So the question is being asked: where are the training institutions or schools teaching and preparing kids for employment in tourism?
In all regions there is concern about meeting the growing need for ‘human resources’ – aka trained staff. New Zealand needs more people trained for careers in tourism and hospitality. Yet Tourism was dropped as an NCEA school subject two years ago?
So isn’t it strange that young people cannot study towards qualifications in our biggest, arguably then the most important industry where the range of employment opportunities are on a strong upward curve. Many hotels cannot find suitably qualified staff.
An example is dairy industry studies which demonstrated vocational guidance skill level training would return two to three dollars for every dollar invested, while management training yielded between 10 and 20 times that.
Visitor feedback on NZ’s hosting skills is reasonably consistent. International guests love Kiwi style laid-back, friendly, helpful attitudes but there is also a need for an improved degree of professionalism that can only come from focused training.
So why don’t kids learn about the importance of the tourism industry at school? Maori language, Te Reo, learning is fascinating, but really? It does not qualify or prepare the kids for the real world.
(i.e. When I went to school in the dim dark ages we had to learn Latin…)
New Zealand is increasing investments in tourism infrastructure in anticipation that the growing tourist market will continue to need much more investment. But where is the investment in job training skills at school level? Once they leave school they go on the dole and from then on their mind set is rarely suitable…
One of the tourism challenges is making such investments viable all year-round. There is much to be done in expanding the window by encouraging shoulder – low-season visitors. That is where TRM have been using this blog to encourage more promotion in fly fishing but – so far – not unexpected – nobody has taken any notice.
Comparatively we have to admit, recreational biking is far more sexy and fashionable and popular but it is really only a summer activity.
Much of the recent growth in bike trails (called Nga Haerenga – although few understand what that means?) are in remote locations where there are very limited employment opportunities yet the schools still don’t teach tourism basics?
Even the Prime Minister knew this would happen years ago when he appointed himself as Minister of Tourism. At our tiny end of the tourism scale he practically invented the numerous bike trails by Government’s investment and promotion in pedal power to drive tourism – 23 great rides over 2,500 km in remote regions to encourage tourists into biking. You understand these are not the serious road cyclists but for more casual off-road “lycra free” recreational tourist fun biking!
Tourist bike trails have and will now become the future economic base of many small struggling heartland rural towns (Turangi?) which would otherwise crumble.
But even bike trails still need suitably educated staff with a basic understanding to cope with the demands and dynamics of the rapidly growing tourist industry.
Overview of latest international travel trends…..
Travel statistics for major source and destination countries – Four weeks ended 3 July 2016
International visitor arrivals
Total visitor arrivals are up 11% compared to the same four-week period last year.
UP: Korea 36%, India 26%, Singapore 19%, China 18%, USA 17%, UK 11%, Japan 10%, Australia 4%, Canada 4%, Germany 2%.
New Zealand resident departures
Total trips abroad by NZ residents are down 2% compared to the same four-week period last year.
UP: India 25%, China 20%, Cook Islands 13%.
DOWN: UK 1%, Australia 4%, Fiji 4%, USA 4%, Indonesia 4%, Samoa 5%, Thailand 14%.
Source: Statistics New Zealand
Fewer New Zealanders in motels and hotels in May 2016….. compared with May last year, domestic guest nights were down 6.4 percent, with motels and hotels accounting for most of the fall. In contrast, international guest nights were up 9.7 percent, with gains for stays at both hotels and motels.
Overall, total national guest nights for May 2016 were down just 0.4 percent on May 2015, a media release from Statistics NZ says.”International guest nights continued to rise strongly, but were offset in May by a fallback in domestic guest nights,” business indicators senior manager Neil Kelly said. “May 2015 was a record May month for domestic and total guest nights.”
For May 2016, compared with May 2015:
North Island guest nights were down 1.2 percent, while South Island guest nights were up 1.0 percent. Seven of the 12 regional areas had fewer guest nights. Two of the four accommodation types, particularly motels, had fewer guest nights.
For the year ended May 2016, national guest nights were up 5.3 percent from the May 2015 year.
The trend for national guest nights continued to rise in May 2016. Seasonally adjusted guest nights fell 1.5 percent, after fluctuations in March and April.
The Accommodation Survey collects data for guests staying in hotels, motels, backpacker accommodation, and holiday parks in New Zealand each month. Private accommodation is excluded.
Source: Stats NZ
Holiday arrivals from China exceed Australia in May…….
Visitor arrivals numbered 193,600 in May 2016, setting a new May record, Statistics New Zealand said. Visitor arrivals were up 10 percent from May 2015, driven by an increase in holiday arrivals. Holiday visitor arrivals from China exceeded those from Australia in May 2016. This is only the second time this has ever happened, the first was in February 2015. In the May 2016 year, visitor arrivals hit a record 3.29 million, up 11 percent from the May 2015 year. Source: Statistics New Zealand
International tourism spend surpasses $10 billion for the first time……
Value and volume in the tourism sector continues to rise with new data sets showing yet more international visitors came this April than last and each of those visitors is spending more while here.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler says the results are evidence that the organisation is making a real difference for the industry, as it focuses its efforts on increasing value.
International Travel and Migration data, released today by Statistics New Zealand, shows total visitor arrivals for the year ending April up 10.6 percent and holiday arrivals up 15.5 percent.
