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Introducing: ITC’s new Tourism Education Tutor!

Posted on 08/02/2023 by

Welcome to Laura Orsbourn, the newest member of the ITC family!

ITC is over the moon to welcome a brand new member of the team: Laura Orsbourn.

Laura will be a Tourism Education Tutor and provide marketing support for the Schools Team.

Not only is Laura an ITC graduate, having completed the Levels 3 and 4 Certificate in 2012 with distinction, she was also Student of the Year! After graduating, Laura worked at the Grand Mercure, where she was again honoured with the title of Employee of the Year. There, she worked in supervisor and training roles as well.

Laura returned to ITC in 2019 to complete the Level 5 Diploma before heading overseas to work for Disney. Since her return, she has been working at Tourism Holdings Ltd as a booking host and coordinator.

And now, finally, she returns to ITC once again – but this time as a team member! We’re so excited to have her, and of course had to take a moment to ask her more about her history and what she will bring to the ITC family.

What does your travel industry history look like?

I was 8 months old when I boarded my first aeroplane. And it’s safe to say I’ve been travelling the world ever since. Like many young adventurist, I thought I would become a flight attendant and travel the world, however after studying at ITC I found my passion in hotels. The range of jobs offered in hotels is amazing. I enjoyed all departments, but customer service is where I shine.

After working in hotels for 8 years, I came back to ITC to gain my diploma and make my way to Disneyworld in Florida. Working at the front desk of a Disney Deluxe resort required patience, energy, knowledge and a passion for creating magical moments.

Coming home to NZ due to Covid was difficult, but I was determined to get back to working in an industry I have so much love for. I jumped at the chance to work for Maui, Britz and Mighty campervans in their reservations team. I spent most of my time helping locals book holidays so they could get out and see their own backyard, when they would normally be booking an international trip.

How will your experience help support students?

I am fortunate enough to be able to share not only my industry experience, but also my ITC student experience as well. I know what these students are going through. And I want to be there to show them just how impressive and thrilling this industry can be, and how they can find their dream job. Passion is infectious, especially when it’s rooted in purpose.  

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

Adaptability, flexibility, patience and the willingness to go the extra mile. Put yourself in your customers shoes and give them the best experience of you and your workplace they can have.

What’s next for tourism industry?

I believe the pandemic hit the tourism industry the hardest. However it is clear that all sectors are being creative and trying so hard to bounce back. More innovative and exciting opportunities are being dreamt up every day. No matter what comes its way, the tourism industry will never rest and there will always be adventures waiting for those who are seeking them.

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

Keep an open mind! There are so many jobs and opportunities that you wouldn’t even know or think of when you are first starting out. And you won’t stay in entry level jobs for long. The more experience you gain in customer service, operating systems, networking and self-management, paired with a positive and willing attitude, the world will really be your oyster.

Study with Study From Home and learn from incredible tutors like Laura

Laura is a wonderful ambassador for the travel and tourism industry, and we know she will be right at home amongst our incredible team or tutors and educators. It’s important to ITC that students can learn from those who have truly experienced the industry for themselves, which provides real-world knowledge for the next generation of travel and tourism workers.

If you’re interested in studying somewhere that lives and breathes travel and tourism, we’d love to have you. Get in touch to learn more about our courses or how to enrol today.

Study From Home – 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or

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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 – 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or



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