“I worked with a company that ran tours into the Hunter Valley wine country two hours north of Sydney. I conducted a survey of the competition in the area and made suggestions to the owner on how to update his social media pages so he was more competitive. We worked together to prepare the meals for the day. On the bus, my job was to go between guests and tell them little things about where we were going and what to expect. And, sometimes just to shoot the breeze. When we stopped at a scenic lookout, the owner and I would get out the cheese tray and serve exotic cheeses. And I accompanied them on the wine tasting at the various locations and made sure everyone knew where the bathroom was and showing them the basics.”
- Drew S, Winter, 2018
Is there a better way to learn about the wild and fun parts of your Down Under home than interning for an eco-tour company? Join twelve paying guests and head three hours north to explore the wine country. Or, head east to mountains for an off-road canyon and river exploration. Past Down Under students have done just that.
Working in eco-tourism allows an immersion into a competitive market where history, fun and excitement are the products. Our wine tour operator handles all the bookings himself. Interns assist in all the glamorous and hard scrabble tasks that go into a successful trip.
Some journeys may require you to give a talk on a heritage site. Other trips may see you cut fruits and cheeses and present a snack tray to guests. An important part of your internship is simply interacting with guests. Tourists love to socialize and talk to staff members. You don’t need to be an expert on all things, but you do need to show a willingness to engage people and share stories. Guests like to listen; but also like to be listened to. Lend them an ear and you will help make their experience.
Office duties include speaking to prospective clients on email or phone. Completing a market analysis on ways to attract new clients is always important. Our last intern surveyed competitors’ websites and made suggestions on possible additions to the host.
Taking photos and video in the field is another important aspect of the work. Editing new content and sending it out to prospective guests and posting it on the website helps generate a following. Immersing yourself in all aspects of a small business will give you a glimpse into the independent life of a sole-proprietor. As you return to your studies and plot out a career path you will now know what it takes to succeed on your own in a competitive market.