My name is Lauren Anderson and saying I work in tourism would not adequately describe how deep I am rooted in the tourism industry. A more accurate statement would be - My name is Lauren Anderson and I live, work and play in the tourism industry.
I started my career in tourism 19 as a travel agent and from that moment I knew I had found my niche. Tourism is an ever-changing and dynamic industry and it touches almost everyone. Whether you're working in our thriving in-bound market or heading off overseas each year, tourism has become part of our everyday environment. Traveling, more so, has become an expectation or a cornerstone of what it means to live a 'full life'.
From starting as a travel agent to teaching VET courses in Tourism to working for a wholesaler; my career has been spent investigating the different sides of the tourism industry. I've also been lucky to have traveled across the globe in a number of ways. As I matured as an adult, a tourist and in my career I began to question the impact of my industry and my own travel on the world around me. The words 'over-tourism' and 'sustainable tourism' started to fill my inbox, my social feeds, and my conversations. I began to question the part I played.
When I graduated from high school I just couldn't find the perfect Bachelor so I decided to head straight into the workforce. It's been a regret of mine that I did not pursue further education and finally, the drive to find out more about sustainable tourism and the need to prove to myself that I can achieve further education has driven me to this course. With my previous Diploma and my industry experience, I was accepted to study at CQU.
So far I'm finding my postgraduate study both fascinating and challenging. Studying the field in which I work brings such a depth to my understanding however it is challenging re-entering the academic community after this amount of time and balancing my studies in addition to my full-time work.
I am learning so much about the varied subjects that sustainable tourism touches from economics to philosophy, from history to statistics but the most important thing I have learned so far is to question my reality. So much of what I have read about tourism before starting this course has come from within my own industry, from a first-world and capitalist perspective. This course has opened my eyes to the unconscious bias that I didn't know I had.
I hope my postgraduate studies will allow me to move into a position where I can positively influence tourism in our community moving forward. I would love to work on a local level assisting domestic tourism businesses to grow in an ethical and sustainable way. I would like to leave a positive mark on the industry that has given me so much.