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Introducing Rachel Mackwood: Botany’s newest Course Advisor!

Posted on 27/03/2024 by

Rachel Mackwood is Botany’s newest Course Advisor!

Our Botany Campus students can consider themselves lucky, because we’ve just had a fantastic new Course Advisor join the team!

Her name is Rachel Mackwood, and her experience in the tourism industry and love for all things travel will be a huge help for students looking to get into this industry.

We asked Rachel to share her background and what she’s looking forward to most about this new role with ITC:

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Meet ITC’s fantastic new Tourism Education Tutor & Marketing Support person!

Posted on 21/02/2024 by

Seane is our new Tourism Education Tutor & Marketing Support person!

Seane Gifford, like so many of ITC’s incredible team, has an impressive background in travel and tourism.

She caught the travel bug from her mother at a young age, and always wondered what else was out there in the world for her to discover. That curiosity led to travels, qualifications, and amazing roles throughout her career.

Now, ITC is excited to welcome her to the team as a Tourism Education Tutor & marketing support person. We can’t wait to see her share her knowledge with students.

Learn more about her roots, her favourite job before now, what she’s looking forward to the most, and her advice for students below!

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Meet Vi Tran, our newest City Campus Tutor

Posted on 23/05/2023 by

Vi Tran is our wonderful new City Campus Tutor.

There can’t be many people in the world who have studied tourism in Vietnam, earned a scholarship to continue studying in France, worked in world-renowned hotels, opened their own hostels and a resort, lectured at Hoa Sen University, and travelled all over the world.

In fact, there might only be one – which is why we consider ourselves to be incredibly lucky to welcome the multi-talented and highly experienced Vi Tran to the team. Vi’s passion for travel and the tourism industry is evident in her history, and we’re excited for her to share her skills and experience as a tutor at our City Campus

Learn more about Vi’s incredible story. (more…)

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Meet Vanessa Barnett: Our wonderful new Course Advisor at the City Campus!

Posted on 03/05/2023 by

Meet Vanessa, our new Course Advisor at the City Campus.

The team at ITC and Study From Home is filled with incredible people who have worked all over the world, in all kinds of fascinating travel and tourism roles.

A perfect example is our newest Course Advisor at the City Campus, Vanessa Barnett. Bitten early by the travel bug, Vanessa went on to earn an Advanced Diploma in Travel and Tourism with ITC before spending many years working in wholesale travel, exploring some of the most far-flung destinations in the world as part of her work.

Needless to say, her stories and passion are sure to inspire many students and graduates. Here’s a little more about her story and just what she has to offer ITC and Study From Home.

How did you begin your passion for the tourism industry?

I’d always wanted to travel since I was a kid. So as soon as I could, I left home on the traditional Kiwi OE where I spent 4 years living in Dublin and London, but there was still so much of the world I wanted to see.

So WAAAYYY back in 2002 I enrolled at ITC and got my ‘Advanced Diploma in Travel and Tourism’, so after nearly 20yrs in the industry I have truly come full circle!

What does your travel industry history look like?

After graduating ITC, the employment services team got my foot in the door at Go Holidays, where I was able to learn about the role that wholesale plays within the travel industry – and is a sector I remained in for my entire travel career.

After learning the ropes at Go, an opportunity came for me to move to Adventure World, starting in the finals and documentation department before quickly moving into wholesale reservations, where I specialised in Africa and South & Central America – and in fact, I remained a travel specialist in these areas throughout my travel career.

That’s the fantastic thing about working in wholesale – a travel agent needs to know a little bit about a lot of destinations; so being able to go work with a wholesale team who specialise in one destination and knows it really well is invaluable for their clients. And of course, to know a destination, you need to travel there. My first famil was to Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil, where I was lucky enough to spend 4 days on the Amazon onboard the Desafio, a classic schooner ship where I caught and ate a piranha, made friends with a 5ft anaconda and watched a pod of pink Amazonian dolphins play around the boat as the sun rose.

