Tourism and Hospitality Accord

Together building the industry of choice by 2030.

Hospitality worker serving a pizza to guests sitting on the shore of a lake.

Photo: Camilla Rutherford


The Tourism and Hospitality Accord (“the Accord”) will involve businesses in tourism and hospitality signing up to a set of workforce standards, and thereby becoming an endorsed good employer. Consumers would be able to choose to support these businesses.

By signing up to the Accord, businesses will send a clear signal that they prioritise their people. People know that by working for those businesses they will receive decent pay, appropriate training, and will enjoy a safe and supportive working environment.

Creating a future where... Those who work in tourism are consistently treated well and can easily identify which businesses to work for and where they will find rewarding work. Consumers and choose to support tourism businesses that are treating their people well.


The Accord aims to create an ecosystem that supports Better Work in tourism and hospitality. Everyone will have a role to play in that ecosystem – people who work in the industry, business owners, unions, educational institutions, government, and consumers.

Businesses that join the Accord will be named on the Accord website and be able to use Accord branding in their own marketing for consumer recognition. In this way they will receive appropriate recognition for being a ‘good employer’ – something that is not currently happening consistently across the industry. This will increase the potential for the business to be recognised as an attractive employer. Education institutions could steer their graduates to businesses that have signed the Accord.

The Government regularly spends large amounts on hotels, restaurants, and transport as part of its operations. We propose exploring options for the Government to support Accord businesses as preferred ethical suppliers.  


Tourism and hospitality in Aotearoa New Zealand have long experienced challenges in attracting and retaining sufficient and skilled labour. The Accord aims to address this problem through the following outcomes:

  1. To establish a set of standards in areas such as job security, wage levels, training, progression, diversity, and inclusion.
  2. To identify and provide a pathway to achieving higher standards by identifying exemplars.
  3. To celebrate positive, leading stories or workplaces practices to drive innovation and lift the image of tourism.
  4. To provide a framework that supports tourism businesses to operate ethically.
  5. To allow consumers to identify and support businesses that are treating their staff well.
  6. To build the industry’s connections with and support within all communities.
  7. In joining the Accord, participating businesses will submit data about their employment practices that over time will become a useful source of information for wider analysis and insight on workforce trends.

As is the case in all sectors, workplace health and safety are fundamental to ‘Better Work’ in tourism and hospitality. The Accord would acknowledge work health and safety requirements [1], and look to establish a best practice health and safety standard for the industry that best meets the needs and wellbeing of its workers.


Governance structure

The Accord will be governed by a body that mirrors the partnership structure of the ITP. Consideration will be given to ensuring the governance body includes and/or is supported by the required key skillsets (technical expertise, experience, and strategic foresight) to ensure the Accord is: successfully established, held to account and adaptable and sustainable into the future. The Accord would also need input from industry interests across subsectors and regions.

Design of the unit which will administer the Accord, including which organisation is best place to host it, will need further consideration and discussion with industry, union partners, and relevant Ministers. 

How businesses will be assessed

All participating businesses will commit to a minimum set of standards in areas such as job security, wage levels, training, progression, diversity and inclusion. Additionally, in recognition of the importance of health and safety to achieve ‘Better Work’ in the tourism industry, participating businesses will commit to continue to uphold work health and safety requirements and to establish a best practice health and safety standard for the industry that best meets the needs and wellbeing of its workers.

Our preference is to launch the Accord with self-reporting by businesses. This makes joining the Accord as simple and easy as possible, especially at a time when businesses are recovering from the setbacks of COVID-19. Over time (one year or more), options for an auditing function (spot auditing, peer review or other) will be introduced to strengthen the integrity of the Accord.

The Accord’s aim is not just to set a minimum standard but also to highlight and celebrate positive, leading practices in tourism workplaces, to drive innovation. It is envisaged that in addition to the main group of businesses who have met the standard commitment, there would also be a category of ‘exemplars’ whose employment practices go above and beyond.


The Accord recognises Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s Tourism Sustainability Commitment: Employer of Choice initiative, and we believe the Accord can build on that mechanism by being a complementary initiative that lifts standards further, provides greater accountability, and has the added support of union and government backing.

We want to change perceptions of a career in tourism and hospitality. Roles have often been viewed as casual, low-skilled, low-paid and not secure, with poor development opportunities and progression pathways [2]. However, we are also aware of many examples of tourism and hospitality firms partnering with local communities, iwi, schools, and training institutions to provide better career pathways. To this end, the ‘Public campaign to showcase better work in the industry’ Tirohanga Hou will be linked to the Accord and launched six months to a year after the Accord. The campaign will focus on the exemplars in the industry – those businesses which are modelling the leading workforce practices.

Snapshot: Roles of 4 key accord stakeholders


What will they do?

Businesses sign up to the Accord by committing to a series of standards. If necessary, this will involve making changes to their workforce practices.

Businesses leading the way with innovative practices share their stories with others in the Accord, and the wider industry, through the Accord online platform.

How will they benefit?

  • More business due to consumer recognition.
  • Business becomes a more attractive employer, making it easier to attract and retain staff.
  • Potentially being supported through the Accord to lift employment practices.
  • Publicity around the Accord, including the Public campaign to showcase meaningful work in the industry Tirohanga Hou.

Current and future employess

What will they do?

Choose to work for businesses from the Accord network.

How will they benefit?

  • Employees have confidence in undertaking work with an employer that values the employee experience and receives training and progression opportunities where appropriate.
  • Publicity around the Accord, including the proposed public campaign to showcase better work in the industry, helps challenge perceptions and cultural attitudes towards people who work in the service industries.
  • Tourism host communities benefit from stronger pathways into employment and partnerships with local tourism operators.

Educational institutes

What will they do?

Promote the Accord and the participating businesses to their graduates.

How will they benefit?

  • The Accord publicity and campaign will help inspire more people to study tourism and hospitality.
  • Partnerships with good employers and businesses with leading practices will help align educational offerings with our vision for regenerative tourism.


What will they do?

When booking travel, or choosing a restaurant, consumers will be able to select businesses with strong or leading employment practices.

How will they benefit?

  • Consumers benefit from better service delivery, and from engaging with knowledgeable, experienced, confident people in the industry throughout their journey.
  • Consumers can make informed, ethical choices.


1. For example, the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), and the Health and Safety at Work (Adventure Activities) Regulations 2016.

2. Edwards, P. (2018, August), Perceptions of careers in the tourism industry [PDF 2.8MB](external link) — Tātaki Auckland Unlimited