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Student belly dancing passion inspires award-winning tour

22 Mar 2013

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) Advanced Diploma of Tourism student, Jessica Soultani won a judges award at the Melbourne Airport Developing Tourism Leaders (DTL) Awards held on Tuesday 8 November.

As part her course, Jessica was required to create a business plan for a tourism product of her choice. Each student in her class was encouraged to send in their plans to be considered for a DTL award.

Jessica's winning submission was a tour with a focus on Middle Eastern culture, which included belly dancing lessons, a presentation on food and recipes, and dinner at a Middle Eastern restaurant.

“My family comes from Syria and belly dancing is my passion, so I thought why not create a tour based on what I know really well,” explained Jessica.

“I decided the tour would start with a fun belly dancing class, followed by a visit to a Middle Eastern restaurant where the group would be given an insight to Middle Eastern culture, its food and recipes. Participants would then enjoy a Middle Eastern inspired meal and the opportunity to have their coffee, tarot and palm read.

“I was a bit nervous about putting the entry in, but I'm glad I did. The judges obviously liked my idea, so I'm really excited.”

Jessica said she was thankful for the encouragement she received from her friends and teachers Caitlin Crowley and Philip Tubb.

For her efforts Jessica won a gift voucher, and an invitation to apply for a tourism student work placement at Global Ballooning, Tourism Victoria and the City of Melbourne.

Jessica was among thirteen other award-winning students studying Tourism, Hospitality and Events in Victoria. The DTL Awards promote entrepreneurial skills and provide employment opportunities for final year tertiary students studying Tourism, Hospitality and Events in Victoria.

Entrants were required to develop an innovative business or event plan, which was judged by a panel of industry representatives based on feasibility of the business, product innovation and knowledge of the tourism industry.

The presentation evening was held at the Victoria Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry in East Melbourne on Tuesday 8 November.

Photo - Tourism student wins a DTL Judges award

Interview / Photo Opportunity

Media enquiries should be directed to the NMIT Communications Officer, James Gardener, on (03) 92691579, 0413 483 182 or

NMIT (Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE) - Situated on six campuses and six training centres throughout Melbourne's north plus a regional campus at Ararat, NMIT delivers vocational training, higher education and lifelong learning capabilities for a global workforce. NMIT forges partnerships with community, industry and government to produce practical, solution orientated graduates capable of making meaningful contributions to their chosen field of endeavour.

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