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Guest blogger – Blogger at Large!

Posted on 13/12/2012 by

In this blog, we would like to introduce you to Megan Singleton who has been travel writing for 12 years and blogging for 6. It’s been a fantastic ride (as you can probably guess). She has over 400 posts here where you’ll find reviews, tips, itinerary ideas, recommendations for places to stay and things to do and all sorts of tidbits from her travels.

She has been chuffed to receive the US Travel Association Travel Writers Award in 2009 and 2011 and she is on the list of NZs Top 50 Tweeters.

Imagine dropping your camera down the squat toilet, chicken that gives you diseases and a belching masseuse. These are just some of the funny things you can encounter on your travels.

Check out this funny blog from ‘Blogger at Large’

http://www.bloggeratlarge.com/bizarre/my-worstfunniestcringiest-travel-moments/

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A long way to travel

Posted on 05/12/2012 by

One of ITC’s latest International Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management students has travelled a long way to be here.

Nurul is from Singapore, which she describes as “a little red dot in the world map.”

After graduating from high school Nurul began work in a restaurant, but she had always wanted to be part of the travel and tourism industry.

Checking the internet for available courses, Nurul came across ITC.

“My mum and I got interested,” she says, “so we made some enquiries via email since we’re 8404km apart!”

After receiving more information Nurul decided to enrol for the October intake.

She and her mother travelled all the way from Singapore for ITC’s open day – a definite first for the college!

“I was really impressed with the college and especially how friendly the college’s personnel was!” says Nurul. “Lesley got me all excited to start my course. It definitely had a positive impression on my first visit there. We took a look around and I was happy that I made the right choice.”
 
Nurul says she has never regretted the decision to move to New Zealand and study at ITC.

“The environment is safe and conducive to learning; the tutors are really helpful too. ITC is more than just a college; it’s my second family!”

Nurul

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New cruise line opportunity for ITC students

Posted on 27/11/2012 by

International Travel College of New Zealand has formed a strong new alliance with Renaissance Tours, which will see many of its students gain experience in the cruise ship industry.

Renaissance Tours made contact with ITC’s Account Manager Ceri Jenkins to offer its students the opportunity to fulfill some passenger check in roles for their work with cruise ship company Celebrity Cruise Lines. 

Initially Renaissance Tours was looking for approximately 20 staff and was hopeful ITC could go some way to supplying that number. 

“Through our work with other travel and tourism companies looking for casual staff, I was very confident that we could easily provide more than 30 students for the first round of interviews,” says Ceri.

A job outline was sent to ITC and the college informed all its students throughout both campuses and its distance learning programme of the vacancy.

The level of interest was extremely high, as many students saw the opportunity to gain some valuable work experience and enhance their employability when they graduated. 

ITC provided all interested students with guidance on how to prepare and present themselves for the group interview, with a key focus on making very positive first impressions. 

The students were invited to ITC’s city campus for three-hour group interviews, which included a presentation about the companies involved, role outlines and company expectations. A question and answer session was then followed by a test of the students’ reservation booking skills using the check in training programme. 

“The outcome of the interviews was beyond even our expectation,” says Ceri. “All 32 students were offered employment!”

The feedback from the interviewers was glowing.

 “Your students were the best prepared we have interviewed, they asked a range of insightful questions,” said one.

“There was a very professional feel about the students and the college as a whole”
 
“The students were very well presented and all had made a very big effort with their standard of dress and presentation in general,” said another interviewer.

“One of the company staff commented that the students were able to present their individual personalities on the day with a number of them being very humorous but professional – just what they were looking for,” says Ceri.

“That is just fantastic feedback. Alongside the hard work, travel and tourism is such a lot of fun, and we really encourage our students to take advantage of the vibrant nature of the industry.”

At the end of the busy day of interviews, the company said: “We are so impressed with the high standard of students we have met today we are very keen to forge a strong relationship between Renaissance Tours and ITC for future cruise ship seasons.”

The students are now looking forward to the start of the busy cruise ship season and ITC looks forward to another strong industry relationship that will benefit its current and future students.

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From Rotorua to Whakahoro – The time of their life

Posted on 20/11/2012 by

A recent ITC famil trip to Rotorua, Taupo and Blue Duck Lodge at Whakahoro made a huge impression on the students.

Many of the students valued the opportunity to visit Tamaki Village and learn more about the Maori way of life, but perhaps none more so than Maori student Neil Wharekoka. Neil was glad of the chance “to show my class how my people lived in the old days – I ended up being the chief of our bus, because I know what to do on the marae. They had the meanest hangi there; it was beautiful,” says Neil.

