Recently Rotorua Canopy Tours’ Paul Button spoke to tourism students at Queenstown Resort College to create awareness of the opportunities of tourism as a career.
“At Canopy Tours, we want to work with the industry to ensure that tourism remains sustainable and that opportunities are created for the next generation to step into as a career, rather than a temporary gig,” says Button. “Tourism a really important part of our economy, and it’s a hugely rewarding career.”
According to Census data, 1 in 7 people in New Zealand work in tourism. Tourism is one of New Zealand’s largest industries and contributes over 10 per cent of the national GDP. Tourism growth is slowing nationally, which has led to a renewed push for tourism operators to ramp up their activities.
Charlie Phillips, CEO of Queenstown Resort College, welcomed the industry involvement from Canopy Tours.
“Connections between our tourism students and industry representatives – at whatever level – means more informed graduates,” says Phillips. “This leads to better decisions, deeper connections, and a stronger tourism industry as a whole. That’s a great result.”
Button spoke on the varying opportunities for students studying tourism, or tourism related activities, and how the industry is full of career prospects – as opposed to the common misconception that tourism is a gap-year job market, or only for youth.
“Personally, my career and specifically my work with Rotorua Canopy Tours has really shown me that working for premium tourism operations can be highly rewarding,” he says. “You can really shape the industry, and make positive impacts in tourism.”
Button spoke on leadership in the industry, referencing Canopy Tours’ journey with conservation in conjunction with the Department of Conservation, and Goodnature – the trapping technology designers based in Wellington. Canopy Tours have made part of their tourism operation centric around clearing the forest their courses are located in of rats and possums.