Wednesday, 28 June 2017
Tourism is a multi-billion-dollar industry and the value of tourism in Western Australia (WA) is targeted to grow to $12 billion by 2020. Despite the tremendous opportunities in the sector, it has been found that 62% of WA tourists only visit Perth, and the regional areas of WA are seldom visited. In an effort to address this issue, two groups of postgraduate students from ECU’s School of Business and Law partnered with a local business from Wanneroo to develop a new service on Motorbike Tourism.
The service runs affordable guided motorbike tours across WA and aims to educate people about culture, heritage, history and environment. The idea for the new venture came from Mr Grant Morrow, a local business owner and a motorbike enthusiast with over 40 years of experience travelling and working on rural and country Western Australia.
Under the mentorship of Dr. Mehran Nejati, ECU MBA Director and Unit Coordinator at the School of Business and Law, five students from the New Product Development MBA unit embarked on this collaborative project with Mr Morrow.
The new service aims to showcase the beautiful landscape of Western Australia and provide a unique experience on a motorbike. It promotes diversity by encouraging more women to embrace motorcycling and experience the amazing Australian landscape in a non-threatening environment.
“The project is part of the School’s efforts towards authentic learning which offers real life learning and enables students to produce meaningful and useful products/services. It is a learning that sticks”, said Dr. Nejati who coordinated the project.
The outcome of this collaborative project between the university and industry has been very helpful according to Mr Morrow.
“This project made me consolidate a lot of my initial thinking and think a bit deeper and then commit ideas to paper. The teams challenged me in a couple of areas and they offered up alternatives/opinions. I like the approach of working with students and I think it has been a tremendous opportunity.”
Students involved in the project called it “invaluable” and “outstanding”. Henry Njuguna saw the project as an opportunity to understand how new businesses are setup in Australia as well as a way to experience the challenges of small businesses in a competitive market.
“Part of the MBA program is to get ready for the work market as well as discover how to work on projects. This project helped us to work as a group, challenge each other, and work with clients.”
Another student involved in this project was Manuelito Ofiaza. Manuelito found being engaged in real projects was good practice to work with other people, boost confidence, network with industry contacts, and transform academic knowledge to industry skills.
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