Like a number of the students, Charlie notes that, despite being from New Zealand, “the places we went to like Rotoroa and Taupo I had never been to before. It was good to see just how beautiful our country really is.”

And the opportunity to socialise and get to know each other was something numerous students commented on.

“I really love my class. They’re awesome!” says Ginalee. “And without them this trip wouldn’t have had so many memories.”

“Our last night in Blue Duck Station was cool; we all sat around the fire just laughing.  It was good to just sit down and talk and get to know everyone,” says Margaret.

The students loved the huge number of exciting activities they were able to take part in from white water rafting, four-wheel driving, and bush walking, to bungy jumping.  A number of students got out of their comfort zones, including student Taima who braved the Agrodome’s Swoop, despite her fear of heights.

And the bigger picture of what it was all about wasn’t lost on the students.

“I learnt so much during this fantastic adventure,” says Tia. “The experience that I gained will help me to grow in the tourism industry. Being able to go out and gain experience at first hand was the greatest feeling. For me it’s what ITC and the tourism industry is all about. It’s about going out of your way to experience things that your client might like to do when they visit New Zealand.”

And Dinah offers some final words of wisdom for other ITC students who haven’t yet been on a famil trip: “Complete your assessments, attend class and you too could experience the time of your life!”

 

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ITC It’s all right here!

Posted on 12/11/2012 by

Just thought you might like to see our new ad staring our very own Malia! She is a real star and shows people who are keen to get ahead into the airline, travel and tourism industry what we have to offer!!! Real world training, to help our students get the best start in this fun industry! An ad with ‘real’ people and ‘real’ students, no actors needed!.

 

What do you think? We would love your feedback. And for all those students starting their NCEA exams this week, GOOD LUCK :)

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ITC Welcomes Lorna Cuddy

Posted on 15/10/2012 by

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Lorna Cuddy says she was born with aviation fuel in her veins: “My dad was an aircraft engineer for T.E.A.L. (now Air New Zealand), so outings to the airport were a regular activity – watching planes take off and land and admiring the elegant air hostesses, handsome pilots and the courteous ground staff – it all looked so glamorous, and I wanted to be a part of it.”
 
Lorna’s introduction to the industry was in a receptionist position with David Jones Traveland in Sydney. She worked hard to gain experience booking flights and excursions, issuing vouchers and tickets, and typing up itineraries.

Then she got the travel bug herself and set off for London via Europe on her OE.

“I had only been in the UK for two weeks when I landed my dream job at Heathrow Airport as a ground hostess with Pan Am,” she says. “It was only part time, but it was a foot in the door.”

In those days, says Lorna, training was all on the job. With great determination and commitment, she worked all the overtime that was available until she was fully trained and eventually offered a permanent, full-time job.

After 10 years at Heathrow, Lorna got the urge to return home to New Zealand. 

“Fortunately there was a vacancy at Auckland Airport and I was able to transfer with Pan Am.”

“Then one day we day we learnt that Pan Am was selling their Pacific routes to United Airlines and we were handed new uniforms – the good news was that we could all keep our jobs plus our years of service!

“Alas, United Airlines ceased flying into New Zealand in 2003 and I was forced to ‘retire’.” 

After nearly 29 years in the same job Lorna decided it was time to pursue her other passion: cooking.  

But when she signed up for Certificates in Cookery and Patisserie at AUT she didn’t realise it would spark a new interest in teaching. After working in a private training establishment teaching travel and tourism she went back to AUT to undertake a Certificate in Tertiary Teaching.

Since 2004 Lorna has taught at a number of tertiary institutions, including AUT, and says she is now delighted to be part of the team at ITC. 

“I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experiences with the learners at ITC and helping them achieve their goals and ambitions,” she says.

ITC is thrilled to welcome someone with Lorna’s experience and knowledge. Her airline career is an outstanding example of how the travel and tourism industry rewards passion, hard work and a can-do attitude.

Welcome Lorna!

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Discovery, excitement and adventure!

Posted on 03/10/2012 by

A group of ITC’s City Campus students and one very brave tutor set off on a wintery morning for four days of discovery in the mighty Waikato region.
The aim of this journey was to enhance the students’ knowledge of the travel and tourism industry within the Waikato region by showing them some of its main attractions.

Day 1 – The group was fortunate enough to secure the services of a Stray bus and driver and guide Dave (better known as Gollum). Dave provided commentary about each place the group passed through, and the journey was filled with lively music and banter.
 
