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A Bright Future For Our Tourism Industry

“There is a risk of labour and skill shortages if we permanently lose staff displaced by COVID-19,” TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts said.

Megan Alatini, Performance Coach for Air New Zealand updates ITC students about the future for our Airline Industry.

Tourism is a people-focused industry. Our visitors want an authentic, memorable experience, and quality staff can make all the difference. Yes, we have seen a lot of job losses because of COVID-19 but these roles are already needing to be filled again, with people ready and able to deliver a world-class visitor experience. 

He aha te mea nui o te ao? Māku e kī atu, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata. 

What is the most important thing in this world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

The Tourism Response

Do something new New Zealand

Here are the facts:

Tourism New Zealand have launched a new campaign to inspire domestic travel – launched 22 May 2020.  Read more here. The campaign video has already been viewed over 16.2 million times.

It is no surprise that with the recent announcement of the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand we will see a significant rise in the tourism industry.  Even before the bubble announcement Holiday baches were filling up with bookings from across the ditch as Australians anticipate a travel bubble.  

Virgin Australia has revealed its expansion scheme by hiring new employees and enhancing its domestic services in July. The airline says it will create 250 new jobs over the coming months, which will include pilots, baggage handlers and specialist IT and technical services staff. Read more here.

With the Trans-Tasman bubble announcement Queenstown have already experienced a shortage of hospitality staff to cope with the influx of travelers.  Read more here.  Mark Rose, chief executive of Rees Hotel Queenstown, told Heather du Plessis-Allan that he will need between 30-40 extra staff by the end of June when the ski season begins, to help with housekeeping and food. 

Tim O’Leary, director of Alpine Heliski which runs helicopter ski tours, said demand from Australians was solid but where in the past they might book a $NZ900 ($846) four-to-six run package, this season they were going all out.  “They’re booking charter heli-skiing, which is our most expensive product,” Mr O’Leary told The Australian Financial Review. “And they’re not booking one day, they’re booking three to four days.” At a cost of about $NZ7500 per day, he said it was a big step up. Read more about this and the current shortages of staff here.

Another great tourism story is how New Zealand is known for it’s high-end products grown/raised/made directly on our doorsteps.  For those looking to enter into the hospitality and tourism sector it will be up to us to deliver on this promise in our restaurants and even more so when the international borders open – made with care and served with love.  Check out the latest video here.

The latest Tourism New Zealand webinar has highlighted how Kiwis have found a new appreciation for local travel.

Air New Zealand have announce that in October 2020 its domestic schedule is operating at nearly 85% of pre-Covid-19 levels. “We have been encouraged by domestic leisure demand and business traffic is also rebounding.” They have recently launched their mystery holiday packages, showing how domestic travel remains a key focus in the region.  Read more here.  Business travel has returned to 90% of pre-covid levels, which as a result, Air New Zealand has added more seats, more business-timed flights and brought on more crew to meet increased demand. According to an operational update released on Monday, May 30 2021, Air New Zealand carried 866,000 passengers in April 2021. This is a 5603% increase on the 15,000 passengers flown in April 2020. Read more here. With NZ’s Ski season well timed for the Trans Tasman bubble, we look to see a big season ahead.

Craig Binney, Head of People and Culture at Scenic Hotel Group said they are focused on attracting candidates with broader skill sets and cross-training staff now that the road to recovery is in sight.  What this means to those working in the industry right now is that they will be skilled in so many areas that normally wouldn’t be available to them.

With the long-term plan in mind to cope with increased demand we are seeing more grand plans to open new Hotels and Sites for our travelers to experience. New Zealand accommodation company Sudima Hotels is continuing with its growth plans, though chief operating officer Les Morgan says the sector should be under no illusion about the short to medium term challenges ahead.  Read more here.

The 194-room Sudima Auckland Hotel opened recently and held an open day for trade and corporate clients recently. Next on the horizon are hotels in Kaikoura and Queenstown – both set for pre-Christmas openings.

Hamner Springs

Twenty-five new tourism jobs may be created at the popular Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa complex if a new multimillion-dollar ride gets the go-ahead.

