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34 REGION AUSTRALIA & PACIFIC new Zealand An unexpected Journey The enchanted land of the kiwi converts the international attention of the Hobbit As the character Gandalf says, “you'll have a tale or two to tell when you come back!”… The filming of the hobbit in New Zealand has been an incredible boon to the country’s tourist industry. We asked Danielle Genty-Nott, regional Manager Uk & Europe, Tourism New Zealand, how her organisation is leveraging this “buzz”… © New Zealand Tourism Danielle Genty -Nott Regional Manager UK & Europe for tourism New Zealand Danielle Genty-Nott has been Regional Manager UK & Europe for Tourism New Zealand since January 2012. In her role she leads and manages the Europe and UK public relations and trade operations, and plays a key part in maintaining and developing Tourism New Zealand's key relationships in the region. Prior to joining Tourism New Zealand Danielle gained extensive tourism experience through a number of roles in New Zealand, most recently Director of Sales, International with Sky City. “The Hobbit” Trilogy has put New Zealand and its stunning landscapes centre stage for movie lovers world-wide and Tourism New Zealand is working to convert the international attention into travel. Essentially, we want people to come here, see Middle-earth first-hand, and enjoy all the exciting and fun experiences New Zealand has to offer. Digital media, social media and public relations campaigns are all working to deliver an increase in travellers to New Zealand, unified by the umbrella theme of 100% Middleearth, 100% Pure New Zealand. The aim of the activity is to illustrate how easily the fantasy of “The Hobbit trilogy” can become reality in the form of a New Zealand holiday. There are many film-inspired activities and attractions for fans to visit while experiencing New Zealand’s dramatic scenery, one of the most popular being Hobbiton Movie Set Tours. A working sheep and cattle farm, Hobbiton formed the set for many of the scenes in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. We have seen a surge in Hobbit-related searches on our website www. Searches for "hobbit", "Hobbiton", "Lord of the Rings" and "Middle-earth" were up 265 per cent for November compared with the previous threemonth average, which is encouraging. Other travel companies have also reported increase in interest in New Zealand: • Skyscanner reported a 102% increase in worldwide flight searches to New Zealand in Dec 2012 compared to the year prior, including a 117% rise in searches to Wellington. • Expedia had an 84% increase in flight bookings to the country in December. The theme of the first Hobbit film is “the Unexpected Journey”… could it be true to say that about New Zealand as a tourism destination? Absolutely, people know New Zealand for its beautiful scenery and stunning landscapes but we find that visitors always return from their journey with highlights they didn’t expect. Common among these are the friendliness of the people and the welcome they receive and the high quality of the food and wine on offer. West from the town of Blenheim is the Pelorus Bridge Scenic Reserve. The setting is magical and is the perfect place for a picnic or a spot of trout fishing. In summer the river might tempt you in for a cooling swim. We also find that people are surprised by the diversity of New Zealand’s landscapes from pristine beaches, to rolling green hills, geothermal areas to forests, awe-inspiring mountains to trendy urban centres. What are your main feeder markets and how are they evolving over time? Our largest international markets in terms of visitor numbers are Australia, China, the United Kingdom and the United States. China is growing strongly and late last year overtook the United Kingdom as New Zealand’s second biggest market. From Europe, the United Kingdom is New Zealand largest source of international visitor arrivals, and although numbers are down year on year, it is still very important due to the high value derived from the length of stay. Germany is the second biggest market from Europe in terms of numbers, and is one of the longest staying of all our markets with an average stay of 51.1 days (as at November 2012). What other new products will be promoted at ITB Berlin? It’s been an exciting year for New Zealand tourism product with the opening of a number of new boutique lodges across the country, and the further development of the New Zealand Cycle Trail project that takes cyclists through some of New Zealand's most iconic and picturesque countryside. Zip-lining is also taking off with new products launched in Rotorua and on Waiheke Island. Hall 5.2 A Stand 120 © New Zealand Tourism ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 27 th February 2013