The first stop on our journey was at Hobbiton. This was an ideal opportunity for the students to discover the “real” Middle Earth from The Lord of the Rings movies on a piece of picturesque private farmland near Matamata.

Base Rotorua was the students’ home for the first two nights. The hostel overlooks the beautiful historic Kuirau geothermal park and is within a few minutes’ walk of the lake and Rotorua’s cafè and shopping precinct. Excellent service and well-maintained accommodation makes it a great location for backpackers or those looking for stay-over accommodation.
 
Doug Tamaki, founder and owner of Tamaki Maori Village, briefed us before we headed off to the village. A truly inspiring leader with amazing stories, Doug shared the journey he embarked on many years ago in his quest to establish the village – a must-see for anyone new to New Zealand or those of us looking for a true heritage experience. En route to Tamaki Maori Village the guide, Kau, instructed the students on the protocol to be observed on the marae. Kau is a true professional who takes pride in his role.  As the visiting tribe, the group appointed tutor Jacques as the chief who would accept the peace offering and represent those on the coach. Representation of the group in this manner is considered an honourable task in Maoridom.
 
The group enjoyed the active participation in traditional ceremonies and being a part of a “living, working” Maori village. Students were taught how to perform the haka and had the opportunity to learn the art of flax weaving.
After some time exploring the village, the hosts invited the group to the hangi pit area.  The students participated in the hangi lifting and enjoyed a succulent meal.
After a busy first day, the members of the group retired to their rooms but many continued the festivities until early morning!
 
Day 2 – After breakfast in Rotorua, the group travelled to Rainbow Springs – an attraction like no other in the world! Upon arrival, Tony, the marketing manager, gave his insights into the workings of the sanctuary and the inner workings of the business. During the visit students had the opportunity to take part in several different activities, such as feeding native birds and fish, finding kiwis and experiencing the adrenalin rush of the Big Splash. A truly memorable experience that left a lasting impression on everyone.

The next stop was Agroventures. situated within the world-famous Agrodome. There, the students had the opportunity to choose one of four activities to participate in – the AgroJet, Freefall Extreme, Swoop and Shweeb.  This was definitely the highlight of the famil experience. The students loved these action-packed activities!
 
After lunch they enjoyed the natural hot spring, Kerosene Creek, on Old Waiotapu Road near Rotorua. It’s a beautiful hot spring in the middle of native bush with its own small waterfall.
Upon returning to Base Rotorua, the students relaxed the Lava Bar.
Day 3 – The morning of day 3 saw some tired-looking students dragging themselves to the bus to continue on their journey. The scenic route running along the foothills of Mt Ruapehu provided many photo opportunities and the group was awed by the beautiful surroundings.
 
Located in the Ruapehu District, Blue Duck Station is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. Greeted by a typical farm setup with gumboots and off-road vehicles in the waiting, this was no ordinary city slicker experience!  The students were split into two groups with one group venturing off to find the elusive Blue Duck, while the others embarked on a kayaking adventure.
Back at the Lodge, the group roasted marshmallows and exchanged experiences. The consistent theme of conversation was that if you were looking for a conservation package that also provided excitement and adventure, Blue Duck was where you wanted to be.
Day 4 – After four action-packed days in the Waikato Region, it was a very quiet ride home, with everyone thankful for the great adventure they had experienced.

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ITC Takes Scholarships to the World Wide Web

Posted on 27/09/2012 by

International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) has created a social-media-based competition for its 2013 scholarships.

“We thought it was a great way to engage high school students with the competition, but it also recognises the exciting role that social media has come to play in the travel and tourism industries and in education,” says ITC’s Marketing Director Claire Huxley.

“From online bookings to travel blogs and popular review sites like Trip Advisor, the internet increasingly plays a part in how people plan, experience and share their travels. ITC also offers online learning and e-books – so the web is a big part of our learning environment.”

Students will be asked to create a video or a blog that shows their passion and enthusiasm for the travel and tourism industries and their commitment to learning. They then need to post a link to their entry on the ITC Facebook competition page. The public will vote for their favourite entries, and students are encouraged to get family and friends involved in the voting.

“It’s such a great format,” says Claire, “like our own version of the X Factor or New Zealand’s Got Talent! We are really excited about giving students this chance to show us what they can do and the internet provides a perfect space for them to really get creative.”

ITC, which has campuses in Botany, central Auckland and distance learning, has been a premium supplier of training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996 and is conscious of staying on top of changes in the industry.

