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Queenstown Professional Development Trips for Auckland-based educators

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As an innovative tertiary education provider that provides training in business, hospitality, tourism and travel, Crown Institute of Studies, based in Auckland CBD, has successfully hosted two professional development trips to Queenstown for Auckland based secondary school teachers and careers advisors. The aim of these trips is in twofold, firstly to instil confidence; that the industry is resilient and tourism remains to be a viable career despite the current adversities and challenges. Secondly, to serve as a bridge that facilitates communications and knowledge transfer between industry leaders and educators. Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, the sharing sessions from industry leaders fully demonstrate the reality they are currently facing and the creative solutions and means they have implemented to mitigate the impact.

Participants had the opportunity to meet with Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult, Matt Wong (iFly), Roger Taitt (Ramada), Trent Yeo (ZipTrek Eco Tours), Wayne Rose (Skyline Queenstown), Sara Irvine (Queenstown Airport), Shane Wairau (AJ Hackett Bungy), Heidi Gillingham (Go with Tourism), Aaron Halstead (Study Queenstown), Jessica Harkins (Destination Queenstown) and Blair Deasy (Remarkables Park and Porter Group). These interactions provided a platform for educators to learn of the industry’s resilience and how various tourism businesses are pivoting to meet the needs of the domestic market while planning for the future. Given the economic importance of tourism to New Zealand, and in particular Queenstown, it is vital that educators are kept up to date on how this industry, an important employer for rangatahi, is adapting to the global changes the pandemic has brought about. Issues such as sustainability, innovation, crisis management and coping strategies were covered. These valuable knowledge and experiences are transferred to and recorded by the educators that participated and will be presented to the students attending their respective schools.

The reimagining of this sector will require collaboration between government, industry, and education providers. This Professional Development trip have strengthened these connections so that each sector knows how best to contribute to the rebuild. Special thanks to our generous sponsors, Ramada by Wyndham hotels, iFLY, Gibbston Valley Winery, Ziptrek Ecotours, Skyline, AJ Hackett Bungy, Lakes District Museum and Gallery, and to the educators who attended, and bravely attempted all the activities!

The next Professional Development trip is scheduled to take place in May 2021.

Find out more at https://crown.ac.nz/professional-development/

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