In addition, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s International Visitor Survey shows total international spend up 25 percent for the year ending March pushing total spend to over $10 billion for the first time.
In a media statement Bowler says: “To see this level of growth in off-peak arrivals is exceptionally good news for the industry – by extending the traditional peak season it enhances employment opportunities and the value growth is bringing significant economic benefit to the country.”
The Prime Minister has announced additional funding for the tourism industry, including $8 million for Tourism New Zealand over the next four years. “The increased funding will be used to target growth opportunities from the USA and India to generate value for the industry now and into the future.”
Arrivals from the US have continued to grow strongly with total arrivals for the year ending April up 10.6 percent. This is further bolstered by spend which is up 46 percent for the year ending March to $1.2 billion.
“Additional marketing activity will be seen immediately in the US with Tourism New Zealand’s investment set to capitalise on newly announced air services – which are expected to result in a 30 percent increase in seats between the United States and New Zealand,” he says.
Total arrivals from India are up 11.4 percent while holidays arrivals are up 16.4 percent for the year ending April. “Indian visitors prefer to travel outside our peak seasons, directly supporting our objective to spread arrivals throughout the year and the extra funding will further support activity to drive growth from this market.”
China continues to grow with total arrivals up 29.2 percent and holiday arrivals up 34.0 percent for the year ending April. “This is supported by growth in spend in the China market which is also up 41 percent to an average $4,900 per visitor.
“Our number one visitor market Australia has maintained steady growth with total arrivals for the year ending April up 6.8 percent and holiday arrivals up 9.1 percent.”
Arrival figures for the UK and Germany have also shown solid growth, with holiday arrivals for Germany up 16.4 percent and the UK up 10.3 percent year on year.
May tourism expenditure boost for regions …..
Regions are continuing to benefit from the tourism sector’s focus on attracting more visitors outside peak periods, Associate Tourism Minister Paula Bennett says. The latest Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates released today show most regions showed growth in tourism expenditure over the year to May 2016. The fastest growing region was Otago, which increased ten per cent over the year to $3.2 billion, followed by Nelson (up nine per cent to $295 million) and Auckland (up eight per cent to $6.7 billion).
“I’m pleased to see strong increases in some of the areas we’re particularly supporting to diversify their local economies through the Regional Growth Programme,” Mrs Bennett says. Northland is up six per cent on 2015 to $932 million, Manawatu-Wanganui increased seven per cent to $868 million, and Bay of Plenty grew by six per cent to $1.6 billion. “Regional breakdowns of the monthly expenditure are being made available by MBIE to help the sector to plan and invest strategically. This is part of a wide range of government initiatives supporting the sector,” Mrs Bennett says. “The Government has committed an additional $45 million over four years, on top of the $130 million already invested, to assist the sector to provide that unique New Zealand experience and attract high-value visitors outside the peak seasons. “As part of this, Budget 2016 allocated $12 million over four years to help smaller communities fund some of the mid-sized infrastructure needs that result from increased tourist numbers. “Since 2008, we’ve invested an unprecedented $700 million in tourism and tourism promotion, and these May results show the Government’s unwavering commitment to the sector is paying off.” Source: NZ Government
26 New Zealand wide extra hotels needed…..
It is estimated a total of 26 additional hotels, above and beyond what is currently planned, will be needed over the next ten years to meet expected tourism demand in our major tourist centres, according to new independent research. The research is a key part of “Project Palace”, a programme to accelerate new private sector investment in New Zealand’s hotel infrastructure led by NZTE and the Government’s Investment Attraction Taskforce. This is the first time we’ve had quantified data on the effect that the tourism growth projections will have on hotel occupancy. This research will be a great help to private investors considering when and where to invest in New Zealand’s fast-growing tourism accommodation industry.
NZTE, Tourism New Zealand (TNZ), and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) commissioned the research report to gain a more accurate understanding of the demand and supply for hotel accommodation now and in the future across peak and off-peak seasons. Communities right across New Zealand are benefiting from the unprecedented growth in tourism, and the Government is focussed on ensuring our towns and cities are well placed to host these visitors. The research focused on Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown and shows that, if demand and supply estimates are borne out, the shortfall in new hotel rooms is expected to be up to 4,526 across these centres by 2025, over and above new hotels currently planned. That is the equivalent of 26 hotels the size of the Sofitel Viaduct in Auckland.
While there is significant hotel investment underway and planned, this report underlines the size of the opportunities there are to grow the sector in New Zealand. The Project Palace work will help match make investors with opportunities, and reduce the time taken to fill information gaps that can slow down investment. NZTE, TNZ and MBIE are working together with local government and the private sector to identify available locations for additional hotels in each of the five locations studied and to pave the way for attracting new investment in hotel development.
NZTE will be using the research as the basis for a prospectus that outlines the business case for investment in New Zealand hotels to domestic and international investors. NZTE’s strong international networks will be invaluable in approaching international investors with specific opportunities that highlight why New Zealand is a prime destination for quality hotel development. Tourism is a big part of our diverse, resilient economy, directly contributing $11 billion or almost 5 per cent to GDP.
Attracting high-value foreign investment into New Zealand is part of the Government’s Investment Attraction Strategy, and contributes to Government’s Business Growth Agenda target of attracting an extra $160 billion to $200 billion of capital by 2025. Source: New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.