August 2017

APAC / August 2017 25 Excellence, Integrity & Passion g differentiates the firm from their competitors and marks them out as the best possible option for clients. “Our OFI (opportunity for improvement) system has been very successful, in that staff can come up with an improvement idea and actually run with it and develop it, so that it becomes part of the ITC process. There are regular strategic briefs throughout the year, where all staff have a chance to hear from management on how the firm is performing and be involved with the strategic direction, plus to see how they can contribute in a very real way. At such an event, the team came up with our new values statement. “We value excellence, integrity, passion, innovation & communication. These values enable us to make a difference in the lives of both our staff and customers.” “ITC’s commitment to all round excellence is underpinned by global quality recognition (ISO 9001:2008), awards programmes and quality assurance processes. We are the only travel and tourism college to hold the international ISO award in New Zealand. ITC is the proud winner of many awards in both the travel and tourism industries, as well as the Auckland Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. “In all ITC’s training programmes, we go beyond what is normally included in the qualification in that we have added in vocational training, career weeks, work experience weeks, study skills and goal setting. All this assists our students when getting ready to make their career choices and is in direct alignment with industry needs. Our quality focus ensures a high-quality learning and developmental experience, reflective of workplace requirements and makes the best use of learner’s time, investment and potential, it also ensures that ITC graduates are in high demand by industry.” Claire then offers her insightful perspectives into the wider industry issues that affect the firm’s work and how they stay ahead of emerging developments. “The tourism industry is one of the largest in the world and over the past year has been number one in New Zealand, just in front of dairy. All predictions within official circles and plans by various organisations and government agencies is for tourism to increase at the same pace it has been over the last few years. The Tourism 2025 plan is one of the key documents looking ahead to the future of NZ tourism and numbers are expected to increase every year up until at least 2025. “Travel and tourism organisations within New Zealand will therefore be looking for trained and qualified people to come into the industry. Outside factors may influence travel to NZ and so far, these have had a positive influence. The rise of the terrorism threat in many parts of Europe is a concern amongst many, so NZ is ideally placed to reap those benefits, as we are a safe place to travel to. “Being ahead of the game is very important to ITC. The nature of the industry is that there are new places to travel to, different adventure activities coming on stream, new airlines flying into NZ. We are actively involved in the tourism industry and appear on TIANZ panels, government education review panels, International students’ forums, so that not only are we aware of the happenings in the industry, but we can be involved in its future development. ITC is also a member of Quality Tertiary Institutes, which is a small select number of high performing institutes and we regularly meet with our government partners, Ministry of Education, New Zealand Qualifications Authority and the Tertiary Education Commission.” Claire is eager to explain how ITC has overcome any specific challenges, to be successful in the Asia-Pacific region today. “Most our international students are from the Asia – Pacific region. International education has become a major source of international revenue for many countries worldwide, so as ITC we are not only competing with other tertiary organisations in NZ, but with other tertiary institutes from all around the world. “A few years ago, ITC realised that we needed to be in closer and more regular contact with our agents in the Asia- Pacific region. We appointed an international marketing manager, who undertakes three to four trips per year to this region undertaking school visits, attending international education fairs and working with several our appointed agents in this area. We are very pleased with the success this has had, as it can take a while to build up effective relationships and the agents and potential students do appreciate such face to face visits.” Claire then offers her concluding thoughts, including her predictions for the wider industry and ITC in the future. “Some of the biggest developments in the future, will be the growth of technology in the travel and tourism industries as well as new ways of education in the future. The traditional classroom may become a thing of the past and there will be more development around students centric learning, plus students being able to design their own programmes of study. “It’s the realisation that change is here to stay. You need change for continued growth, as the needs of our students change, as well as the needs of the tourist. What is obvious so far, is that human interaction is still a very important part of the tourism industry and the need for highly skilled employees providing excellence in service and people skills, is of paramount importance. “Also, smart marketing strategies have kept pace with these developing technologies, ensuring that ITC is where the students are and that its message speaks authentically to current learner generations. The use of social media extends the marketing reach with pages that don’t seek to simply sell, but to engage with and encourage discussion. “Future developments for ITC are to continue working closely with our industry partners, looking for any opportunities for course development and creating more seamless pathways for students, with like-minded organisations such as ourselves. We will consider the development of programmes in event management and at Level 7.” Company: The International Travel College of New Zealand Ltd (ITC) Name: Claire Huxley Email: [email protected] Web Address: Address: Level 4, ITC House, 9 City Road, Auckland 1010 Telephone: +64 9 373 5510