New adventure tourism regulations changing education options

Press Release – Tai Poutini Polytechnic

New adventure tourism regulations aimed at improving safety take effect this month prompting the country’s longest running outdoor education provider to offer a new qualification for outdoor educators and guides.Media release – 10 November 2011

New adventure tourism regulations changing education options

New adventure tourism regulations aimed at improving safety take effect this month prompting the country’s longest running outdoor education provider to offer a new qualification for outdoor educators and guides.

From November adventure tourism operators will begin a three year registration process which will include undergoing safety audits.

The new regulations were recommended by the Government’s Adventure Tourism Review which has also asked the industry to investigate whether instructors and guides should be required to hold industry qualifications.

“Having qualifications will become more important in the future.

Also emerging markets like India and China will mean adventure tourism will become less about managing high end risk and more about getting people to engage in the activity,” says Head of Tai Poutini Polytechnic’s Outdoor Education Department Dave Ritchie.

TPP has been successfully training New Zealand’s outdoor educators and guides for 20 years.

In 2012 it will introduce a new two year Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Guiding while continuing to offer the popular one year Certificate in Outdoor Education.

Dave Ritchie says the face of New Zealand tourism is changing with The Ministry of Economic Development predicting China will become the country’s second biggest tourism market behind Australia by next year.

“Offering the diploma is a response to requests from employers and the changing shape of the tourism industry.

We are seeing more tourists wanting wilderness experiences as well as high thrill activities.

The programme will still include rock climbing on the Charleston sea cliffs, ice climbing at Fox Glacier, kayaking and rafting on the West Coast’s famous white water rivers and mountaineering in Arthur’s Pass.

But the Diploma programme will also have an emphasis on ecotourism, story–telling and business so graduates know what’s involved in running an adventure tourism operation.” he says.

20 year old former student Laura Cashmore graduated with the Tai Poutini Polytechnic Certificate in Outdoor Education in 2009 and the Tai Poutinit Polytechnic Advanced Certificate in Leadership and Guiding in 2010.

“It’s great there is now the opportunity to do a diploma.

The two years I spent in Greymouth studying were the best two years of my life.

The location was perfect — it is not until you go overseas that you realise how amazing the West Coast is.

I really got into white water kayaking, and loved rafting, ice climbing and rock climbing.

The tutors are great, incredibly skilled, and they are really committed to the students and become like your family,” she says.

Since graduating Laura has worked in both New Zealand and the USA.

“I was able to get a sponsored visa because the TPP course has such a good reputation.

I am back in New Zealand now working in Rotorua guiding tourist and school groups, it hardly feels like a job.”

The new level 5 Diploma has been aligned with the Bachelor Degree in Sustainability and Outdoor Education offered by CPIT so graduates can go from TPP into the CPIT programme.

The next intake for the Certificate in Outdoor Education and Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Guiding is in February 2012.

ENDS

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