Authenticity is the key to NZ tourism success

Authenticity is the key to NZ tourism success

Authenticity is the key to NZ tourism success

Ara
Institute of Canterbury has introduced a new Bachelor of
International Tourism and Hospitality Management to help the
tourism sector ensure that the growing number of
international visitors to New Zealand have world class and
authentic experiences – every time.

“In tourism you
have one chance to get it right,” the new Programme Leader
in International Tourism and Hospitality Management at Ara,
Dr Michael Shone says. “To do that, people across the
tourism industry need the skills and knowledge to deliver
high quality experiences.”

The 3.59 million
international visitors to this country annually – or
187,000 on any one day – is expected to continue to grow.
Projections indicate that the sector will need an additional
20,000 service workers over the next 10 years. This makes
tourism an attractive prospect for exciting entry level
occupations with good career progression and the option to
work internationally.

The new qualification will ensure
that Ara graduates have the understanding and experience to
progress to management positions both here and overseas. The
qualification is also ideal for upskilling for those already
in the work force.

“Tourism is a globalised industry.
The supply and demand flows are international, so we need to
raise our eyes to see what global trends look like. How do
they impact on our practice here in New Zealand? How do we
incorporate contemporary issues such as authenticity and
sustainability into our work?”

For inspiration, Dr Shone
looks to Melbourne, a city that is he says; “really clever
at how they present themselves as a city and create a range
of engaging and clearly defined tourism
experiences”.

“Melbourne’s brand is not just sport
tourism, it is not just AFL, Grand Prix or the Australian
Open; it’s arts and culture, it’s shopping, it’s also
the Mornington Peninsula and the Great Southern Ocean.
Melbournians have a healthy competitive streak against
Sydneysiders, so there’s a really good motivation to
differentiate themselves.”

While a lot of places fail on
the authenticity scale, Melbourne, Dr Shone says, “strikes
me as being a nice mature city; they are comfortable in
their skin. Rather than offering tourists what they think
they want, they say ‘this is who we are, these are the
things you can do here – take it or leave it’. I think
that goes a long way towards authenticity.”

Meanwhile in
New Zealand, we don’t have the scale of Melbourne with its
population of 4.5million, but we do have good products and
differentiation – from Lord of Rings site photo
opportunities to oyster festivals and starry skies. How we
maintain and deliver those experiences and cultivate
authenticity will be the challenge for the new managers
coming through in the industry.

To help them prepare for
those challenges Ara has stepped up from the tourism
certificates and diplomas it currently offers.

The new
degree incorporates extended work placements to ensure that
students are ready to hit the ground running with skills and
experience to contribute to deliver excellent experiences
straight away.

The Bachelor of International Tourism and
Hospitality Management is ready for semester 2 enrolments.
For those wanting to upskill to the next level, Ara also
recognises professional experience towards academic credits
through the Centre of Assessment of Prior Learning (CAPL) at
Ara.

ends

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