HNZ welcomes insights into young people’s perceptions of the tourism & hospitality sector

27 Aug 2018

Hospitality New Zealand Chief Executive Vicki Lee has welcomed a report released by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) and Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) which undertook research into young people’s perceptions of the tourism & hospitality industry in New Zealand.

More than 1,700 young people (more than 60% of which were tertiary students), parents, teachers, and career advisors took part in the study, which produced both qualitative and quantitative analysis. The report focused on how young people received information about the tourism and hospitality sectors, and the perceptions they formed around tourism and hospitality as viable career paths.

CEO Vicki Lee said this research would help the tourism and hospitality sector develop more solid strategies to show young people that there are many attractive, sustainable opportunities and careers in this rapidly growing industry.

“As New Zealand tourism and hospitality continues to grow, it will be increasingly essential that the industry attracts and retains quality candidates. The roles in which shortages are forecast include managers in all areas - as well as baristas, chefs and waiters,” she said.

While the study showed that some young people liked the idea of working outside an office and the social, cultural and adventure aspects of tourism and hospitality roles, the research also suggested that some “myth busting” needed to be done to counter perceptions that tourism and hospitality roles were not well paid or might not lead to a fulfilling career. 

“Hospitality actually offers fantastic opportunities for people in both cities and regions. Hospitality jobs allow people to gain transferable skills in a hands-on environment, meaning people often quickly work their way up in the industry, and can also take what they’ve learned wherever they go”.

The participants surveyed suggested they would be best engaged in this area through social media, but they also credited advice from parents, friends and careers advisers as playing a part when making decisions about careers.

“The research indicated the industry needs more promotion overall to show the viable, diverse career paths the sector can offer young people. It also showed that parents, teachers and advisors need better education about the opportunities in the industry, and that industry players need to work together to promote the benefits of tourism and hospitality roles better too,” Vicki Lee said.

Hospitality New Zealand is a member of the Steering Group assisting with developing a Tourism Skills Campaign designed to address some of these issues, and welcomes further collaborations that attract young people to a sustainable career in hospitality.

“We’re also looking closely at the opportunities presented by Mana in Mahi, a great new initiative that will help young people get into a job and address some of the skill shortages in New Zealand,” Vicki Lee said.

Hospitality New Zealand celebrates the valued contribution young New Zealanders make to the industry through its annual Future Leaders Day and Rising Stars Awards, both of which reflect the high calibre of young people we have and the unique talents they bring to the industry.


View the report here


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