Latest News

Back to Latest News back


New Zealand’s tourism workforce set to grow almost 40%

New Zealand’s tourism workforce set to grow almost 40%
May 18, 2015

New research has revealed that by 2025 as many as 36,000 additional full time equivalent (FTE) workers will need to be directly employed in New Zealand’s tourism industry - an increase from the current 94,100 to about 130,000 FTEs.

The research, released today (18th May) at the TRENZ 2015 conference by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ), forecasts the tourism industry’s labour market needs for the next 10 years. Carried out by the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research (NZIER), it was released in conjunction with new government tourism forecasts showing that visitor arrivals are expected to climb to 3.75 million by 2021, up from 2.9 million last year.

TIANZ Chief Executive Chris Roberts says the predicted growth in visitor numbers and visitor spend is great news for New Zealand. It confirms that the industry is tracking well towards meeting its Tourism 2025 goal of almost doubling total tourism revenue to $41 billion.

Roberts explained “(this research) presents us with challenges – in particular, how we are going to service all our visitors and ensure they enjoy an outstanding visitor experience.”

The projections suggest that the workforce directly employed in tourism needs to expand by around 3600 FTE workers a year for the next decade. In addition, there will need to be significant job growth in sectors that indirectly support tourism.

Roberts added “some regions will require more workers than others. Regions like Auckland and Otago attract a large proportion of international visitors, driving localised labour demands higher. We are forecasting that tourism labour market needs in Auckland could lift by 54% by 2025 and by 46% in Otago.

“And as our visitor mix continues to evolve, shifting towards increasing numbers of visitors from the Asian region and China in particular, we expect increased demands for language skills. At the least, most employees will need a solid understanding of the cultures of these new visitors to New Zealand in order to deliver a premium visitor experience.”

The research indicates that the labour market not only needs to adjust to the volume increase in visitors, expected growth in high value visitors will bring demand for employees with the skills to deliver premium visitor experiences, the research finds.

It also explores which occupations are likely to experience the greatest demand, finding that many more accommodation managers and hospitality workers will be required. Some skilled niche occupations like adventure guides will also need to grow.

Roberts concludes “we have a big challenge ahead, especially as we know that employers in some regions, in particular Queenstown, are already struggling to find enough staff.

“(The Association) is working with the tourism industry to develop a People & Skills Strategy which looks at how to attract more people to work in the tourism industry in the short, medium and long term. This work is progressing well and we expect to launch it publicly later this year.”

Managed by TIANZ, TRENZ is being held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre from 17th to 20th May.

For more information click here to view event details in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

Image courtesy of International Travel College of New Zealand.



Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

The Retention People Australia

TRP help health clubs, leisure centres and gyms across the globe create happy, loyal members through our user-friendly software which enables effective engagement and the delivery exceptional customer…

read more

Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology / Wellness



Rhinoplay offers playground equipment in Australia that is safe, durable, and most importantly fun! We specialise in creating unique indoor playgrounds for play centres and outdoor playgrounds for…

read more

Parks / Play / Surfaces


WATERPLAY Solutions Corp

Whether your goal is increasing your centre's revenues or creating an engaging environment, why not add play to your project? If you're looking for stylish aquatic play features, kid-tested…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Play / Recreation / Waterparks



Regupol Australia Pty Ltd offers a comprehensive range of recycled rubber fitness and leisure flooring surfaces. Their range of products include everroll rubber flooring, Regupol elastic…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Safety / Surfaces


Crystal Pools

Crystal Pools has a solid history of performance on a wide variety of government and commercial projects and is the name behind many of Australia’s most innovative and ambitious aquatic…

read more

Aquatics / Design



SICO is at the forefront in innovative mobile folding and rolling, space efficient tables, stages, dance floors and many other products which help our customers optimise their use of space. Image…

read more

Entertainment / Events / Venues



Established in 1994, Ceramic Solutions has excelled at the supply and installation of swimming pool tiles and equipment for the pool and leisure industry, with a focus on the needs of end-users. …

read more

Aquatics / Design / Surfaces / Venues



SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business