I remained at Adventure World for 11 years, and during that time, I had the opportunity to travel to a lot of diverse countries, including Borneo (both Sabah and Sarawak—where I attended a music festival in the jungle, visited an Orangutan sanctuary, and released baby turtles), Chile, Peru (visiting the spectacular Machu Picchu), Bolivia (crossing Lake Titicaca and eating guinea pig), South Africa (where I travelled overland from Johannesburg to Cape Town), China (visiting the amazing Terracotta Warriors) and Hong Kong (shopping, anyone?). 

My next opportunity arose in the wholesale adventure department at House of Travel, again specialising in Africa and South & Central America, plus we looked after overland tour bookings with companies such as Intrepid, Explore Worldwide and GAdventures.

I still have a huge passion in these areas and I could talk for hours about the amazing cultural sites in Peru, how wonderful the steak and red wine is in Argentina, the diversity of flora and fauna within South Africa and the best places to see wild dogs in Botswana.

How will your experience help support students?

Having been a student here at ITC myself (albeit before some of our current students were even born) I can share with the students how invaluable this experience was for me and where it can take them.

Also, I think a lot of students come to us with knowledge about the more “well-known” aspects of working in the tourism industry – being a flight attendant, a travel agent or tour guide – but few, if any, know about the wholesale sector and the ability to specialise in an area they’re passionate about.

I can’t wait to tell them all about the amazing famils I’ve been able to go on – places I probably would never have had the opportunity to go to otherwise! 

What do you think are the most important skills to have in the tourism industry?

Passion! If you have a passion for travel, or for a particular area of the world, or even for showcasing the amazing things we have on offer here in Aotearoa, then that will take you far in the industry.

Depending on where you end up, you’ll also need flexibility and a willingness to adapt. There are so many different roles, areas and aspects to the travel industry, you’ll truly never know where you could end up! 

Having empathy for your clients is essential too – I know that in the roles I have had, I always tried to keep at the forefront of my mind that although this is just another day in the office for me; the itinerary I’m putting together is someone’s dream holiday – they may have spent years putting money aside for their trip of a lifetime – so no matter if it’s your 10th booking that week, it could well be that clients first time out of the country!!

What’s next for the tourism industry?

Covid dealt such a blow to the entire industry worldwide, but it’s back better and brighter than before. People have become so much more environmentally, socially and culturally conscious, and have had the past three years to really think about the impact we have had on our planet, and what kind of impact we want to have in the future; which has had a really positive effect on tourism.

Gone are the days where animals and people are used as tourist commodities and exploited. Instead indigenous cultures are being empowered to tell their own story to visitors, rather than being show-cased as a tourist “attraction” and animals and their native environment are being protected. Sustainable tourism, wildlife conversation projects and community projects are now a huge growth area for tourism – which is a fantastic thing to see!
 
What is your best advice for those getting into the industry now?

They couldn’t have picked a better time with so many sectors of the industry crying out for dedicated and passionate newcomers to fill their ranks now that our borders are back open and travellers are ready to get back out there! Because the industry is so varied – just because you start at a particular point doesn’t mean that you won’t end up somewhere totally different.

Experience within the industry is really important – and whatever you learn you will take with you – your skills will be transferrable. You may start out at the airport check-in and end up being a tour guide in Europe – you just never know! Honestly, the options are endless, you never know where Travel & Tourism will take you.

Study with ITC or Study From Home

Vanessa’s incredible international experiences, time at ITC, and passion for the industry as a whole make her the perfect person to become a Course Advisor for our students. We know she will not just inspire students and graduates, but help them to find the best journeys for them as well.

At ITC and Study From Home, our entire team is filled with professionals just like Vanessa. Everyone has experience in the travel and tourism industry in some way, with endless dedication to helping students and graduates get the most out of their careers.

Take a look at the courses we offer and where they might take you, or get in touch with any questions today.

Campus Study – college@itc.co.nz 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.itc.co.nz/contact-us/

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Get to know tutor, and brand new Employment Consultant, Kirsten Leith

Posted on 26/04/2023 by

We’re excited to have Kirsten move into an Employment Consultant role!

It’s been a whirlwind of new hires this year, and our latest addition to the team is every bit as exciting – but not exactly new.

