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Mark Burton - Pac. Intl. Hotel Management School

Hon. Mark Burton Address
Pacific International Hotel Management School

E nga reo, E nga Waka, E nga iwi - Tena Koutou
E nga mana, Rau Rangatira ma (E koro, ma E kui ma)
E nga hau e wha - Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou Katoa


To all respected people gathered here for this celebration - Tena koutou katoa.

Firstly, I would like to extend a warm welcome to our overseas guests. For some of you this might be your first visit to New Zealand, so I hope that you will have the time to enjoy the many good things the Taranaki Region and New Zealand has to offer.

I would also like to acknowledge my Ministerial colleague Harry Duynhoven, Your Worship, Peter Tennent and Tony Gray, Chief Executive of the Pacific International Hotel Management School. Thank you for inviting me to join you in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Pacific International Hotel Management School. It's a pleasure to be here and to be part of the celebrations.

Tourism Contribution to the Economy

As many of you will know, tourism is the world's largest industry, and tourism in New Zealand has emerged as an international success story.

In 2003, international tourism's contribution to total exports was $7.4 billion-close to 18 per cent of our total exports. Combined with our strong domestic market, total tourism spending represents nearly 10 per cent of GDP ($16.5 billion) and is also responsible for one in ten jobs.

The Importance of Quality Service Delivery

The hospitality sector is critical to the success of the wider tourism industry in New Zealand. Tourism's continued success rests in no small part with the interactions the hospitality sector has with our visitors. By continually raising the quality of the service we provide, New Zealand's tourism industry will, I am confident, continue to flourish, in an extremely competitive global market.

The importance of quality service delivery is emphasised in the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010. The strategy is clear on the significance of matching how we promote ourselves in our offshore marketing campaign, with the quality of the experience when visitors arrive. Tourism New Zealand has identified the interactive traveller as New Zealand's ideal traveller. Interactive travellers are high yield visitors, but they are discerning, expecting a high quality experience and service.

The Need for More Skilled Staff

And so, the supply of staff and the need for skills that meet the requirements of the tourism industry are key growth and sustainability issues. New Zealand's strong economic performance and corresponding low unemployment rates mean that the tourism industry is competing with other growing industry sectors to attract quality employees, such as the graduates who come through this school.

Last year, the Tourism Workforce and Skills Projections report identified the future labour force requirements for the tourism industry. It was found that in excess of 31 000 additional people are required to meet the needs of the projected expansion in the industry to 2010. And on current trends, a further 89,000 people (or 12,750 per year) will also be required as replacement staff to cover turnover in the tourism industry.

Finding suitably skilled employees to fill these positions will be a challenge for the tourism industry. Industry and government are currently working on a Workforce and Skills Strategy to address these challenges.

But challenges aside, this is good news for the students here, as there are clearly ongoing career opportunities for highly skilled people in this industry.

PIHMS - Contribution to the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

Your contribution at PIHMS to the hospitality industry has without a doubt, been invaluable. I know that this school has enjoyed many successes over the last 10 years; including significant increases in student numbers (particularly the number of international students), a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Export Award for Education in 2003 and a high percentage of graduates placed in jobs upon graduation.

Indeed, I understand that in excess of 90% of graduates are offered employment prior to, or immediately on, successful graduation, and that graduates are often sought by leading hotel chains overseas. Of course, I would encourage graduates to stay and work in New Zealand! And if you go overseas, I encourage you to eventually bring your international skills back here, to enrich the hospitality industry, because clearly what is good for the hospitality industry can only be good for the wider tourism industry - and the New Zealand economy.

Conclusion

This is not a day for long speeches, so, I congratulate you on your successes, and I know that as a founding member of the ORION Hotel Schools Global Alliance, you will continue to be at the leading edge of hospitality and tourism management education, both nationally and internationally, in the years to come.

I would like to thank you again for inviting me to share this occasion with you. I am confident that, based on your performance over the last 10 years, this institution will continue to make a significant contribution to the tourism and hospitality sectors.

On that note, it gives me great pleasure to officially open the recently refurbished school hotel reception area, and I wish you well with the remainder of the celebrations.

ENDS


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