Brent Thomas Brent Thomas

Travel sector’s boom an opportunity to attract people back to industry

The probability that the travel industry will continue to thrive through 2023 may attract people back to the industry and help alleviate the staff shortage as the year goes on, says Travel Agents’ Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) president Brent Thomas.

Signs are growing that a number of sectors, including real estate, will be in for a tough year but continuing pent up demand and increased capacity means travel retailers are likely to avoid the worst impacts of economic slow-downs.

‘Travel is growing and not all industries can say that. We haven’t got the capacity at the moment to meet the demand that we have already.

‘Like all industries we continue to look for good quality staff and we may have an opportunity now to attract people back who left during the border closures.’

TAANZ has signalled that attracting and retaining new staff and encouraging people to see the sector as a genuine career is a key objective in 2023.

Thomas says drawing experienced travel people back into the industry is definitely one part of the solution.

‘We have to be open to people from anywhere who have proven customer-centric skills, but if people who are already familiar with the travel industry come back to it then that
is a bonus.’

He has no doubt that some people who are still away from the industry will be missing it.

‘Those involved in the travel industry do have a passion for it - they are people people.

‘There is a certain camaraderie in travel and that has become even more significant in the last three years, as we (brands) have put away our colours to get through the challenges. I know that people miss the industry when they leave it.’

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