Because Kirsten Leith is no stranger to ITC.

Kirsten has been a full-time tutor and Course Advisor for our Botany Campus, and now we are lucky to have her in the role as our Botany Employment Consultant. Her incredible expertise in the industry will prepare any graduate for an exciting career in our tourism or airline industry.

Not only that, but she also is our wonderful Business of Tourism Academy tutor for our South Auckland Academy. She will be delivering the 30 days over the year to our wonderful high school students from a variety of South Auckland schools.

We reached out to Kirsten to hear all about her story to date. 

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Meet Kimi-Ora Follas – our newest Course Advisor at the Botany campus!

Posted on 19/04/2023 by

Welcome to the team, Kimi!

We always love welcoming new members to the team, and we couldn’t be more excited to give a big ITC welcome to our newest Course Advisor, Kimi-Ora Follas.

Kimi-Ora is an ITC graduate herself, and has spent many years working in travel and tourism around the world and here in New Zealand. Her experience both in the industry and as a student will be hugely valuable to the students she works with, and the team as a whole.

We had a quick chat with Kimi-Ora to learn more about her experience, and what she brings to the team!

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New team member alert! Meet Jevasha Govender, ITC’s newest tutor!

Posted on 05/04/2023 by

Meet our newest tutor and daredevil, Jevasha!

ITC is over the moon to announce the arrival of Jevasha Govender – Jae – to our family. She is our newest travel and tourism tutor, and will be working at the Botany Campus.

Jae comes to us with a wealth of travel and tourism knowledge and experience. She has spent almost a decade working and travelling around the world, including time with Disney Cruises, Norwegian Cruises, and the Cunard line.

She has also managed a number of premium accommodations around New Zealand, and has her level 7 hotel management qualifications.

Of course, we had to ask her a little more about her experience, her knowledge, and her advice.

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Introducing: ITC’s new Tourism Education Tutor!

Posted on 08/02/2023 by

Welcome to Laura Orsbourn, the newest member of the ITC family!

ITC is over the moon to welcome a brand new member of the team: Laura Orsbourn.

Laura will be a Tourism Education Tutor and provide marketing support for the Schools Team.

Not only is Laura an ITC graduate, having completed the Levels 3 and 4 Certificate in 2012 with distinction, she was also Student of the Year! After graduating, Laura worked at the Grand Mercure, where she was again honoured with the title of Employee of the Year. There, she worked in supervisor and training roles as well.

Laura returned to ITC in 2019 to complete the Level 5 Diploma before heading overseas to work for Disney. Since her return, she has been working at Tourism Holdings Ltd as a booking host and coordinator.

And now, finally, she returns to ITC once again – but this time as a team member! We’re so excited to have her, and of course had to take a moment to ask her more about her history and what she will bring to the ITC family.

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Meet Louise Swann: Tourism guru and ITC’s newest Course Advisor

Posted on 18/10/2022 by

Louise Swann is ITC’s new Course Advisor.

All of the team members at ITC and Study From Home have a genuine passion for travel and tourism, with countless years of experience in the industry. We believe that’s vital if we’re going to train the next generation in how to work in travel and tourism.

With our newest team member Louise Swann (or Lulu), we’re bringing in decades of experience. But not just that, we’re welcoming back a student who graduated 20 years ago, spent that entire time travelling the world, meeting people, and gaining experience in the industry.

Now, Lulu is back at ITC as a brand new Course Advisor, and is ready to share her wealth of experience and relentless energy and passion for tourism with students.

We asked her a little more about how it all began and what she’s been up to over the past two decades. Here’s what she had to say! 

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Meet Michelle Newsome: ITC’s newest team member!

Posted on 09/02/2022 by

Michelle Newsome has recently joined the ITC Schools Team, bringing with her a wealth of travel knowledge and experience.

Michelle Newsome is ITC’s newest team member, joining the Schools Team as a Tourism Educator.

And it only takes a moment hearing about her background or her passion for the industry to see why she’s the perfect fit for the role.

From the historic sites of Europe to nomadic safaris in Queenstown, Michelle has seen (and worked) it all. So we sat down for a quick introduction.
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