EDUCATION SPECIAL FEATURE 35 the Art of Making… and Keeping Promises Ben Bengougam, Hilton’s VP of HR talks about “delivering what we say we are going to deliver” With more than 20,000 team members working under six brands in more than two hundred hotels, hilton’s VP of human resources, Ben Bengougam is well placed to check the pulse of the industry when it comes to recruiting and training. We asked Mr Bengougam what he sees as being the “emerging” careers, and what hilton is doing to attract top talent… Ben Bengougam Hilton’s VP of Human Resources They’re probably mostly on the leadership side of the hospitality industry. This is because ownership of hotels is migrating away from hotel companies, consequently there is a lot of focus on asset management, so hotels tend to be owned by either private individuals or institutional investment funds or pension funds, banks and a wide variety of different types of third parties. The discipline of managing an asset on behalf of a third party is a new career opportunity. Other opportunities are arising in leisure fields, such as spas and gyms; As AN OrGANIsATION, hILTON hAs TO BE sEEN TO BE A LEAD EMPLOyEr… and entertainment is becoming much more an important part of a hotel offering. So there are careers to be had in these areas. A lot of the careers are the same however; it’s just that we’re more intelligent and faster now at training people up and giving them opportunities. Today there are fewer prejudices around how long it takes to get to a skilled level. We also have several initiatives including the Careers @ Hilton Live event, aimed at raising awareness of hospitality careers and driving the talent agenda across Europe, and Elevator, which identifies and nurtures talented graduates and high potential candidates from within Hilton Worldwide. We are also focused on exploring partnerships with schools and universities in emerging markets such as Russia, where our development pipeline is strong. We have formed groundbreaking partnerships with the Academy of Hotel Management in Breda and Deltion College’s vocational hotel school. The Breda University programme offers top performing second year students workplace training and support to prepare them for a successful hospitality career. Selected students benefit from exclusive guest lectures, access to awardwinning Hilton Worldwide University programmes and support and advice from Hilton Worldwide’s senior executives. They are also offered internship opportunities and the chance to work for Hilton upon graduation. In 2012, 12 students were selected for the programme. We are also currently in our fifth year of the Hilton Class at Deltion College, which offers exclusive guest lectures, Hilton Worldwide University access and support and advice from Hilton Worldwide executives. What do you see as being the biggest challenges in today’s very competitive work force situation and how do you think we can a best come to grips with them? As an organisation, Hilton has to be seen to be a lead employer, and we work very hard to develop what we believe is a competitive employee value proposition. We then go about both marketing and executing this very strongly, and I think the key today is that you have to deliver what you promise. As graduates come out of university, they may have been given certain assurances, but then they find the reality is different, and they are disappointed; so we have to avoid that. Whether we’re talking to schoolleavers aged 16, starting a program in our kitchen, or graduates from the Ecôle Hotelière de Lausanne, we have to deliver what we say we’re going to deliver. One example is the Hilton Apprenticeship Academy (UK), which was established in 2012, creating more than 100 opportunities for individuals to learn the art of hospitality across a range of disciplines at our UK hotels. STRENgTh WIThIN Approximately 90 percent of Hilton’s GMs in europe are promoted from within. In order to ensure continuity the company runs the top talent and Shine schemes. ”It’s absolutely vital that our senior management team share their skills and help to grow the next generation of leaders. Our top talent programme provides rising stars with special training, specific to their area of the business. this enables them to progress and become senior members of their teams, with a view to becoming the leaders of tomorrow. More than 150 high performers have been selected for the programme in the past 12 months and more than 30 of those have since been promoted. Shine provides team members with management level training, enabling team members to progress from Head of Department to Director or from Director to General Manager. Shine provides team members with a challenging development programme, which gives them the skills required to unleash their potential and grow within the different company brands. the programme is delivered over a minimum period of nine months and consists of virtual classroom sessions, mentoring, e-learning courses, a workshop and several online questionnaires. every participant has their own qualified mentor who is at least one level higher up in the organisation to ensure objectivity and greater learning,” Hilton’s Ben Bengougam, said ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 27 th February 2013

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