Minister reveals new tourism plan's focus

Stuart Nash says the first stage of the plan would focus on developing the tourism workforce,...
Stuart Nash says the first stage of the plan would focus on developing the tourism workforce, including investing more in people, deepening the talent pool, and lifting skill levels. Photo: RNZ
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash says skills shortages and career progression are the first priorities of a new industry transformation plan for tourism and hospitality.

The minister unveiled the core focuses of the plan during the Go with Tourism Workforce Wānanga this morning.

The Industry Transformation Plan (ITP) was foreshadowed in May as part of the government's Tourism Communities Support, Recovery and Re-set package with about $10 million set aside for it.

"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," Nash said.

"The Tourism ITP will prioritise regenerative tourism, which means the industry will seek to build social licence by giving back more than it takes from people, places and the environment.

"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."

He said the first stage of the plan would focus on developing the tourism workforce, including investing more in people, deepening the talent pool, and lifting skill levels.

"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."

Nash also announced the co-chairs and leadership group who would develop the plan.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chair Gráinne Troute, Unite Union national secretary John Crocker and Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) tourism branch acting general manager Karl Woodhead have accepted the role of co-chairs.

The leadership team include RealNZ's Bridget Legnavsky, Queenstown Resort College's Charlie Phillips, MBIE's Donna Purdue, Kāpiti Island Nature Tourism's John Barrett, New Zealand Māori Tourism's Pania Tyson-Nathan, and Ziptrek EcoTours' Trent Yeo.

The group would consult widely, he said.

Nash said the plan did not need to rebuild the wheel because there were already plans and reports out there that had innovative ideas.

The first draft of the plan was expected in the second quarter of next year, he said.

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