Proposed zipline would pump $4m into Hanmer Springs economy in five years.  The Canterbury company has lodged a resource consent application with the Hurunui District Council to build an 850-metre-long downhill zipline on the village’s Conical Hill Reserve. Read more here.

Porirua is to open Porirua Adventure Park.  The project would see Porirua become home to the country’s fifth gondola with 26 cabins ferrying people along the 290-metre journey over Te Rāhui o Rangituhi​ (Colonial Knob), with a restaurant at the top. As well as sightseeing, mountain biking and hiking trails, the longest dual zipline in the Southern Hemisphere (at 1.4 kilometres) will also be built. It was hoped the 12-month construction process would begin early next year, ahead of its opening in 2023. Read more here.

Waikato Culture Park is the first major theme park to open in New Zealand since Hobbiton.  As the Southern Hemisphere’s first-ever holistic indigenous theme park, the project is set to become New Zealand’s iconic new Education Outside The Classroom (EOTC).  Waikato Culture Park will be located five minutes from Hamilton and its impact on the local economy is expected to be significant, with 220 full-time jobs and 30 apprenticeships on offer with the launch of stage one (of five) planned for February 2022. Read more here.

New data shows New Zealanders are loving holidaying at home thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, saying their recent domestic travel “exceeded expectations”.

For a country of people nicknamed for a flightless bird, we’re well-known for our endless love of travel, and closing the borders didn’t dampen our enjoyment of going on adventures.  Instead, New Zealanders started to look domestically for fun travel opportunities, which they had “taken for granted and overlooked in the past”.  That has led to countless Kiwis heading back to their old favourite spots, and exploring new places that they had never got around to before.

Of course we cannot forget long weekend holiday makers and one of the largest events hosted since COVID-19.  Six60 saw an incredible 50,000 people and Auckland City was full with travelers from Australia too.  With travelers increasing, a number of organisations are seeking to employ more staff to meet the demand.  Read more about the positive increase in numbers here.

The above positively suggested an increase in demand, new businesses emerging and of course increased business for our industry, however recent data suggests the industry is up to 70,000 workers short to meet the predicted demand of the coming 2022 summer. With restrictions on bringing labour into the country, the industry faces a long tough road ahead. 

Resilience And Adapting To Change

More New Zealanders are exploring their own back yard

Our tourism sector is world leading, it’s full of innovative, passionate and dedicated people doing good things for our home and communities.  Tourism businesses are doing great things and seeking out new opportunities.  These are then creating opportunities for new jobs in the industry.

An example is Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre read more about their inspiring journey here.  Over winter, Department of Conservation (DOC) saw foot traffic was up 50 percent on last year at Goldie Bush Scenic reserve near Auckland, and 136 percent at Godley Head in Christchurch.

DOC spokesperson Alastair Johnstone said this summer, 55 percent more New Zealanders are booked to do Great Walks than last year, which more than makes up for the loss in international visitors.

Over summer (Dec 2020 – Feb 2021), 108,000 people camped at a bookable DOC campsite, 48,000 experienced a Great Walk and 30,000 people stayed at other bookable DOC huts.

Kaitiaki Adventure staff will be deployed to carry out conservation work on the Otanewainuku Ecological Area where they will undertake removal of noxious plants, fencing, communal garden construction, harakeke transplanting, re-establishment of manuka plantation, pest control and erecting nesting boxes on selected areas.  “Up to 30 people will be employed in the projects, which are aimed at boosting local conservation efforts, enhancing some of the region’s most special places and supporting its economic recovery,” Conservation Minister, Kiri AllanKiri Allan said.  Read more here.

Large organisations have shared their own inspiring journey, showing how resilient and innovative our industry is.  Read the latest article about Sarah Derry – Senior Vise President with Hotel Accor Group here.

Kiwi chef, Matt Lambert. The Lodge Bar & Restaurant, in Auckland’s Commercial Bay.

If there is a silver lining that can be found amid the Covid pandemic, it’s the reverse migration of a large proportion of once-overseas Kiwi talent. New Zealand’s hospitality industry in particular has been subject to a notable boost, thanks to the homecoming of some culinary big guns.

Globally-renowned chef Peter Gordon, known for his work at The Sugar Club, has returned home to roost after more than 30 years living in the UK.

