The government has today announced that it is awarding $5.2 million from the new International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) to help promote and attract talent into the visitor economy by expanding the Go With Tourism initiative.

The funding was announced this afternoon by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis at the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand's 2019 Annual Conference in Christchurch. It's estimated that 40,000 new tourism workers need to be recruited by 2025 to address forecast labour shortages.

Kelvin Davis

The Go With Tourism initiative is an online job-connector platform launched by Auckland Tourism, Events, and Economic Development (ATEED) earlier this year. It was developed following research in 2018 which identified various myths and misconceptions surrounding employment in the tourism sector.

"We are delighted that the Government along with tourism industry leaders have seen the clear value of the mahi we have done to establish the Go With Tourism platform, and has endorsed the financial support to roll both the platform and the wider package of initiatives out across the country," said Steve Armitage, ATEED general manager of destination.

"Getting more people into tourism is one of the key strategic imperatives to emerge from the Destination AKL 2025 strategy and is a particular focus for us given the mega opportunities that are fast approaching us in 2021, starting with the 36th America's Cup."

Steve Armitage

The expansion of Go With Tourism will be supported by ATEED and Tourism Industry Aotearoa. “By partnering with ATEED and Go with Tourism, which is ready to roll out across the country, we can quickly implement the package of initiatives aimed at firstly educating New Zealanders about opportunities to work in tourism and then creating bridging opportunities into the industry,” said TIA chief executive Chris Roberts.

Chris Roberts

“The other two workstreams are about improving education and workforce planning, and upskilling programmes for businesses. TIA is continuing to work with government officials and ATEED to pull together the full Investment Plan for Building the Tourism Workforce.”