Multi-million-dollar funding boost to encourage tourism
Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development welcome today’s announcement by the Government that it is awarding $5.2 million from the new International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) to help promote and attract talent into the visitor economy through the expansion of the Go with Tourism initiative.
Go with Tourism is an innovative online job-connector platform which was launched by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) earlier this year, generating strong early results for a sector experiencing significant skills shortages.
Go with Tourism was developed following Perceptions Research in 2018 jointly commissioned by ATEED and TIA, which identified some of the myths and misconceptions about working in tourism and how they might be overcome.
ATEED and TIA will now support the platform’s incorporation into a wider national programme of activity to build the tourism workforce.
The funding was announced this afternoon by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis at the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand Annual Conference 2019 in Christchurch.
The $5.2m investment is a significant boost for the tourism industry in its bid to attract new talent. It is estimated that 40,000 new tourism workers need to be recruited by 2025 to address forecast labour shortages.
The funding will support a range of initiatives identified in the Careers in Tourism business case commissioned in 2018 by the People & Skills Forum to counter some of the poor perceptions young people and their key influencers may have of careers in tourism.
Steve Armitage, ATEED General Manager – Destination, says “we are delighted that the Government along with tourism industry leaders have seen the clear value of the mahi we have done to establish the Go with Tourism platform, and has endorsed the financial support to roll both the platform and the wider package of initiatives out across the country.
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“Getting more people into tourism is one of the key strategic imperatives to emerge from the Destination AKL 2025 strategy and is a particular focus for us given the mega opportunities that are fast approaching us in 2021, starting with the 36th America’s Cup.”
Chris Roberts, Chief Executive of TIA, says today’s announcement funds one of three coordinated work streams aimed at building the tourism workforce over the next 3-5 years.
The repackaged Go with Tourism programme will include the expansion of the current platform into more regions, setting up a national hub with a dedicated team to manage the initiative along with regional coordinators, building an online knowledge hub for everyone in the industry, and organising engagement opportunities nationwide, such as school ambassadors, industry open days and a ‘Pledge a Placement’ programme.
“By partnering with ATEED and Go with Tourism, which is ready to roll out across the country, we can quickly implement the package of initiatives aimed at firstly educating New Zealanders about opportunities to work in tourism and then creating bridging opportunities into the industry,” says Roberts.
“The other two workstreams are about improving education and workforce planning, and upskilling programmes for businesses. TIA is continuing to work with government officials and ATEED to pull together the full Investment Plan for Building the Tourism Workforce.”