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Our industry is studded with great leaders doing amazing things every day in venues
across the country. If you’re driven to succeed in hospitality, further education is imperative.
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.
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