A combination of his partner Alastair Carruthers wanting to “settle back in Auckland” and the impending pandemic, which he describes as a “global nightmare”, led to the return of the duo in March of last year.

For the chef, the Covid outbreak not only kicked his moving plans into motion, it also brought with it a whole new business venture: Homeland.  Read more here.

Seek stated recently that there was a 74% rise in Tourism & Hospitality jobs and with greater flexibility, which creates a slightly more interesting job.  Read more here.

On the 22 February 2021 Air New Zealand announced customers and employees will be among the first to trial a digital initiative to get people moving safely across the globe again.  With constantly changing entry and departure testing and paperwork requirements, the airline wants to streamline the health verification process to help customers know what they need to take their next international trip safely.

Air New Zealand customers and employees will be among the first to trial a digital initiative to get people moving safely across the globe again.


How it works? Customers will be able to create a digital health wallet linked to their e-passport. Once travellers have been tested and/or vaccinated, labs will securely send data to the individual’s app. It then checks requirements for travel against the data and customers who meet those travel requirements will be given the green tick to travel.  Read the full article here.

The Emirates Group vaccination program has reached high gear with over 26,000 staff taking the jab.  The airline group launched its aggressive vaccination drive a month ago and now over 44 percent of the airline’s staff are vaccinated.

Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Airline said: “Our operational workforce are at the aviation frontline, helping people get to where they need to be, and moving essential goods to global communities. Protecting our people with vaccinations is important – for them, for our community, for the smooth running of our operations, and also for our customers as it introduces an additional layer of protection when they travel with us. 

“We’ve seen a very positive response with high demand and take-up of the Covid-19 vaccine from our colleagues at the operational frontline, and there’s continued momentum in the rate of vaccinations across the business.” Read the full article here.

Let’s Talk Stats

Domestic Tourism is on the rise & we need more skilled staff

“Three-quarters of New Zealanders are actively considering their next holiday,” says Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall. 

Tourism New Zealand’s latest research into Kiwis sentiment and perceptions towards travelling in New Zealand reveals that 71% of us are looking to take a holiday in New Zealand within the next 12 months, up from 64% in the last research released in May. 

According to data from Bachcare New Zealand, speculative bookings from Australian holiday planners have jumped 117 per cent on the previous month.

New Zealanders are turning to short getaways like weekend and short stays rather than opting for longer stays, with an increased proportion wanting to use public and school holidays as an opportunity to enjoy a quick getaway. 

Kiwis are already rushing to snap up holiday packages and flights to the Cook Islands after a much-anticipated travel bubble was officially announced.  Travel group Flight Centre has recorded a huge surge of interest on its website overnight – while resorts in Rarotonga reporting the phones going “crazy” since the announcement. Comparing yesterday to last Monday, (the) views on Cook Islands holidays packages at saw a 4100 per cent increase. Read more here.

Tourism New Zealand estimates quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand resuming could bring in $1 billion to the economy by the end of the year.

Naturally, April 2021 shaped up to be the airline’s busiest month so far, with flights from Auckland-Sydney, Auckland-Brisbane and Christchurch-Melbourne selling out. May is already coming in at a close second. 

TIA’s latest Domestic Visitor Satisfaction survey, carried out by Angus & Associates, has found that in the second half of 2020, half of the New Zealanders who travelled domestically for leisure enjoyed a holiday or short break, despite Alert Level restrictions during some of that period. This was up from 42% in July-December 2019. Kiwis were more satisfied with their domestic travel, with 63% rating their trip a 9 or 10 out of 10 (up from 58%).

Domestic tourism electronic card transaction (TECT) spend was up 25% in the year-ended April 2021, compared with the previous year. Domestic TECT spend was also up 17% on the year-ended April 2019. They are now using figures from 2019 as well as 2020 so we can compare to a more stable, pre-COVID-19 environment.

NZ announces a tropical travel bubble

The West Coast saw the largest increase in domestic spend in the year-ended April 2020, up 59%. This was followed by Tasman (up 54%) and Otago (up 48%). These 3 regions also saw the largest increases in domestic spend when compared to 2019.  When comparing domestic spend in April 2021 to April 2019, Otago had the largest increase, up 46%. This was followed by the West Coast and Tasman. Read more here.

