10 December 2010AUT culinary arts students rolled up their sleeves and helped out in the DineAidkitchen and with other restaurants at Taste of Auckland earlier this year.
2 December 2010
“We are the rolex of long haul travel out of Japan and New Zealand is seen as a quality destination, we should always keep that in mind.”
Air New Zealand deputy CEO, Norm Thompson (pictured), the final keynote speaker in the NZ Tourism and Hospitality Research Conference hosted by AUT, says even in economic troughs organisations need to continue to research, continue to innovate and continue to invest, particularly in people, in preparation for the good times.
“Tourism is New Zealand’s number 1 export, it’s worth $9.5 billion a year and represents just under 10 per cent of the country’s GDP,” he reminded the audience.
As the final keynote speaker of the three-day conference organised by AUT’s NZ Tourism Research Institute and the School of Hospitality and Tourism, Thompson spoke of New Zealand’s unique position in the world in terms of travel, the importance of ensuring that visitors leave New Zealand as ambassadors for the country and the future of Air New Zealand.
The conference in late November gave established and up and coming researchers alike the chance to present their research.
With over 110 delegates from 17 countries, and 97 papers refereed, presented and published in a 527 page conference proceedings document, it’s fair to say the 9th annual conference has been a great success says conference chair Professor Mark Orams.
“This year themes for papers included accommodation, Asia and tourism, marine and island tourism, experiences in hospitality, food and beverage and nature based and special interest tourism plus others. Papers were evenly spread between the themes so there was something for everyone,” Prof Orams says.
Individual papers presented ranged from topics such as Taiwanese ‘love boutique motels’, the impact of swim-with-dolphins tourism on Hector’s dolphins in Banks Peninsula through to the tourist host experience at the White Lady and who has the most sunshine?-the battle for the most attractive destination.
The organising committee for the conference felt that one of the most important contributions the conference could make was to provide an opportunity and a forum for post-graduate research students and early career researchers to receive constructive feedback on their research and to offer a supportive environment at which to present their research (including their ideas, planning and initial results).
“We also made a decision to promote a better link between research, academia and the tourism and hospitality industries. As a consequence, we adopted the theme for the conference of “adding value through research,” he says.
Keynote speakers for the three-day conference included: Kevin Bowler, Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand; Alison Morrison, Professor of Hospitality at the University of Surrey, UK; Norm Thompson, Deputy Chief Executive of Air New Zealand and Chair of the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand. http://autserve.aut.ac.nz/nzthrc/index.php/page/proceedings
The inaugural Access Tourism New Zealand Conference at AUT University Auckland on 4 October 2010 highlighted the need to welcome foreign visitors with disabilities.
The Honourable Tariana Turia, Minister for Disabilities Issues and co-leader of the Maori Party opened the conference by describing what Access Tourism is, and how this was the fastest growing sector overseas.
"Indeed, it is a high growth industry, expanding and exploring the potential of a vast market of tourism products," she said.
"Access tourism embraces tourism, travel and hospitality. It is also a lucrative market, which can do much to boost our future economic growth and yet access tourism has been a neglected sector in New Zealand – to our distinct disadvantage.
Mrs Turia said she pledged her personal support for improving the performance of government agencies in removing participation and access barriers experienced by disabled people.
Conference organiser and NZTRI researcher, Dr Sandra Rhodda, says 17% of the NZ population have a disability and this number is bound to go up as NZ has an ageing population and disability increases with age.
“People with disabilities are in fact the largest minority group in the world. And their collective voice is getting louder, more cohesive and stronger,” Dr Rhodda says.
In Australia the Access Tourism market is worth around $4.8 billion to the Australian economy and Dr Rhodda says New Zealand is losing out on this very lucrative market by not ensuring our cities and attractions are fully accessible. “It’s an important economic and tourism sustainability issue, not just a disabilities issue.”
The conference included presentations on Rugby World Cup access issues, the world access tourism situation, hearing and sight disabled tourists, wheelchair users, transport and the law.
A hot topic of discussion at the conference was access initiatives for Rugby World Cup 2011 visitors and the opportunity such a large event offers in showcasing the accessibility New Zealand. Minnie Baragwanath (pictured) from Auckland City Council shared her passion for an accessible Auckland, with a presentation she called "Extreme Makeover", which she says is a good description of what needs to happen in New Zealand.
Mrs Baragwanath has been at the forefront of an initative to create an "accessible business toolkit" as part of the business readiness programme for Rugby World Cup.
The conference, organised by the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, attracted an audience of about 100 people from various areas of the tourism and accessibility sectors.