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ITC and Mai Chen encourage cultural competence in NZ tourism

25 February 2016

ITC Mai Chen and the Superdiversity Centre

The International Travel College of New Zealand (ITC), the Superdiversity Centre and top law expert Mai Chen have joined forces to encourage increased cultural competence in the New Zealand tourism industry.

Together, they will deliver an exclusive cultural competence course at ITC’s City Campus on April 6 and 7. Aimed at tourism operators and employees, this course is designed to help the industry better accommodate visitors from different cultural backgrounds.

Ms Chen is passionate about this topic and believes it will be essential to the success of tourism in New Zealand over the coming years.

“After writing the Superdiversity Stocktake: Implications for Business, Government and New Zealand (which has now been downloaded almost 90,000 times), I realised that cultural competence was the most important tool NZ needed to unlock the full potential of its ethnically diverse population and to reap the diversity dividend,” Ms Chen said.

The aim of this course is to arm people with the skills to appropriately interact with people from different cultural backgrounds – an ability the 2015 World Economic Forum listed as one of the 16 key 21st century skills needed to succeed.

“As New Zealand enjoys record numbers of tourists, many coming from China and India and not just Australia, the UK and the US, it is time to ensure tourism operators have the skills to maximise their success for the benefit of New Zealand as a whole,” Ms Chen added.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler welcomed the course saying it provides another tool in the toolkit for delivering an exceptional experience to international visitors.

“We know that it is the people of New Zealand that make the greatest impact on our visitors. As a nation we pride ourselves on our manaakitanga and the way we host our visitors as friends,” he said.

“By better understanding our visitors we can be better hosts and this course will deliver on exactly those objectives.”

Ms Chen said she chose to partner with ITC to deliver this course because of their outstanding reputation in the sector.

“I chose to devise the cultural competence for tourism module for ITC as it is the top PTE in the sector and market-leading and innovative,” she said.

The course is held over two days and features practical workshops, Q&A sessions and presentations from diverse industry leaders. For more information and to secure your place, visit:

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