Spotlight

Our scholarship winner's advice: keep looking for the opportunities

“I'm excited for the future of tourism.

Moriah Osborne on the tourism industry. 

From a young age, Moriah Osborne has been building a strong tourism CV. The daughter of a tourism family, she grew up living and moving between tourism meccas Queenstown and Te Anau. Part-time jobs over the holidays were with local tourism operators or the Regional Tourism Organisations. Progressing to university saw her journey take an academic turn, with Moriah completing a Bachelor of Commerce/Marketing Management Otago University in 2019.

Of her industry experience and her drive to stay engaged in the industry, Moriah put it simply: tourism made me real proud”. She elaborates by saying the role tourism plays in bringing together a diverse range of manuhiri and hosts is a key factor for her pursuing a career in tourism. 

The opportunity to interact with people who have different opinions, backgrounds and cultural values and to assist them in choosing experiences...creates lifelong memories,” she wrote in her 2018 application.  

This positivity flows into her work experience: 

The vibrant nature of my colleagues and other tourism operators reveals that there is a unified vision to welcome visitors into our country and offer memorable experiences that will last a lifetime. 

And with an eye to ensuring this diversity is carried into the future, Moriah has started a Master of Commerce. With funding from Quake CoRE Te Hiringa Rū, a centre set up to research business resilience in the face of disruptive events, Moriah is looking at the response and recovery of the industry post-COVID-19.  

Reflecting on the impact of closed borders on most businesses, Moriah’s initial assessment is frank. It doesn’t matter how resilient they were, she says. Nobody could have predicted the ongoing effects of the pandemic.  

And even though there are varying stories and resultsher advice to businesses is simple: Innovate and respond to different changes in the market, encouraging operators to adapt products and events to get the local market engaged. 

“There are valuable lessons in diversifying,” she says. “Take advantage of the opportunities. 

Behind the funding for her Masters is the Quake CoRE programme that was looking at the resilience of businesses post-Christchurch and Kaikoura earthquakes. The scholarship now researches how destinations can be resilient (with a focus on RTOs) and their role in a disaster. The project will look at how the various players of the tourism sector (including Central and Local Government and Regional Tourism Organisations) can contribute to the rebuild, ensuring businesses are resilient 

Moriah recognises the TINZT Scholarship as having opened doors for her to undertake her Masters degree. She tells a story of how her lecturer recognised she was one of two TINZT Tourism Scholarship recipients and then made some introductions, leading to the person who would later become her supervisor. 

“I don’t think I would have got there without the TINZT Scholarship, Moriah says. 

She urges future applicants to be proactive and talk to the local businesses and RTOs 

“These connections we make are going to be more important.” 

While Moriah has a foothold already, she recognises others may be daunted at the prospect of entering an industry that has been heavily disruptedMoriah has taken one of the key learnings thus far from her studies into her own life: the post-COVID period offers an opportunity to address some long-standing challenges 

“How we protect our environment, it’s a unique selling pointHow we, as communities, can engage with tourism. There has been disengagement with tourism. Get those involved aware of how it can be a positive for communities,” she says. 

Nonetheless Moriah is positive, saying "working in the industry keeps me aware of the opportunities." 

I'm excited for the future of tourism.

For more information on TINZT Tourism Academic Scholarship, please visit www.tinzt.co.nz