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Travel and Tourism Host International Village: Celebrating Diversity Festival 2023

Travel and Tourism students staged their International Village: Celebrating Diversity Festival at Hammersmith & Fulham College on Wednesday 29 March 2023. The varied and diverse exhibition saw student teams create fourteen interactive stands containing displays, artefacts, food, games, quizzes and brochures – plus promotional materials from countries and regions across the globe, with many students dressed in traditional national garments.

International Village: Celebrating Diversity Festival 2023
International Village: Celebrating Diversity Festival 2023

Stands were judged on a variety of criteria to recognise the work that had gone into them and students were presented with certificates. India won the award for Best Overall Stand, Columbia achieved second place and third place was Poland. Formerly an annual event, the festival returns this year after a break in 2019 due to the impact of Covid-19 on the college’s events schedule. Countries and regions represented at the festival included Brazil, Columbia, Egypt, Grenada, India, Jamaica, Japan, Morocco, Philippines, Poland, Spain, Turkey, United States and the islands of Hawaii.

Prinal and friends at the India stand
Prinal and friends at the India stand

Many student teams had strong personal links to the country they had chosen to present. Divyangi Samji, Prinal Dhiru and Inoshka Estibeiro are from India. They brought a wealth of knowledge to their stand, which included Indian food, such as sweet and tangy pani puri and spicy samosas, henna hand-painting, a rich collection of brochures and posters – and a darts competition!

Prinal Dhiru said: “India is a fascinating country for tourists to visit. There are so many cultures, customs, religions, languages – and there are many exciting festivals to go to from Holi to Navratri.”

Camol, wearing an 'It's In My DNA' T-shirt, on the Grenada Stand
Camol on the Grenada Stand
Students at the Spain stand
Students at the Spain stand

Over on the Spain stand, students made T-shirts for the occasion and were selling cinnamon-dusted churros and giving away potato and onion tortilla. Monika Nedeliaj said: “We learned so much about the huge variety of landscapes, cities and regions in Spain in creating our stand for the Festival.”

Students on the Grenada Stand displayed brightly dressed mannequins in carnival costumes, played songs by Grenadian artists and sold local delicacies. Dressed in specially designed ‘It’s in my DNA’ T-shirts, using the colours from the Grenadian flag, team captain Camol Bethel said: “The International Village Festival brings everyone together to work on creating something amazing and unique.”

Travel and Tourism Teacher Peter Smith said: “I’m thrilled that after months of hard work, our Travel and Tourism Level 3 students have succeeded in creating this stunning event.”

Peter added: “It would have been impossible to stage a festival of this scale without the Travel and Tourism Level 3 students’ dedication but also the dedication of their friends, families and supporters, many of whom attended the event. My special thanks go to the Estates Team who set up and took down the display equipment, the cleaning team – before and after! – chef lecturer, Bob Curruthers, from Hospitality and Catering, who helped students to prepare food, and of course my Travel and Tourism colleagues Shirley Noel, Tracey and Dinesh Hirani.”

Award Winners

Overall Winner

  • 1st – India
  • 2nd – Colombia
  • 3rd – Poland
  • 4th – Philippines/Spain

Best Planning

  • 1st – Colombia/Poland
  • 2nd – Grenada
  • 3rd – Philippines/India
  • 4th – Jamaica

Best Leadership

  • 1st – Poland
  • 2nd – Colombia/Philippines
  • 3rd – Spain/Grenada
  • 4th – India/Jamaica

Best Stand Display

  • 1st – Grenada
  • 2nd – Poland
  • 3rd – Hawaii
  • 4th – Spain

Best Food/Drink

  • 1st – Jamaica
  • 2nd – Columbia
  • 3rd – India
  • 4th – Brazil/Japan

Best National Dress

  • 1st – India
  • 2nd – Hawaii/Philippines
  • 3rd – Spain/Colombia
  • 4th – Brazil/Poland

Best Customer Service

  • 1st – Philippines
  • 2nd – Brazil/Japan
  • 3rd – USA/Turkey
  • 4th – Colombia
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