Tourism is New Zealand’s largest industry, contributing to the economies foreign exchange and providing jobs and income – one in ten people now work in the tourism industry. Providing nearly $20 billion to the economy annually, contributing nine percent of the country’s total gross domestic product (GDP), the quality of workers within the industry is of utmost importance as they provide the ‘face’ for travellers in New Zealand. As well as contributing to the national economy, tourism is an important driver of regional economic growth, which supports the revitalisation of smaller towns and communities, some which are totally dependent upon tourism for their income. Furthermore, revenue derived from travel related activities enables local communities and councils to implement infrastructure, such as museums, leisure facilities, conventions centres and art galleries that benefit all that live in the community.
A major component of the travel experience is the interaction with locals and staff members; the product being sold is New Zealand itself, including its people. The skills, experience and abilities these workers possess directly correlate with levels of satisfaction that international visitors experience while travelling around New Zealand, and the bottom line revenue for the businesses they are employed by. Naturally, the level and quality of tourism training these individuals receive affects their ability to perform well in their positions, and the productivity and profitability of the New Zealand travel industry itself. The demand for qualified tourism personnel who are suitably trained and educated, is increasing as the industry experiences greater levels of demand.
According to the Ministry of Tourism, travel in New Zealand is set to expand, with projections up to 2015 showing a 4% increase in domestic tourism and 7.4% growth in international tourism, each year. Therefore, the demand for qualified tourism staff will not only continue, but increase. Events such as the Trenz 2010 conference which will bring over 270 international buyers from leading and emerging markets, only further the interest and demand for New Zealand as one of the world’s leading travelling destinations. According to Trenz, emerging markets such as China, South America and Eastern Europe will grow in their importance in relation to their contribution to the New Zealand economy. Further signs of this growth can be seen by the increasing demand being experienced by holiday parks, which has been well publicised.
Whether you are surveying your options for future employment or are thinking of a change of industry, the New Zealand tourism industry is placing more emphasis on employing not only larger numbers of people, but those who are suitably qualified to make a real impact within their operations. Tourism training is the key for securing a satisfying, rewarding and secure career within the New Zealand travel industry. Make the decision today.