What makes a successful hospitality graduate in New Zealand? An investigation of key stakeholder perspectives
Today’s hospitality workplace is characterised by unpredictability and change. Knowledge of, and response to, customer and client needs is critical to an organisation’s survival and growth. The skill sets required of graduates to meet this reality are very different to those that were required by previous generations. One challenge for educational institutions is to adequately prepare graduates for this complex and uncertain world of work, something that contrasts sharply with the typically ordered and structured world of academia.
Debate about the application of sustainability principles to development and management in hospitality and tourism has been extensive and, at times, challenging in seeking to achieve a balance between the short and longer term needs of all stakeholders. The main focus within this debate has been embedded in aspects of environmental sustainability and the crucial relationship between hospitality and tourism and the natural and built environment with which it co-exists. At the same time, there is equally compelling (but not necessarily intersecting) discourse about the role of people in the delivery of experience and experiences within hospitality and tourism.
This reflective paper examines how heritage and tourists engage, hypothesizing about a necessary re-conceptualisation that goes beyond interpretation as the transfer of information/significance/knowledge grounded in learning theory, towards an interpretation praxis that embraces two dimensions of the visitor experience: an embodied experience and an experience where vision and visuality is privileged. Both these dimensions are at the forefront of the ways digital media is reconfiguring the relationship between heritage places and visitors.