Ms Jacqui Jones BA(Hons), MA
Programme Manager –Tourism & Hospitality / International Placement Tutor
Tel: +44 (0) 1792 481129
Responsible for managing the range of Leisure, Events, Tourism and Sports Under Graduate Programme, and coordinating our exciting International Placements and Internship Opportunities, as well as lecturing on all years of all the pathways we offer!
I have perhaps a rather unique industry background which includes operational and management experience in Tourism, Hospitality and Events as well as Sport and Leisure. This vocational profile is vital when I am responsible for such a wide range of programmes across all these fields.
With a strong background in sport including competing and coaching experience, my industry career began as a teenager working in a range of positions within the local tourism industry! This included the early shift (so I could spend all day Sailing, Windsurfing and Water Ski-ing!) making toast and washing dishes in the kitchens of a hotel run by a renowned member of Wales Tourist Board! Amazingly this was responsible for triggering my passion for Tourism!
My Water Sports interests enabled me to train as an RYA Sailing Instructor a qualification which became my passport to the world! Initially I spent summers working at Rockley Watersports (now one of our placement employers!) and winters back at University, however I soon developed a love of travelling and deserted the cold seas of the UK for summers working in Greece and Turkey, and winters working in the French Alps Ski-ing or Windsurfing in the Canaries!
This was in the 1980’s when the industry was developing and a number of my colleagues are now leading managers with many of the major Water Sports Tour Operators! The operational experiences I gained in this fast developing sector also allowed me to developed an ongoing interest in marketing and PR through regularly working at Boat Shows, as well as gaining some experience in photography and advertising whilst promoting the industry.
During my time working for the upmarket Tour Operator Greek Island’s Club, on the tiny Island of Paxos in the Ionian, I gained my first management experience running the weekly guest transfers by local ferry boat from Corfu Airport. With a small team of staff and support from Greek agents, I was responsible for managing the arrival and departure experience of up to 150 guests, however with serious flight delays, local cultural issues when liaising with airlines, the airport and Greek Authorities, ….. lack of communications (dark ages before mobile phones!) and reliance on local transport operators this was a baptism of fire, but an experience I thrived on! Crisis management and the constant aim of exceeding guest expectations allowed us to introduce an innovative guest service strategy and began my ongoing focus on empowerment and guest services!
Eventually I gave into the pressure to come back to the UK and get a proper Graduate job! Working in recruitment and marketing I quickly gained management success however my heart was still firmly within Tourism and Sport……as a result I made the tough decision to resign from a successful management career, and work endless freelance hours in Corporate Hospitality at a range of sporting events in order to pay my mortgage and enable me to go back to University to study for an MA in Sport and Leisure Management.
During this time I gained Consultancy experience working as a Project Manager on a number of DTI Marketing Initiatives and Market Research Initiatives with a range of Leisure and Tourism Organisations in Wales, as well as working on Sports based Sales and Marketing Strategies including WRU events and the launch of the Vale of Glamorgan Resort.
As a result of this I was able to set up my own marketing and events consultancy and gain experience across the industry before starting lecturing at Swansea in 1992. Since then my consultancy experience and International industry contacts and commitment to the placement programme have allowed me to continue to develop my professional management expertise.
- District Commissioner Pony Club
- Area Secretary Pony Club South West Wales
- Member of Olympic SIG and regularly involved in Podium Events
- Member of ASET Placement Consultancy Groups
- ABTA Education Consultancy Group
- Speedo Water Fitness Instructor
- Previously trained as RYA Dinghy Sailing Instructor and Race Trainer, and CSLA Sports Leader Tutor
- Iron Man Wales Team since it’s inception in 2011 working as a volunteer steward at the event!
My personal subject specialisms focus on employability skills and internships, organising a range of exciting international field trip in order to bring the students learning alive as well as teaching Strategic Guest Services, Sports Events Tourism and Leisure Attraction Management.
I have over 20 years lecturing experience including working on Foundation Degree and HND, to Degree and Masters and MBA programmes including Dissertation Supervision and Consultancy Projects from a range of Leisure, Events, Tourism and Sports topics.
As Programme Manager for all undergraduate Leisure, Events, Tourism and Sports programmes at UWTSD Swansea’s Metropolitan University I am currently responsible for the revalidation of these pathways and I take a particular interest in our graduate success stories!
Specific Module Responsibilities include
- Introduction to Leisure, Events, Tourism and Sport
- Applied Internship and International Placements
- Sustainable Employability and Empowerment Skills
- Global Contemporary Issues in Leisure (Field Trips)
- Sports Events Management
- Leisure Attraction Management
I am actively involved in research into the global employability agenda within the International Tourism, and Hospitality Industries specifically focusing on developing distinctive global graduates with cutting edge guest service skills to become the industry leaders and managers of the future.
Current research includes working with a number of Leisure, Tourism, Events and Sports students and graduates developing a video diary of the student journey from Fresher, to Placement Student and Intern, to Graduate, Supervisor, Manager and Director with some of the leading organisations within the Leisure sector in the UK and Overseas.
