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Meet Kimi-Ora Follas – our newest Course Advisor at the Botany campus!

Posted on 19/04/2023 by

Welcome to the team, Kimi!

We always love welcoming new members to the team, and we couldn’t be more excited to give a big ITC welcome to our newest Course Advisor, Kimi-Ora Follas.

Kimi-Ora is an ITC graduate herself, and has spent many years working in travel and tourism around the world and here in New Zealand. Her experience both in the industry and as a student will be hugely valuable to the students she works with, and the team as a whole.

We had a quick chat with Kimi-Ora to learn more about her experience, and what she brings to the team!

How did you begin your passion for the tourism industry?

My high school tourism teacher really inspired me. I remember one specific day where he was talking about his adventures in the tourism Industry and I just knew that was exactly what I wanted to do. He helped me apply for a scholarship at ITC and the rest is history. I studied right here at the Botany Campus in 2014 with a partial scholarship for Level 3 & 4 and graduated with Distinction.

What does your travel industry history look like?

Since graduating from ITC, I have progressed my way through the hotel Industry. I’ve worked front office in many 5 or 4 star properties around the North Island, from the Far North down to the Tongariro National Park and places in between before taking the leap of moving overseas.

Living in the UK also made it much easier to live out my dream of travelling around Europe, and I was fortunate enough to visit many countries before a little thing called Coronavirus closed borders and sent me back home to New Zealand.

That didn’t deter me though, and I have continued working as front office staff back here in New Zealand until my most recent role as the Assistant Front Office Manager at a luxury lodge in Northland.

How will your experience help support students?

Being a former student of this very campus, I have been in their shoes. I know what it was like to study at ITC and the unique challenges that come with being a student while living out of home for the first time.

It can be extremely overwhelming at times and I’m hoping to be a friendly ear that they can always come to for advice.

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

Time management, flexibility and a can-do attitude! The tourism industry is an ever changing experience and it’s rare that any two days are the same – being able to adapt to each situation is key. Empathy also goes a long way, especially when you are customer facing. You never know when going the extra mile or showing a bit of extra kindness to someone can turn their day around for the better.

What’s next for tourism industry?

I really think that the last few years gave everyone time to reflect on what they wanted out of life, and for a lot of people it only fuelled their wanderlust further.

Working within the hotel industry during the pandemic showed me how much people do value taking some time out for themselves, and enquiries were still really high from locals exploring their own backyard. Now that the borders are all open again it’ll be exciting to see how that translates into international enquiries.

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

Take your time, from personal experience I wanted to hit the ground running as soon as I was qualified and ended up feeling like I wasn’t where I wanted to be… when in reality I was only just starting out and had soo much ahead of me to experience. Good things take time!

Learn from incredible course advisors like Kimi-Ora with ITC!

Kimi-Ora is a fantastic example of the amazing talent and experience we have on the team at ITC and Study From Home. Everyone on our team has real-world industry experience, a passion for travel and tourism, and a drive to pass on their knowledge to the next generation.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions, or enrol today!

Study From Home – 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or

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