Students from Cardiff and Vale College went on a trip to Cancun to experience the importance of hospitality in Mexico.

The journey, part of a Welsh Government funded initiative called Taith, was taken by students on the Hospitality and Catering and Travel and Tourism courses.

While there, the students were exposed to studying in a different country and were taught the significance of travel, tourism and hospitality to the region’s economy.

Learners also explored the need for sustainability within these sectors while immersing themselves in the culture and hospitality of the Mexican people.

The learners were sent to the Universidad Tecnologica de Cancun (UTC) to attend various lectures, seminars, and workshops on culinary arts, travel and tourism and the culture and heritage of Mexico.

As part of International Day, they presented about the college, the rich Welsh culture and heritage, demonstrating a masterclass on Welsh cakes, Welsh spirits and cocktails.

On another activity-filled day, trips were arranged to the Tulum brewery to understand how beer is made from seawater and they toured various hotels to glimpse the enormous scale of the industry in Mexico.

Cultural experiences included a visit to learn about Mayan culture at Chichén-Itzá, a trip to a dolphin sanctuary and they even got to swim with turtles.

The journey was as much a personal growth exercise, as it was an academic one.

Level 3 Travel and Tourism learner Maddie Caulkett said: "This trip was a highly valuable experience and an opportunity of a lifetime, which has improved my confidence and given me first-hand knowledge and insight into the Tourism and Hospitality industry."

This was also the first Taith Inward Mobility initiative, where learners from Mexico visited CAVC for reciprocated learning.

They were treated to some wonderful traditional Welsh cuisine like lamb cawl and dragon bread prepared by CAVC Level 1 Professional Cookery learners, visited various historical and cultural sites and even had a grand tour of the Principality Stadium.

Cardiff and Vale College principal Sharon James-Evans said: "At CAVC we like to offer an experience that is more than just a classroom and this amazing trip has done just that.

"It’s not every day you get the opportunity to fly to Mexico and experience Cancun – so we’d like to say a huge thank you to the Welsh Government and Cardiff University for funding this trip through Taith.

"I’m so pleased the learners enjoyed themselves while gaining a first-hand insight into the world of learning and work abroad.

"I was also delighted to be able to welcome the group of learners and staff from UTC to our college as part of the first-ever Taith Inward Mobility project.

"Well done to all of the learners and a huge thank you to all of the staff at CAVC and UTC who were involved in organising both trips and supporting the learners throughout them."