The college’s tutors have real-world experience, its two Airport Training Centres simulate actual airport environments, and strong connections with industry groups and operators provide students with onsite work experience and jobs.

“That all helps us to keep in touch with what’s important to employers in the industry and travellers and tourists in New Zealand and worldwide,” says Claire. “The role that the internet and social media plays has become increasingly clear and we are keen to make sure our students get to experience that as well.”

To find out more about the ITC 2013 Scholarship competition visit

https://www.facebook.com/ITCNZ/app_399543336780182

or

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ITC Excellence in Service Finalist

Posted on 05/09/2012 by

International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC) was last night announced as a finalist in the Excellence in Service category of the Westpac Auckland Central Business Awards 2012.

ITC, which has campuses in Botany and central Auckland, has been a premium supplier of training programmes for the airline, travel and tourism industries since 1996.

Award details from Auckland Chamber of Commerce say that the Excellence in Service category “recognises a business that shows consistent dedication to superlative service and demonstrates its commitment through its service policy, staff training and/or other specific means.”

ITC’s Marketing Director Claire Huxley says this description exemplifies the values of the college and its staff.

“We are in the business of service,” says Claire. “It is the foundation of the travel and tourism industries, and we need to walk the talk by providing excellent service ourselves.”

And that extends beyond its students and into the wider business community.

“We have a commitment to the travel and tourism industry in New Zealand and that starts with our staff. They are the ones who train the students who will ultimately go out and represent not just ITC but our country to the world. It’s crucial that we support them and give them the training and tools they need to do that well.”

ITC is no stranger to the business awards. The college won the Excellence in Marketing category at the 2011 Westpac Auckland Central Business Awards, Excellence in Marketing at the 2011 Westpac Manukau Business Excellence Awards, and in 2010 won both the Excellence in Service Delivery and Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality awards.

The category winners and the overall winner of this year’s Westpac Supreme Business Excellence Award will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner at The Langham, Auckland on Friday 2 November.

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ITC Student “Olympics” a Success

Posted on 28/08/2012 by

Students from two Level 5 International Travel College classes organised a 2012 Olympics event at the college.

The event was conducted as a quiz session along the lines of TV show “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?”

ITC tutor Lanthia Stewart oversaw the students’ organisation of the event and was impressed with the project management skills they demonstrated.

Lanthia initially briefed both classes on how to manage a project, and the students were asked to nominate and select a project manager by secret ballot.  Student Raffaela Macke was selected. 

Lanthia and tutor Jacques Janse Van Rensburg met with Raffaela and a team member from both classes to discuss the process and procedures to follow in managing a project.

“Raffaela then basically managed the whole project and event, with Jacues or I attending their progress meetings to provide guidance, advice and support,” says Lanthia.

“It was quite a challenge for them to decide on how they could run a really fun event without having the space to have any actual sporting events,” she says. “They settled on having an Olympics quiz, which was an excellent choice, as they could accommodate all the classes in the one student area.”

“To begin with they held a series of brainstorming sessions to decide on the activity, format, process, rules, criteria, prizes, judges, music, and team themes.”
 
“Then they identified all the tasks that needed to be performed, and grouped them under categories. The next step was to identify the people, resources and skills they had within the Level 5 classes, and to appoint teams with team leaders. They then allocated tasks with deadlines to each team and monitored and controlled the project with weekly meetings.”

Each class designed and dress a mascot to carry the class flag they created.

A “specialist” was nominated in each of the six categories: Ancient Olympic History, Modern Olympics, Olympic Destinations, Olympic Athletes, Olympic Flags, and Olympic Sports.

This team member sat in the “hot” seat and competed against the specialists from the other teams. 

Instead of using buzzers, it was the first contestant to hop on one leg and hold both hands in the air who was given the opportunity to select the correct answer from four possible choices. 

Contestants did not have the TV version’s options of asking the audience, 50/50 or phone a friend.
 
“The tutors entered a team, although they were not eligible for prizes,” says Lanthia. “The students had enormous fun watching the antics and the sometimes wrong answers of the tutor team!”

The prizes were:
 Best Mascot: One-day trip to Bay of Islands
Top team:  Return cruise tickets to Rotoroa Island
Second team: Single event tickets to Spookers
Third team: Movie tickets
Best class flag and mascot outfit design and production: Pizzas
 
“The whole event was a great success,” says Lanthia. “I was really impressed with the students’ maturity and competence. They all did an excellent job and everyone is anxiously awaiting the next student event!”

 

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