Tourism Training – Skilled People Defining the Tourist Experience

Tourism is the world’s largest and fastest growing industry. This is no exception for New Zealand, as the number of international and domestic visitors have increased by over 30% in the last ten years, making it not only the fastest growing industry in New Zealand, but the country’s largest export earner. Over the last decade, New Zealand has secured itself a position as one of the most desirable countries to visit, and this popularity is forecasted to continue. Ministry of Tourism statistics show that international visitor arrivals are forecasted to grow by an average of 2.5% per annum over the next five years, with 2015 forecasted to raise the international visitor numbers to 2.9 million. Bruce Basset, head of the research department at the Ministry of Tourism, believes that due to the effects of the world recession being felt in New Zealand, growth in visitor numbers is expected to be around 2.5% in 2010. However, increases in arrivals has been predicted to be around 6.5% in 2011 as the global economy recovers from recessionary effects, and New Zealand experiences an increase in numbers as a direct result of hosting of the Rugby World Cup.

In a recent press release from the Tourism Industry Association, Tim Cossar noted that there will be several key trends impacting upon the New Zealand tourism industry in 2010. One of the highlights is the Government’s pronouncement in 2009 that it would be investing an extra $20 million in 2010, aimed at increasing the international marketing efforts promoting New Zealand as a tourist destination. It has been noted that much of this investment will be focussed upon four key generating regions, including Australia, UK/Europe, China and the USA. An additional promise of future growth in the domestic market is realised, with the dedication of an additional $5 million to be utilised for joint marketing ventures between Tourism New Zealand and the private sector, as well as regional tourism boards. Sentosa singapore¬†

Tim Hunter, the acting Chief of Tourism New Zealand, also highlighted this initiative to further promote New Zealand as a domestic and international destination in an effort to increase visitor arrivals. However, concerns regarding a shortage of suitably qualified and skilled personnel in the industry have long been a concern. Policy has been originated in an attempt to address these issues, such as the development of the Tourism Workforce Strategy and training, with varied success. Additionally, several local and regional councils have gone further by adapting the national policy framework and developing their own workforce strategies for the tourism industry. Any efforts to increase the numbers of tourists are only working to exacerbate this shortage.

As a follow on effect, tertiary institutions offering qualifications and training in tourism and travel are experiencing increasing demand from students who wish to develop a career within the New Zealand travel and hospitality industries. This has been recently illustrated with the preparations required to provide a qualified base of staff for the up and coming Rugby World Cup in 2011. To meet the increasing demand for workers in the industry during this peak period, the Ministry of Tourism, in conjunction with Tourism Industry Association, is investing $440,000 to provide training in the essential skills identified for those who wish to gain employment within the tourism industry. The aim of the project is to train an additional 10,000 workers that are forecasted to be required by various businesses in the tourism industry leading up to, and during, the Rugby World Cup. The notable aspect of tourism, which requires qualified and experienced staff to promote the tourist experience, is that those who are working within the industry are the ‘face’ of New Zealand’s travel and hospitality industry, the link between the visitor and New Zealand’s many attractions

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