Disbelief and then great excitement was how Lesley Immink, CEO Tourism Export Council describes Young TEC winning the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) international award for Education and Training 2016.
“This is absolutely the best news! We know Young TEC is hugely successful here in New Zealand so to have Young TEC recognised by an international team of expert judges is hugely gratifying. It is a great honour and demonstration of young tourism professionals stepping forward and taking ownership of their futures in tourism”.
The Education & Training category was judged on benefit to the tourism and travel industry, commitment to the industry, informational value and effectiveness of the programme. This year’s PATA awards attracted 212 entries from 71 organisations and individuals worldwide. The awards ceremony will be held in Jakarta Indonesia, September 9.
Young TEC was founded by the Tourism Export Council (TEC) in 2012 to provide networking, mentoring and development opportunities to young people in the tourism sector to grow their industry knowledge, particularly in tourism distribution channels. Members are based throughout New Zealand and attend regional networking functions, leadership days and industry famils. During winter months the National Development Programme continues to add value to Young TEC member’s knowledge, through presentations and training by tourism experts, with participants also matched to a mentor for further growth. Young TEC currently has 265 members nationwide, and has placed 107 people through the National Development Programme in three years.
Young TEC is now moving into its next phase promoting tourism as a valued career in New Zealand, working with tourism education providers to review and broaden curriculum content and by being tourism ‘ambassadors’ – speaking in schools and tertiary institutes to inspire more young people to undertake a career in tourism.
Young TEC Chair Loren Heaphy agreed that the award was high praise for the organisation. “Being only 4 years old, Young TEC has grown to be one of the most valuable memberships people starting their tourism career can undertake. We often hear from our mentors that they wish Young TEC had been around when they started in the tourism industry. We hope the profile created by winning the PATA Award will encourage more young people to undertake a career in tourism”
Comments from industry partners show the value Young TEC brings to both businesses and individuals:
YTECs National Development program and networking events are producing more rounded and productive employees who understand the wider industry and distribution. John Gregory, MD Pan Pacific Travel
As a retired Young TEC (age 37 years), the benefits to me professionally in the last few years have been incalculable. I look forward to ‘paying it forward’!
Dylan Rushbrook, Heritage Hotels & former Young TEC Chair
Results for Young TEC speak for itself. Year on year new member numbers, increased profile throughout the industry, and employers ‘buying in’ re Young TEC being the professional development training that was missing from the industry. Young TEC is now its own brand within the tourism industry! Lynda Keene, CEO Nelson Tasman Tourism
I loved the idea of Young TEC when we first mooted it a few years ago. Participating in the National Development Programme and other Young TEC events, feels sort of like the older All Blacks giving guidance to the new boys on the park who in fact will one day succeed them!”
Martin Horgan, Southern World Travel & TECNZ President
“Through programmes like Young TEC, the industry is really embracing the new ideas and fresh perspective that comes from the younger generation of tourism professionals. We are fully supportive of Young TEC and congratulations Young TEC on winning the PATA Gold Education & Training Award!
Kevin Bowler, CEO Tourism New Zealand