An investment in our future
Adventure tourism in New Zealand is ‘booming’ and it has been ‘booming’ for a while. Our adventure industry is enormous; adventure tourism alone employs over 188,000 people, that is over 7.5% of the New Zealand work force, people who are actively employed in adventure tourism not the number of people who participate. It is estimated that we can expect 4.9 million visitors in 2023 that is a million more than 2016 with a spend of 15 billion dollars! By 2023 the annual visitors to NZ will be up by 32%, with a dollar spend to match. There is now an overwhelming need to service that growth and a need to nurture those ‘seedlings of service’ which will need to be in full bloom by 2023, just 6 years’ time. Fortunately, those seedlings are currently being cultivated ……… in schools and tertiary education facilities around the country. For several years now, Adventure Magazine has been supporting education providers, whether that be high school or tertiary. We have a dedicated section of the magazine and website; we have reported changes and developments, spoken to those who do the teaching, interviewed those who have been through the courses and reported back on those now in the work force. We have been assisting in schools where we can and offered editorial exposure, prize giving, products and sponsorship.
In schools across New Zealand we are seeing outdoor education courses flourishing; traditional PE has more of an academic lean than a practical one, and with that we are seeing a movement of students towards outdoor education. Our local school, Orewa College will have 6 outdoor education classes and 4 PE classes in 2019. NCEA credits in outdoor education are gained from a practical hands-on effort. A common thread in most high school mandates is to encourage students to become an active member of the community, being the best you can be, giving back and being self-reliant and outdoor education provides those lifelong skills (plus fun NCEA credits). So as part of a growing initiative we had reached out to outdoor education in schools and offered to sponsors end of year prizegiving, creating a more prestigious appeal to the subject. We have provided magazines to students nationwide, encourage students and staff to send in material that will run in a dedicated section of the magazine and online. Next year we will look to link schools year 12 and 13 outdoor education students with adventure-based companies within their areas to set up work experience, create internship and work with established gateway programmes. And why? Cliqued as the statement is, ‘children are our future.’ It is true, and with the scheduled growth in the adventure industry and adventure tourism we want those students to be familiar with all aspects of what adventure can offer and have full access to our Adventure community for motivation, information, appreciation, but most of all for support. It is our way of helping and investing in the future. Here is some of this year winners
"We hope students find challenges within the course, and develop skills to meet them. Challenge could be heights, depths, distances covered; It is important students are moved outside their comfort zone into the ‘growth zone’. "Seth Weakley - Outdoor Ed teacher