Business School graduate shines at World Tourism Forum

8 May 2015
World Tourism Forum Group Photo

Leonie Bowles, a UQ Business School Honours graduate, has recently received a Young Talent Award at the World Tourism Forum Lucerne in Switzerland.

Leonie, along with Business School Lecturer and Honours Director Dr Gabby Walters, travelled to Lucerne where she was one of nine students recognised for their research into a tourism-related topic. Leonie’s research, supervised by Dr Lisa Ruhanen, explored ‘the role of ethics, values and vision in ecotourism operators’ leadership.’

Leonie graduated from a Bachelor of International Hotel and Tourism Management (Honours) in 2014 and is now employed as the Project Officer for the National Landscapes Program for Ecotourism Australia. She also tutors students enrolled in the ‘Responsible Tourism and Ethics’ course at UQ Business School.

Leonie said that The World Tourism Forum provided an amazing opportunity to engage with world tourism leaders on global issues such as innovation, sustainability, and talent management.

“Being recognised as the overall winner of the Young Talents Program made me even more determined to create positive, sustainable change – the time to act is now and we need to work together as an industry to each make a difference, every day.

“It was an honour to represent UQ Business School at this international event and to receive such great support from the Tourism Cluster during the whole experience,” she said.

This is the second Young Talent Award win for a UQ Business School student at the World Tourism Forum, with Maria Golubovskaya receiving the award in 2013.

Honours Program Director and tourism expert, Dr Gabby Walters, mentors UQ Business School students in preparation for the World Tourism Forum and selects three finalists to represent the School on the world stage.

“Being an official partner university of the World Tourism Forum Lucerne provides significant opportunities for our tourism students – both past and present.

“Not only are students offered the opportunity to showcase their ideas and initiatives on a global platform, should they be selected to represent the Business School at the event itself, they are presented as the world’s most talented tourism and hospitality graduates to a global audience comprising over 400 senior tourism industry leaders.

“It did not go unnoticed at the 2015 forum that this was the second time a UQ Business School student has won first prize, reinforcing the fact that our tourism graduates are truly world class,” she said.