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Source: Eastern Institute of Technology – Tairāwhiti

13 mins ago

Students (ākonga) studying the NZ Certificate in Tourism (Level 4) at EIT | Te Pūkenga with Tourism and Travel Tutor Karen Banks (left) pictured at Wairakei Resort.

EIT | Te Pūkenga students (ākonga) took advantage of a recent trip to Taupō to gain valuable tourism experience in the North Island hotspot.

Accompanied by two lecturers in the School of Tourism and Hospitality, Nikki Lloyd and Karen Banks, the ākonga used the opportunity to learn outside the classroom.

Nikki says that as part of their assessments, the NZ Certificate in Tourism (Level 4) ākonga have to analyse the visitor experience of different tourism destinations.

“We take them through to Taupō because it’s achievable in a day and it’s different to Hawke’s Bay, and there’s lots to see and do. They have a look around and then we experience the Hukafalls Jet before we come home.”

She says that the trip to Taupō had been included in the programme for the past six or seven years.

This year has also seen the EIT | Te Pūkenga tourism offering become part of a new unified tourism programme in Te Pūkenga

“Essentially, Te Pūkenga is unifying the programmes of study. It means that everybody in the Te Pūkenga network that teaches tourism will teach the same tourism program. We’re offering the new program for the first time this year, but they’re actually based on what we had previously at EIT, so the network will pick up the EIT programme, but with some adjustments, tweaks, making it better.”

Students (ākonga) studying the NZ Certificate in Tourism (Level 4) at EIT | Te Pūkenga went on the Hukafalls Jet as part of a tourism trip to Taupō.

“We took the EIT programme as a basis and we upgraded it, essentially. But we’ve tried to keep industry visits where we can. This is one of them that we’ve kept on.”

“Most of our students have been through to Taupō before, but they haven’t necessarily looked at it through the eyes of what it offers the tourists. They go and have a look at what’s available. We go to the I-Site and we talk to them about who comes to Taupō and what do they want to do when they’re there.”

“We also went to Huka Lodge and had a tour around there, which is pretty special. And then we went to Wairakei Resort and had a look around there. They’re quite different markets that they appeal to. And then we have a look at what you can do, as well as where you can stay.”

For ākonga, it was a meaningful experience.

Helena Street, 18, who also works at The Farm at Cape Kidnappers as a waitress, says she has been enjoying Level 4, which was a “step up” from last semester.

“We’ve been learning a lot more about the world side and geography type stuff, which has been good to expand our knowledge.”

“I definitely have enjoyed the trips going away and actually being able to get out of the class and actually see the stuff that we’ve been learning about.”

Nineteen-year old Jo O’Halloran, says she has also enjoyed the programme.

“When we went to Taupō we got to meet with the different businesses, like the hotel accommodation provider people, and then also the jet boat people. It was interesting learning about that. And we’ve also had a lady who runs an events company in Hawke’s Bay come and talk to us once, and she was really interesting. It was cool to hear about the different career paths you can go down from the course.”