Hilary Lacunza and Darren Hunt are both graduates from Whitireia Community Polytechnic’s Travel and Tourism programme and are now working at the Visitor Information Centre in Pararaparaumu. Their day is challenging and varied and can range from making ferry, bus, rail and accommodation bookings through to offering a general information service about the local area.
"We have both found the skills we learnt from the tutors at Whitireia have set us up for our job as well as the tourism industry itself."
Darren and Hilary completed their Certificate in Travel at the Kāpiti campus at the end of last year. As part of the programme, Hilary was able to complete one week of work experience at the Holiday Shoppe in Waikanae, which gave her a valuable insight into the industry.
Darren went on to study for the Diploma in International Tourism and was one of a group of students that made up the 100% pass rate for this course. As part of the programme, Darren carried out local tourism research with Enterprise Coast and later took advantage of being offered work with the organisation.
Whitireia has been offering travel and tourism courses for more than ten years. Tutors all have industry backgrounds and work closely with contacts within the industry to maintain up to date knowledge as well as being able to provide employment opportunities that arise for their students. Whitireia added the Diploma in International Tourism to the range of courses and are currently the only Wellington training provider that offers this course. This provides students with an excellent study pathway, starting at Level Two and working right through to the Diploma level.
Programmes are competitively priced and include a range of subjects needed for the industry as well as providing students with employment preparation such as CVs and interview techniques and a one week educational trip to the South Island.