour on the Greenway, the group met with Ger Barron who has been described as the champion of the Waterford Greenway at the Coach House for breakfast and refreshments.
Students heard about the development of the Waterford Greenway and lessons learnt in over a decade and had time to ask questions. They included:
Saafi, a student who immigrated from Somalia in 2012. She wanted to join the tourism industry as she was inspired by the customer service and outstanding care she received as an immigrant on the plane to Ireland.
Laura, a student from France, said she is really enjoying the course and that her family is very proud of her coming to Ireland on her own. She asked: “How much did it cost to build the Greenway,” and Ger Barron’s answer was €16 million which everybody agreed was an astonishing amount.
Zara, who is from Tipperary, asked: “how long did it take to build?”. The Greenway was built in about five years even though it had been a project since 2000. She thanked Ger on behalf of the group for his time and willingness to share his experience with the students.
Laura-Jane, a student who lives only a few kilometres away from Waterford, inquired about what time of year is the busiest at the Coach House. It turns out they are busy all year round, particularly during seasonal holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, or Easter when they organise events such as pumpkin carving, Christmas fairs, egg hunts, etc…
Hillary, from Waterford, asked Ger about the youth involvement in the development of the Greenway. He replied that it wasn’t a well-known concept at the time the project started, but he would definitely consider it for future projects. The youth voice always being a valuable asset to improve a community.
From a customer management perspective the students were well impressed with the friendly service at the Coach House, Kate’s Coffee art and Stephen also spoke about the business to the students. Waterford Green Way Bicycles were most professional and helpful.
Lecturers Noeleen Dooley and Jacinta Greene Beatty thanked Ger for sharing the Greenway story from a development perspective and prepare them in their future careers for the challenges and opportunities that such community developments present.