With a strong industry background, my expertise firmly focuses on developing our student’s employability and empowerment skills with the aim of preparing them for highly successful future management careers within the Leisure, Tourism, Events, Hospitality or Sport and Leisure Sectors.
My aim is always to use my industry skills reinforced with field study trips to bring the learning alive for our students. By taking the learning outside the class room to real life case studies and venues this reinforces and underpins the vital theoretical learning. I therefore where ever possible and practical use field trips to provide the vital case study examples and behind the scenes experience. Not surprisingly the Olympics has become a key area of focus which has allowed me over the past 8 years to use regular visits to venues as a student learning experience and resource to develop their industry understanding and professional skills.
Over the past 20 years I have been responsible for developing a range of exciting industry links with key organisations who specialise in providing innovative Placement and Internship experiences aimed specifically at our students. This includes developing the University’s unrivalled Internship links within Leisure, Events, Tourism and Sport which are the envy of many other Universities across the UK.
I have developed an expertise for developing niche placement programmes which are constantly changing to meet the current student’s needs and aspirations but have included Disney, Aspen Ski Company, The Legendary Little Nell Hotel in Aspen, Jumeirah Resorts in Dubai and Rancho Valencia in San Diego to name but a few!
During the early 2000’s I was responsible for driving forward the empowerment agenda which is central to the International Hospitality sector by developing a close working relationship with Ritz Carlton Resorts. The organisations philosophies are firmly based on empowering their operational staff to deliver the highest level of personal guest service skills to meet the individual guest needs. This has become an ideology that I have bought into with a great passion, and I have successfully used to develop and enhance the skills of our students.
My expertise (and my colleagues) is probably best demonstrated by the success stories of our graduates which include….Leading International Events Managers, Resort Managers, Hotel Directors, a Cruise Ship HR Director, a Theme Park Director, a Food and Beverage Director, a Spa Director, Sports Development Managers, Regional Sports Directors and highly successful Entrepreneurs and the list goes on…….
During my time as a lecturer at Swansea I have remained active within the Industry as I feel having current up to date experience helps significantly in preparing our students for future management careers. I have therefore continued to develop my industry links to create a range of exciting global experiences for students and graduates which has been the result of developing close working relationships with a number of leading International Organisations through a range of collaborative recruitment and training initiatives. With a fast moving industry this is of course an ongoing activity!
Furthermore industry links have been progressed through designing exciting field trip opportunities which provide students with a behind the scenes industry experience as well as the opportunity to travel to world wide Tourism and Sports destinations. This has led to close collaborative links with the travel industry and visa agents which are important for our students and often provide new Internships.
From 2005-2007 I became UK Director of Challenger Sports, the world’s leading total soccer organisation. I was responsible for recruiting and training up to 1,000 football coaches to work in Summer Camps across the USA, including working closely with Challenger head office in Kansas City, visa agents, US embassy and tour operators to organise their placements. This provided me with vital industry knowledge and experience whilst the professional links I developed are still key for our sports programme and provide our students with summer coaching opportunities in the USA.
During 2007-2009 I gained up to date industry experience working as Training and Guest Services Manager and a Consultant at Bluestone National Park Resort. This involved taking full responsibility for developing and managing the Training and Guest Service Strategies for this £71m tourism and leisure development in Pembrokeshire as well as securing grant funding for training initiatives.
During 2009-2011 I was involved in a range of Hospitality, Guest Service and Events Consultancy projects for Slebech Park a bespoke luxury convention estate and I continue to be involved with the industry both in the UK and overseas. Most recently I have been involved operationally volunteering as a Supervising Steward at the Iron Man Wales Event since it’s launch in 2011.
I am still involved in Sport, for instance as District Commissioner for Pony Club I am actively responsible for training young riders, organising major events, developing the Young Equestrian Leaders Award in Wales, grant applications, organising major area competitions and promoting equine sports. This includes being contacted by the national press for comments on the success of the Olympic legacy upon grass roots sports such as Tetrathlon and other research topics!
Due to my involvement in Programme Management and developing the placement programme my publications have been limited however I have published a number of articles with HEA recently focusing on developing graduate skills for employment and in employment with a strong emphasis on my interest in guest services and empowerment.
This is an area I hope to develop further in the future given the time!!!!!
I have presented at a number of work based learning and employability conferences organised by ASET and ATHE including an International Conference at St Anne’s College, Oxford as well as presenting at the London International Boat Show at Excel in 2013.
During February 2014 I am presenting and running a number of workshops at The Springboard Wales FE Travel and Tourism Conference at Parc Y Scarlets which I hope will give me the chance to meet in advance many of our future students!
In April I am due to present a research paper and poster on utilising empowerment and cutting edge guest service skills to create distinctive global graduates at the HEA Wales Graduates for the Future conference.
Over the years I have organised numerous Placement and Industry events for our students and welcome many international organisations to Swansea to recruit students. In addition to this through my links with Podium I have also enabled many of students to have the opportunity to attend international conference and research events in order to further develop their knowledge and understanding.