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NZ Hotel Council grows membership

Wednesday 26 October 2005

NZ Hotel Council grows membership

An airline and executive tourism education provider have today been approved for associate membership by New Zealand Hotel Council's (NZHC) board.

Chairman Steve Kirkpatrick says although membership to date has focussed on larger hotels, there has been growing interest from other accommodation providers and organisations that support what NZHC stands for and want a closer working relationship.

"We are delighted to welcome Air New Zealand and the Queenstown Resort College into our new categories of Associate and Corporate Membership. Both are committed to the growth of quality tourism and continue to take leadership roles in their specific sectors."

Air New Zealand Senior Vice President Sales, Distribution, Regional Airlines & Cargo, Norm Thompson, says although his company has been an active participant in and supporter of tourism for many years, the opportunity to work cooperatively with other major players is increasingly valued as the industry goes from strength to strength.

"No one organisation or individual can claim credit for the fact that tourism is today acknowledged as a major success story in our country. But nothing can be taken for granted, particularly in such a competitive, changing environment. We all have to continuously improve our own operations, as well as actively seek alliances with other like-minded groups to ensure there is a shared commitment to deliver quality services and products going forward."

Jan Fitz-Gerald, Chief Executive of the newly-established Queenstown Resort College (QRC), says her organisation is focussed on providing world-class executive education to the wide range of people who are currently working or interface with the tourism industry.

" There is no point bemoaning the fact that our industry is desperately short of skilled people - at all levels - and that we could, probably should, have planned better for future expansion. This is why in these few months before QRC officially opens, we have concentrated on providing tourism leaders with access to a number of acknowledged international experts. There's already a changing attitude to career development and the need for ongoing executive education as well as acceptance that we must deliver the best possible basic training to ensure services and experiences are memorable for the right reasons - to every visitor, every day.

"NZHC shares our determination to build quality standards, across the board, and we are looking forward to working with hotel members."

Kirkpatrick agrees that there's been substantial progress over the last few years as everyone has realised that it's only by working together - sharing information, experience and contacts - that tourism in New Zealand has developed to the point where it is now the number one export earner.

"It's in our (collective) hands that this cooperation is strengthened further so that as visitor demand and industry profitability grows, everyone will be rewarded and encouraged to try even harder. This is one of the reasons we're encouraging industry partners, such as Air New Zealand, to join NZHC as an Associate Member and QRC as a Corporate Member."

NZHC currently has 120 chain, independent and boutique hotels and serviced apartments as full members. Collectively, they control capital assets valued at almost $2 billion, operate around 16,000 hotel rooms, employ 9400 full and part-time staff, and last year generated annual revenue of around $700 million.

- ENDS -


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