A public campaign to showcase better work in the industry


A public-facing campaign that: challenges the reputation and perceptions of a career in tourism, promotes stories of people doing rewarding work in the industry with positive work stories, and lifts the understanding of the diverse nature of work in the industry.

Creating a future where... The Aotearoa New Zealand public has a positive perception and appreciation of what the tourism industry contributes, and what a career in tourism can offer.


The campaign will showcase tourism employees gaining a sense of pride and purpose from their jobs, for example: sharing Aotearoa New Zealand’s history and culture with visitors, having strong ties to the community and iwi, gaining life-long transferable skills, and contributing to environmental conservation outcomes. The campaign will showcase the diversity of roles and rewarding career pathways across the industry.

The campaign will be underpinned by the future vision we have for regenerative tourism in Aotearoa New Zealand. The campaign would be designed to challenge the perception that tourism jobs are necessarily lower skill, lower wage, and/or more transient. It would show prospective workers (including those who are gender and ethnically diverse, young and older/returning workers, people living with disabilities, and workers seeking flexibility) that it is possible to have a meaningful, rewarding career in tourism, and to gain transferable skills. The campaign could also focus on influencing those who influence young people, such as parents and family, school teachers and career advisors.

An important aspect of this campaign will be an identification and promotion of shared values for the industry (building on the work of the New Zealand Tourism Futures Taskforce [1] and Tiaki Promise [2]). We believe a values driven industry will attract people who hold those values themselves, and want to promote them to visitors.

Such a campaign will only be successful if other aspects of this draft Action Plan are implemented (i.e. that change has occurred, and the campaign reflects a new reality).


We believe that positive perception of the industry (backed by best practice) will ensure that the tourism industry attracts and retains the right people and skills.

Done well, a campaign will help address the skill shortage by raising the professional profile of tourism as a career. Prospective new workers, and workers who have worked in the industry before but have since left, will be attracted to the tourism industry. This will complement and reinforce other reforms underway to improve the worker experience in the tourism industry.

Case study: 100 ambassadors of happiness

An example of a powerful tourism careers campaign is the ‘100 Ambassadors of Happiness’. The Singapore Hotel Association together with the Singapore Tourism Board created this campaign for the hotel industry, where they interviewed 100 people across the hotel industry over the course of a year. The aim of this campaign was to get young people of Singapore to look beyond the long hours and underwhelming starting salaries of the hotel industry. This campaign showcases the wide range of jobs in the industry, as well as different job progressions and positive experiences in the industry. The Singapore Tourism Board indicates that this has led to a 245% increase in job applications.

More information:

100 Ambassadors of Happiness(external link) — Business of Happiness

What can we learn from this case study?

  • Working directly with businesses and people working in the industry to showcase career opportunities and the positives of working in the tourism industry.
  • Using easily consumable mediums such as social media to deploy powerful imagery and inspiring stories to engage potential people to work in tourism and customers.

Case study: Country Calendar

Hyundai Country Calendar is an example of great storytelling changing the perceptions of an industry. The nation’s longest running TV show celebrates the farming industry against the backdrop of rural Aotearoa New Zealand. As one of the nation’s most popular shows, more than half a million people watch each week.

In recent years the show has showcased agriculture and horticulture stories that have a stronger emphasis on sustainable practices, for example, regenerative farming and fishing, certified carbon zero farms, improving soil quality and biodiversity, and farmers that are restoring farmland to native bush to create havens for native birds. The show shapes the national perception of rural Aotearoa New Zealand industries and lifestyles. It highlights farmers and growers giving back to communities and the environment as part of their daily life, as well as shining a light on their businesses.

There is currently no equivalent for Tourism in New Zealand, despite Tourism also being part of the fabric of our culture. While the focus of our proposed campaign is on highlighting meaningful work in the sector, we want to change perceptions of the tourism industry in the broader sense as well.

More information:

Country Calendar(external link) — NZ On Screen

What can we learn from this case study?

  • Country Calendar provides kiwis with new insights and a positive understanding of our farming sector. People are becoming more attuned to the values of sustainability and regeneration31.
  • If the tourism industry doesn’t take steps to showcase how it also promotes these values, it will fall behind other industries, including in its ability to attract talent.
  • The campaign suggested through the draft Action Plan will showcase stories of tourism businesses connecting with people, communities, and the environment, taking a more values-driven approach to changing perceptions of the industry.
  • In turn, this will show people who are considering working in tourism (and those who influence them, such as parents) that they can have a meaningful career in tourism.


1. MBIE, New Zealand Tourism Futures Taskforce. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/immigration-and-tourism/tourism/tourism-recovery/tourism-futures-taskforce/.

2. Tiaki – Care for New Zealand. https://www.tiakinewzealand.com/.