WYSTC 2014

Convention Centre Dublin

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the World Youth and Student Travel Conference in Dublin, but I was very happy that I was allowed to volunteer.

The Keynote SpeechWhile the organisation of the volunteers wasn’t great, and the team of (mostly) apathetic travel and tourism students weren’t the most enthusiastic we covered the tasks we needed to do well enough, and those that really wanted to achieve something were given plenty of opportunities. I include myself in that group.

I used my spare time to network, and re-connect with sales reps, and company heads of companies I’d worked with through Peterpans while in Australia and New Zealand. Making contact with the heads of Stray travel, Mojo surf and Skydive Wanaka again was good fun. I also met a few people from South Africa who gave me some excellent advice about what to do in order to get into the country, and how to build a business effectively.

Livin' The DreamThe Travel Massive event allowed me to meet several other bloggers, hopefully increasing my following a little, but also to get advice on the best ways to proceed as an independent travel writer and consultant. I also spent some time talking with some of the organisers of WYSTC who were interested in my previous experience, and spoke of potential positions opening up within the company in the future.

Youth Trends with MtvI was invited to the Global Youth Travel Awards in the last day, but unfortunately could not attend. I was privileged and grateful to be asked, and wish I could have gone, without having to cancel my previous plans.

The conference has left me in a difficult position: I want to proceed with the training weekend (and hopefully the job) with Wasteland Ski, so I can spend the winter in the Alpes, but I also want to capitalise on the contacts I have made, with potential leads in South Africa, Australia, The Netherlands and a couple more, it’s hard to know what to do. I am thankful to have these options though, before this conference I only had the one choice!

Benjamin Duff

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

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