All mapped out

15th June 2007 at 01:00
Section A of the paper on the structure, marketing and promotion of the tourism industry - which all candidates must answer - was "very fair", according to Avril Shennan, assistant head of the sport and tourism division of Glasgow Metropolitan College. Her only concern centred on a three-mark question on timeshares, which although covered by the arrangement documents, was not an area she tended to spend much time on when teaching the course. Other questions in this section were topical, she felt - particularly the one on cutting the base rate commissions of companies such as British Airways and Thomson Holidays.

Students have to choose between answering section B, on the Scottish tourism industry, and section C, on the overseas market. Mrs Shennan does not teach the Scottish tourism section but she nevertheless felt it should have presented few if any problems to students who chose this option.

Students were asked, for instance, to prepare a six-day itinerary of visitor attractions and natural features, including an area south of Stirling. They also had to name an island that could be visited on a day excursion, and a championship golf course on the West coast. The mapping question asked candidates to plot a number of sites, including Aberdeen, Dumfries and Mull, and a battlefield (which could have been Culloden or Bannockburn).

Mapping in section C was, however, more problematic, thought Mrs Shennan.

Candidates were asked to pinpoint on a world map, which had no country boundaries, a number of places, including Key West. As long as the markers were generous and gave credit to students who pinpointed a dot south of Florida, then most should have fared reasonably well. But as Cuba is close and could have been circled by mistake, she is concerned that some students may lose marks. Candidates also had to choose one of four countries - Egypt, Jamaica, Mexico and the Czech Republic - and state the flight time to the destination and two visitor attractions, which Mrs Shennan thought "quite challenging", considering the topic's breadth.

"Travel and tourism is a reasonably difficult Higher as pass marks would tend to show. But this was a fair paper," she said.

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