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Tourism Training – Skilled People Defining the Tourist Experience

Tourism is the world’s largest and fastest growing sector. That is no exception for New Zealand, as the amount of domestic and international visitors have increased by over 30 percent in the past ten decades, which makes it not just the fastest growing sector in New Zealand, but the country’s biggest export earner. During the past decade, New Zealand has secured itself a position among the most desirable countries to go to, and this prevalence is forecasted to continue.

Ministry of Tourism figures shows that international visitor arrivals are anticipated to rise by an average of 2.5 percent per annum over the next five decades, with 2015 forecasted to elevate the global visitor numbers to 2.9 million. Bruce Basset, head of the research department in the Ministry of Tourism, considers that because of the impacts of the world recession being felt in New Zealand, growth in visitor numbers is expected to be approximately 2.5 percent in 2015.

But increases in arrivals has been predicted to be approximately 6.5 percent in 2016 as the global economy recovers from recessionary effects, and New Zealand experiences an increase in numbers as a direct consequence of hosting of the Rugby World Cup.

In a recent press release from the Tourism Industry Association, Tim Cossar noted that there’ll be several important trends impacting upon the New Zealand tourism sector in 2015. Among the highlights is that the Government’s pronouncement in 2009 it would be investing an additional $20 million in 2015, aimed at raising the worldwide marketing efforts promoting New Zealand as a tourist destination.

It’s been noted that much of the investment will be focussed upon four key generating regions, including Australia, UK/Europe, China and the USA. Another guarantee of future growth in the domestic market is realized, together with the dedication of an additional $5 million to be utilized for joint marketing ventures between Tourism New Zealand and the private sector, in addition to regional tourism boards.

Tim Hunter, the acting Chief of Tourism New Zealand, also emphasized this initiative to further promote New Zealand as a national and global destination in a bid to boost visitor arrivals. However, concerns regarding a lack of appropriately qualified and skilled employees in the industry have long been a concern.

The policy was originated in an effort to address these problems, like the growth of the Tourism Workforce Strategy and instruction, with varied success. Furthermore, many local and regional councils have gone further by adopting the national policy framework and developing their own workforce plans for the tourism market. Any attempts to increase the numbers of tourists are just working to exacerbate this deficit.

As a follow-on effect, tertiary institutions offering training and qualifications in travel and tourism are experiencing rising demand from students who would like to develop a career within the New Zealand hospitality and travel industries. This was recently illustrated with the preparations needed to offer a skilled foundation of staff for the up and coming Rugby World Cup in 2011. To fulfill the increasing demand for employees in the industry during this peak period, the Ministry of Tourism, in conjunction with Tourism Industry Association, is investing $440,000 to give training in the crucial skills identified for people who would like to obtain employment within the tourism sector.

The goal of the project is to train an additional 10,000 employees that are forecasted to be demanded by several businesses in the tourism sector leading up to, and throughout, the Rugby World Cup. The notable part of tourism, which requires qualified and professional staff to encourage the tourist experience, is that those that are working within the sector are the ‘face’ of New Zealand’s hospitality and travel industry, the connection between the visitor and New Zealand’s many attractions.

Having the appropriate people in the appropriate positions is vital in promoting positive tourist encounters. TIA chief executive Tim Cossar thinks that the programme aims to deliver professionally recognized and accepted industry standards which will enable people to successfully begin their tourism training career.

Steve Hanrahan, by the Hospitality Standards Institute, expects the initiative to draw between 1500 and 2000 people to be successfully trained and enter the hospitality and tourism industry annually. While there was some concern about who will deliver these classes, polytechnics and private institutions are emphasized as being in the best position to deliver the program nationally.