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Meet Michelle Newsome: ITC’s newest team member!

Posted on 09/02/2022 by

Michelle Newsome has recently joined the ITC Schools Team, bringing with her a wealth of travel knowledge and experience.

Michelle Newsome is ITC’s newest team member, joining the Schools Team as a Tourism Educator.

And it only takes a moment hearing about her background or her passion for the industry to see why she’s the perfect fit for the role.

From the historic sites of Europe to nomadic safaris in Queenstown, Michelle has seen (and worked) it all. So we sat down for a quick introduction.

What does your travel industry history look like?

I’ve been working in tourism in a variety of roles for the past 10 years. I started out as a trip leader for Topdeck in Europe where I led and guided coach tours of amazing young people around the continent.

I absolutely loved that job, it required a balance of high energy and enthusiasm, knowledge and organisation to keep everything running smoothly. I am a bit of a history nerd so being able to show off the beautiful historic sites of Europe was a dream job for me.

Back in Aotearoa New Zealand I have used those skills learnt overseas to show off my own stunning country.

I became a Driver-Guide for Wellington movie tours and later Nomad Safaris in Queenstown which gave me the opportunity to fully embrace my love of the Lord of the Rings films.

After a year at Flight Centre, which opened my eyes to the sales and reservations world behind the tours I had been running, I jumped at the chance to work for one of the premium tour companies operating here in Aotearoa, Australian Pacific Touring (APT).

I was still working out on the road for them as one of their senior guides when lockdown was announced in 2020. Since then I’ve kept busy working in operations and reservations for a coach transport company.

How will your experience help support students?

I hope that my industry experience can really help show the students the kind of opportunities that are available and the amazing possibilities that are out there for those looking to make a career in tourism.

Being a tour guide requires enthusiasm and the ability to relate to and connect to others. I would love to bring this into the learning environment here at ITC and give the students the support they need to succeed, and hopefully even continue with their studies here at ITC.

What do you think are the most important skills to have in the tourism industry?

Working in tourism requires so many skills that are transferable from and to other careers.

Customer service is surely the main one, without that you won’t get far.

Being willing and able to help people, be open to new ideas and patient in dealing with people. Passion and enthusiasm for what you’re doing is super important, it shines through when you enjoy your job and that excitement is contagious.

What’s next for tourism industry?

The tourism industry is at a really challenging yet exciting stage, as this pandemic has forced those in the industry to re-evaluate the direction we are heading.

I think while the borders are closed to international visitors it’s a great opportunity to focus tourist experiences on the local market and cater towards those exploring their own backyard.

I hope that when borders open those resilient companies that have worked through this tough time will present visitors with a new and refreshed product offering something different in an innovative way or from a fresh perspective.

What is your best advice for those getting into the industry now?

This is a great time to look at entering the tourism industry and gain a qualification which can lead towards a great career.

Moving forward, employers will be looking for workers with experience and knowledge, and a qualification in tourism will really give a prospective employee an edge – so go get studying!

The best advice I can give is to get experience in customer service, any job to go along with study. Retail or hospitality work will give such a good base to add to in any future tourism job.

My background before entering the tourism industry was in retail where you learn to interact with a wide range of people and gain excellent communication and people skills.

Start your journey in travel and tourism

Are you ready for an incredible career that takes you around the world like Michelle has done? Do you want to work for some of New Zealand’s coolest attractions?

ITC and Study From Home offer the first step on that path – an industry recognised series of qualifications that will help to get you a foot in the door at countless travel and tourism providers around New Zealand and the world.

Get in touch today to hear about our courses and where they can take you.

Study From Home – college@itc.co.nz 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.studyfromhome.co.nz/contact-us/

 

 

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