From one of Australia’s largest hotels to Launceston’s Cataract Gorge, Tanya Hussey’s “office” has changed significantly in the past few years.
Tanya worked in hotel management for more than 20 years in Launceston and Brisbane and as director of sales at the largest Ibis in Australia in Adelaide. Two years ago she decided to give it all up and work towards setting up her own business offering guided walks in the Cataract Gorge.
“The job back in Adelaide was very demanding and it was the typical story. I started to reassess what I was trying to achieve in the industry. Ultimately I found that the choices in my employment weren’t aligning with my philosophy in life which is as much as possible to tread lightly and to contribute back to the community.”
“When I returned to Launceston I had the opportunity to go back into tourism roles but I decided there were more important things than money.”
Having read the Launceston City Council’s, Cataract Gorge Reserve White Paper and the Re-Imagining the Cataract Gorge plan, and with a strong knowledge of industry trends and target markets, Tanya realised there was an opportunity for soft tourism growth in the Cataract Gorge.
She decided to take the plunge and undertake a Certificate III in Guiding at TasTAFE Drysdale in Launceston. Tanya had previously completed a Diploma of Tourism through Drysdale and was impressed with the flexible nature of the course and support of the teachers.
Juggling the Certificate III in Guiding with casual jobs and business planning, Tanya this year launched her new business – Walk Cataract Gorge.
She says it would not have been possible to launch the business without the knowledge she gained in the Guiding course
“Undertaking the Certificate III in Guiding has been essential to the business. Although I have worked in the tourism industry for a long time and am comfortable with things like public speaking, I had no idea whatsoever about what it is to build a professionally delivered piece of commentary as a tour guide.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a subject matter expert, delivering a tour in a professional manner is a whole different ball game. When it comes to a tour there’s a lot you have to think about including picking a theme, building a content commentary around matching the theme and the actual delivery.”
Like most TasTAFE courses, the guiding course had a practical focus and Tanya was able to prepare, write and deliver the tour to her fellow students as part of her course assessment. She says this was also a great way for her to gain feedback.
Walk Cataract Gorge was launched just a few months ago and Tanya has already begun taking tours.
While at the moment it’s a one woman business, Tanya hopes to expand it in future years and employ tour guides. She says having done the Guiding course herself will help her know what she is looking for.
“If I’m going to run a business I need to employ people to the highest professional standard and I also need to know the skill level required. I feel like I have that knowledge because I have completed the course.”
For more information about Walk Cataract Gorge visit: https://www.walkcataractgorge.com.au/
More information about TasTAFE Drysdale’s Tour Guiding courses is available here.
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