Covid has helped turn New Zealand into one of the world’s most trusted country brands.  A new survey of soft power has ranked New Zealand at 16th in the world – a big jump from 22nd in 2020 and the largest increase of any country – thanks largely to our approach to Covid-19. Read more about this survey and it’s findings here.

New Zealand’s elimination of Covid-19 within its borders through lockdown measures helped by its geographic isolation, however, gave its cities a big boost.

“New Zealand’s tough lockdown allowed their society to reopen and enabled citizens of cities like Auckland and Wellington to enjoy a lifestyle that looked similar to pre-pandemic life,” the EIU said in a statement.

The EIU generally does not make the full rankings public. The last time Auckland was in the top 10 cities to live was in 2017, when it came eighth, a position Melbourne shared with Geneva this year. Vienna fell to 12th.

Illustrating New Zealand’s advantage this year, Wellington came fourth behind Osaka, which rose two spots to second place, and Adelaide, which leapfrogged its compatriots Sydney and Melbourne to third place from 10th. Read more here.

The Importance Of Education

Our priority is the future of our students and graduates

2021 brings new challenges and high demand for an array of skill sets to support the industry restart.

Tourism education plays a major role in preparing students to gain professional and practical skills required by the tourism industry. Given that the tourism industry is a labor-intensive sector, it is undeniable that practical training is as important as theoretical training.

In tourism education practical training is necessary for students to find the opportunity to apply what they have learned into practice and to develop personal skills and abilities.

Studying towards qualifications in Tourism will benefit you on many levels.  You will learn important skills to get you ready for the workforce, such as customer service.  Gain confidence, especially in communication (just like SueniCheytarnaKayla, and many more of our graduates).  It keeps your options open, providing you with skills that will help you in a huge variety of workplaces and industries.

Jobs In Tourism

ITC graduates are highly skilled

The International Travel College of New Zealand is proactive in both education and industry professional organisations.  This ensures we are abreast of developments in all areas and we can actively contribute for the benefit of all.  Our connection with education and industry places us in a unique position and enables us to be the conduit between tourism education and employers.

In a year like 2020, being able to speak directly to employers is a huge advantage – rather than relying on news reports or speculation.  We work hard to make sure students have up to date information from employers directly through Industry Expos, guest speakers & site visits.  ITC Employment Consultants Sarndra & Nicky have ongoing relationships with many graduates, and are helping some into their second, third, fourth, and even fifth jobs out in the industry.  ITC also provides advice, training and support around writing CVs and cover letters, as well as attending job interviews.

As well as job opportunities, we also arrange work experience for students to get a taste of the industry.  Work experience often results in paid employment, as was the case for one ITC student last month – who has now been offered a casual position because of his efforts on a work experience placement.

Don’t just take our word for it.  Take a look at the recent jobs that are coming in on a weekly basis here.

Why The International Travel College of New Zealand?

Contact our friendly team to find out more

The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) is a premium supplier of training courses for the airline, airport, travel and tourism industries. Founded in 1996, ITC has been helping students achieve their career goals for over 20 years. All ITC courses in levels 3, 4, and 5 covering a range of qualifications in the travel, tourism, and aviation industries. Study on campus, Monday to Thursday schedule with study times, running from 9am until 2.30pm each day. We have flexible learning options to help with study-life balance.

Yet no amount of marketing can compare to the honest and wonderful reviews we regularly receive from our students.  Take a look at our recent student feedback here.

Our array of courses range from 20 weeks to two years, and offer a fast-paced, fun, and immensely practical learning environment that allows students to walk away with qualifications that are recognised all over the world.

The International Travel College has two Employment Consultants who sole role is to help our current students and graduates gain employment.  As far as we are aware we are the only College in our sector offering this service.

Air New Zealand Performance Coach, Megan Alatini sums it up nicely: “There’s a bug that is much stronger, and more resilient, than that coronavirus – and that’s the travel bug”.

Want to learn more about studying at ITC? Get in touch today and find out more about our study options and courses both on campus and at home.

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