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ITC Short Course team creates Eco Tourism program

Posted on 31/08/2021 by

An ITC Short Course guides students to create and execute sustainable ideas for their local communities.

When the pandemic put New Zealand tourism on pause in 2020, many New Zealanders and industry groups urged that we as a country take the opportunity to make the industry more eco-friendly.

The ‘Not 100% – but four steps closer to sustainable tourism’ report released in early 2021 was just one submission outlining ways we could improve how environmentally friendly our industry could be.

Additionally, the 2021 Sustainable Travel Report by Booking.com found that 77% of Kiwi travellers think sustainable travel is vital. 

At ITC, we also believe tourism can and should be more sustainable, which is why our short course team has recently created a new course dedicated to Eco Tourism.

The Eco Tourism Short Course at ITC

Late in 2020, Massey High School approached ITC to talk about delivering a Short Course that focused on eco tourism and sustainability.

As a result, we created a Short Course where students would design an idea that would support their local community. To do this, they had to research local companies and charities and come up with an idea that would improve sustainability in some way.

The 22 students involved worked together in small groups, and came up with these projects:

  • A kindergarten eco garden
  • A pillowcase drive
  • Pātaka Reuemi (a by-donation stationery cabinet) at the YMCA
  • A program to recycle dental waste
  • A beach clean up
  • An initiative offering micro-greens at the school cafe

During their work, each student developed new skills, knowledge, and confidence, and each one faced challenges and found their work hugely rewarding. At the conclusion of the course, each student also had to put together a presentation, which their tutor Daniel said were “outstanding”, and “a true testament of their hard work”.

Creating the course

As an industry leader in New Zealand for travel and tourism education, ITC was excited to take the lead in creating this eco tourism course.

“The aim of all eco tourism in New Zealand is to reduce the negative impacts on the surrounding environment, and even try returning something back to the environment, for example, with volunteer work. So I decided to create a unit that would give students an opportunity to create sustainable projects in their own community,” explains course creator Mel.

Daniel Maine, a tutor at ITC, delivered the Short Course, and was proud to see students take to the content matter so naturally.

“New Zealand Tourism is committed to leading the world in sustainable tourism – Toitū te taiao, toitū te tāpoi. E kōkiri ana e Aotearoa. The Massey High School students jumped at the opportunity to learn everything about being eco-friendly and sustainable,” he said.

The focus on sustainability in the industry was a sentiment shared by Massey High School teacher Sadie van der Kraaij.

“New Zealand Tourism, Post-COVID, is already shaping up to have a far greater focus on Eco-Tourism and Sustainability. It has been great to collaborate with ITC and offer students a taste of what this will look like for our industry moving forward. The project side of this course has provided authentic learning experiences for our students to work within our community and leave a legacy before they depart on their future pathways. Eco-Tourism has offered an alternative focus for our classroom, and one that has further developed their collaborative and communication skills.”

Find out more

“This is another example of the work that ITC does in schools Nationwide. As a reputable education provider we are regularly approached to build and design courses to suit the needs of our students. It is important that we adapt and support the industry through education programmes like this and we look forward to running more of these courses in future and seeing more sustainable projects in communities across our beautiful country,” says Mel.

If you are in high school and are interested in joining one of our short courses, or if you are a teacher or course coordinator at a high school would like us to design a course for your students, please email schools@itc.co.nz to find out more.

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