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Tourism students awarded $4500 scholarships

Two tertiary students have each received a $4500 boost to help them complete their final year of study and prepare for their prospective careers in the tourism industry.

The recipients of the 2020 Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust Academic Scholarship were announced at today’s Tourism Summit Aotearoa in Wellington.

The scholarships, managed by Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), were awarded to:

• Rochelle Tait, Victoria University of Wellington

• Ashlee Reader, New Zealand School of Tourism

The scholarships were open to young New Zealanders about to commence their final year of tertiary study in a tourism-related course in 2020. For the first year since their conception in 2015, the two scholarships were split between one applicant completing level 4-6 qualifications and one completing level 7 and above.

Valued at $4500, each scholarship comprises a $2500 payment towards the recipient’s final year of study in a tourism-related tertiary course, along with attendance at today’s Tourism Summit Aotearoa. The recipients will also receive a day of placement and networking with Wellington-based tourism operators and organisations, a TIA mentor, and continued support from TIA post-study to encourage industry engagement.

Rochelle and Ashlee were both present at the Summit to receive their scholarships from TINZT Trustee and TIA Chair Richard Lauder.

“To support our industry and help ensure sustainable growth, it’s vital that we attract and retain smart young Kiwis like Rochelle and Ashlee so that we can continue to offer world-class experiences to our visitors,” says Mr Lauder.

“These academic scholarships are an important way of reinforcing to some incredible young talent that tourism offers fantastic job opportunities. The prize will help kick-start their careers.”

Mr Lauder says the 2020 scholarships attracted applications from students all over the country. Shortlisted candidates were interviewed by a Scholarship Panel before the two winners were selected.

“This year’s scholarships were hotly contested, but our two winners stood out as having the academic and personal qualities our industry is seeking. They both demonstrated an excellent understanding of the industry and will be outstanding ambassadors for the TINZT scholarship programme. We look forward to welcoming them to the industry when they graduate next year.”

About the winners

Rochelle Tait

Rochelle’s interest in tourism was sparked at a young age, thanks to frequent family caravan trips across New Zealand. Now studying towards aBachelor of Commerce at Victoria University of Wellington, Rochelle plans to develop a tourism career in marketing, creating campaigns that capture the natural beauty of New Zealand whilst educating others about sustainable tourism. She is particularly interested in using marketing as a tool to develop community engagement and reduce visitor impact on the land.

Ashlee Reader

Studying a Diploma in Tourism and Travel Management at the New Zealand School of Tourism, Ashlee’s compassionate nature initially drew her to the tourism industry. She aspires to help others find excitement and enjoyment through travel, either as a travel agent or in an outdoors tourism role. Ashlee particularly looks forward to working in a growing industry that offers opportunities to meet people from different cultures.


The Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust was established in 2007 for charitable purposes.

Its focus is twofold:

• The education of people involved in the New Zealand tourism industry and the education of New Zealanders about tourism

• The fostering and promotion of a tourism industry in New Zealand, based on the sustainable use and preservation of the country’s natural assets

The TINZT grants programme is open to associations, companies and individuals for projects or ideas that will further the Trust’s aims and criteria. Applications can be made at any time. Visit the TINZT website for details:

The Trust is managed by Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA).


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