Skills shortages and career progression in the tourism and hospitality sector are the first priorities of the new Industry Transformation Plan being drawn up for tourism.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has outlined next steps in the Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) for the sector, originally foreshadowed in May as part of the $200 million Tourism Communities Support, Recovery and Re-set package.
“The Tourism ITP will be ground-breaking because the industry’s recovery strategy will be based on a partnership between government, industry, workers and Māori interests,” Stuart Nash said.
“The Tourism ITP will prioritise regenerative tourism, which means the industry seeks to build social licence by giving back more than it takes from people, places and the environment.
“The first stage of the ITP will focus on ‘better work’ and developing the tourism workforce. Like any industry, success depends on those working within it. This means investing more in people, deepening the talent pool, lifting skill levels and ultimately providing better work for those in the tourism and hospitality industries.
“There is a huge opportunity for all of us with a stake in tourism to support and develop different pathways for people keen on a career in the industry. This includes formal education and training, direct paths through paid work, experience in conservation or the primary sector, or cultural knowledge of manaakitanga and kaitiakitanga.
“The disruption of the global COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to step back and work collaboratively on a vision for tourism of the future. The Tourism ITP will focus on actions that all partners can take to address skills and career questions in the industry.
“I am also signalling the second priority for the ITP will be environmental challenges posed by tourism. This will build on valuable work by the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, the Tourism Futures Taskforce, and the NZ Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy, amongst others.
Stuart Nash also announced the co-chairs and wider leadership group who will develop the ITP. I’m pleased Gráinne Troute has accepted the position of industry co-chair. She is currently chair of Tourism Industry Aotearoa, and an experienced leader in the sector.
“John Crocker, National Secretary of Unite Union, has accepted the role of union co-chair. The government co-chair is Karl Woodhead, acting General Manager of MBIE’s Tourism Branch.
“Membership of the ITP Leadership group is being finalised, and the following people confirmed:
- Bridget Legnavsky, RealNZ
- Charlie Phillips, Queenstown Resort College
- Donna Purdue, MBIE.
- George Hollinsworth, E Tū Union
- Gillian Millar, Accor Hotels
- John Barrett, Kāpiti Island Nature Tourism
- Julie White, Hospitality Association New Zealand
- Les Morgan, Sudima Hotels
- Nikki Dines, Air New Zealand
- Pania Tyson-Nathan, New Zealand Māori Tourism
- Paul Retimanu, Manaaki Management
- Sheryl Cadman, First Union
- Trent Yeo, Ziptrek EcoTours
“I expect to receive a first draft of the Better Work Action Plan for tourism in the second quarter of 2022, after which the group will consult widely.
“I’m confident the ITP will transform the industry in partnership across government, business, workers and Māori. Tourism has had its challenges but I echo the Prime Minister’s recent words: he rā ki tua – better times are coming,” said Stuart Nash.