NITA welcomed members to the AGM and Members meeting which took place at Belfast Metropolitan College on 24th May.
Once the formalities for the AGM were completed, the Members Meeting provided the opportunity for members to hear from speakers on the theme of Skills, one of the key challenges facing the Tourism Industry.
Roisin McKee from People 1st International provided an update on their work identifying the skills need for the Tourism sectors and set the current context and environment regarding Skills and their engagement with Industry on the development of the curriculum for level 3 qualifications.
Janice Gault, NITA Board Member and CEO NI Hotel Federation provided an update on the Collaborative Skills Network that is being developed to address the challenges facing the industry. This will be funded by Invest NI
Jennifer McKeever – CEO Airporter talked about the collaboration on skills in the North West, led by Derry City and Strabane District Council. Jennifer made the point that more supports need to be provided to SME’s, who are the backbone of the industry, particularly in developing management and leadership skills and in growing their businesses. ‘Tourism is a transformative force’.
Christine Brown from Belfast Metropolitan College provided an update on Curriculum Hub and Higher Level Apprenticeships that they are developing with industry and which starts in September. They noted that there is a lot of interest from industry for people within their organisations to start the apprenticeship but more works needs to be done to attract people new to Tourism to the apprenticeship route.
Ciaran Doherty from Tourism Ireland provided an update on the volume and success of the Tourism Campaigns for Northern Ireland.
John McGrillen, CEO Tourism
NI, presented the new experience brand for NI that will be officially launched
to the world at the World Travel Show later this year. The new brand ‘Embrace
the Giant Spirit’ has undergone verification with our key markets and the logo
and design has been created by local artist Colin Davidson.
The roundtable discussions enabled members to discuss the priorities facing the industry which will determine the action plan for NITA over the next 12 months.