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Plenty to learn at BYATA conference

The conference saw speakers share their wisdom and insight on a range of topics, from leadership and strategies to responding to change to on shifting customer needs and perspectives and everything in between.

Day one of the BYATA’s 10th annual conference got underway with the call of the conch and an incredible and warm welcome from Snow and his whanau from NgƒÅti Tuwharetoa.

After some wise words from former chair Simon Cartwright about the state of the market, the focus of BYATA and some of the achievements and areas of focus over the last 12 months, it was time for things to get underway in earnest, although things were anything but earnest thanks to the incredible wit and skills of returning MC Ben Hurley.

Emergent’s Holly Ransom wowed attendees with her incredible insight on the topic of leadership and strategies to responding to change and being future ready. She urged attendees to challenge ‘US Patent Office Mentality’ and challenged them to embrace diversity in their inner circles and also to embrace variability and difference and to never lose sight of the ‘why’. She also provided pragmatic advice on how to make changes and create habits/routines, given 42 per cent of our days are spent in an unconscious habit loop, with her 24/7/1 strategy; take a bite-sized action towards a new goal or idea within 24 hours of being inspired, apply steps to achieve within seven and one to have it completed by.

In the industry space, David Craig from TNZ took attendees through the state of the market as well as the work TNZ are doing in the Global Brand space and gave a reminder of the important Tiaki Promise work.

Julia Lindsay from MBIE gave a debut speech outlining Immigration New Zealand’s shift in strategy around ensuring good quality visa decisions versus fast decisions. She outlined some of the things the industry and employers can do to help including ensuring any applications have all of the necessary information, including the correct ANZCO codes, to ensure employment agreements meet the minimum terms or conditions.

Danielle Mackenzie from MBIE gave an overview of the Government’s Tourism Strategy with a focus on their next steps around implementation including destination management and planning, better data and insights and an increased coordination across the sector.

Rachel Mason and Andrew Shaw from Lane Neave took attendees through updates in workplace law focusing on changes to probation period, rest breaks, union reps and amendments to protect vulnerable employees. They also highlighted changes to the privacy act with a new bill coming into place on March 1 next year, which will require any affected party in a privacy breach be notified and an increased focus on data relevance.

Matt Stenton from ATEED, Go with Tourism, talked about the need to shift perceptions of tourism sector away from ‘low pay, low enjoyment’. Go Tourism is designed to be ‘Tinder for tourism jobs’ and in the 15 weeks since launch they have had 60,000 visits to their site, 700 registered seekers and 27 hires. They will be launching in Queenstown next month. Dylan Rushbrook also focused on tourism as a career, with a need to focus on personality over experience and to treat people as individuals.

In the sustainability space, Lynn Robinson from TIA provided a refresher on the TIA’s sustainability charter and gave attendees some examples of the sorts of initiatives being undertaken for each of their pillars: economic, host community, visitor and environment.

In the inspirational speakers space, Jezza Williams from Making Trax woke attendees up with his incredible story of becoming a quadriplegic and being a world-renown rafting guide, ensuring that businesses focus on inclusion rather than just accessibility.

Naresh Kumar shared his incredible Freedom Seat journey from India to Germany and spoke about the incredible human connection and kindness he experienced along the way.

A key focus of this year’ conference was on shifting customer needs and perspectives and Michelle Yin from THL provided a fantastic overview of the Chinese Youth Traveller – all 415 million of them! They are digital natives so businesses need to keep them connected, leverage the things that are important to them, namely influencers and celebrities, ensure businesses are delivering authentic and awesome experiences and where possibly make sure to provide payment channels that suit their needs.
Samantha Joyce from Toi Toi wines focused on delivering solutions to customer and the need to ensure that businesses define their business with a focus on passion, create a mission statement, set expectations, recruit the best, measure and have KPIs linked to remuneration, hold the line and ensure accountability, be unwavering in your focus and commitment, focus on the customer not the competition and master the basics.

All in all, it was an insightful few days with more than 24 speakers and a host of awesome famils.

For more information on BYATA, visit:

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