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Education and quality key to managing tourism

Education and quality key to managing tourism sector challenges

Attention to education, quality management, strategic thinking, and strong public/private partnerships are the best tools for confronting both the short and long-term issues the tourism sector is facing, according to Minister of Tourism Mark Burton.

Speaking in Dunedin at the opening of the Sir George Seymour College of Tourism and Travel’s fifth campus, Mark Burton stressed that realising the full potential of New Zealand’s tourism market would require the ongoing efforts of the entire sector.

“New Zealand must keep focusing on delivering a high-quality, world-class experience to each and every one of our guests—exceeding their expectations every single time.”

“To do this, the industry needs to continue its commitment to quality that encompasses the training of employees, developing business practices, and delivering excellence in both products and services. New Zealand is building an ever more professional, high-quality tourism industry, with a strong commitment to quality and sustainability becoming the norm throughout the sector.

“The high-quality training received at Sir George Seymour College’s is a significant contribution to this goal. The people who work on the front line of the industry need training, skills, and a commitment to quality that shows through in their interactions with every customer.” Mark Burton congratulated the students for choosing a career in tourism. It is, he says, “nothing less than New Zealand’s most exciting and potentially valuable industry—an industry that is currently being presented with both challenges and opportunities. “To manage the short-term impacts of such events as the war in Iraq and the SARS virus, it is important that New Zealand has a fundamentally strong industry—an industry with a focus on quality, a vision of where it is going and who its customers are. Our businesses must adhere to best practice in all aspects of their own operations, and they must be staffed by appropriately skilled, qualified and motivated people.

“But the sector is also facing the long-term challenge of sustainability. If we are going to realise the full potential of our thriving tourism market, we must continue to focus on the long term. We must work together to find the right balance between industry growth and care, protection, and, wherever possible, enhancement of our unique environments, as well for as the communities and cultures of New Zealand who host and supply the services to our guests.

“We must effectively encourage our guests to visit at different times of the year, to try a greater number of products, to stay longer, to explore a wider range of locations, and, of course, to spend more.

“New Zealand has staked out its place in the highly competitive international travel market. The goal now is to exceed the expectations of every single visitor to New Zealand. In a world of unlimited choice, we must make sure that our guests have a world-class experience—one that leaves them longing to return.”

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