Four field trip pros explain why they bring their students to Wakatipu and share their tips for planning an educational field trip to Queenstown.

Tips for tourism colleges visiting Queenstown

Kin Cheung from the Crown Institute of Studies in Auckland explains they choose Queenstown because they want their students to see how leading tourism businesses are faring in Covid.

Kin says: “Students learn about crisis management, resilience, and building a sustainable business. The tourism industry has changed so much in year and in Queenstown students get to speak to tourism leaders directly.

“We also bring our scholarship group to Queenstown. This trip’s a big deal, as it’s a reward as well as a learning experience. In 2019 we went to the Gold Coast. In 2020, we planned to visit Hong Kong, but because of Covid we went to Queenstown instead, and it exceeded our expectations. There’s a world class cluster of tourism businesses in Queenstown and our students can learn so much from them.”

Group of students at Queenstown Resort College

Queenstown activities for Year 13 Tourism students

Oliver Surline, from Bayfield High School in Dunedin brings Year 13 tourism students to study Queenstown as a destination. Oliver explains: “We visit once a year in mid-June during the Queenstown Winter Festival and the students use a day of their visit to volunteer at the event. We do two days of educational activities and then spend Saturday helping at the Festival.

“We really pack our activities in. We visit the Queenstown Resort College to talk about careers in tourism, then Destination Queenstown give us the big picture of tourism in the region.

Then we visit tourism attractions. We go places where we can meet the operators because seeing the passion of people who work in tourism is so powerful for our students. We go to AJ Hackett, Shotover Jet, Skyline and Coronet Peak. This year we added Kiwi Birdlife Park and iFLY to the mix, and both were really cool.

“We also take the kids to the airport to do some research. Then they do an Amazing Race. The kids work in groups and race to complete tasks based on observing tourism in action around Queenstown. The winning group gets dinner on me.

“Our last stop’s usually Arrowtown for the history of tourism and free activities, like the Chinese Settlement. Then the kids load up at the Remarkable Sweet Shop and we head home.”

Shotover Jetboat

Studying cultural processes of tourism in Queenstown

Social Sciences teacher from South Otago High School, Jason Palmer says: “Queenstown is such an amazing destination if you’re studying the cultural processes of tourism in geography. On our field trip, we look at temporal variation, how tourism has changed Queenstown culturally over time, and spatial variation, how tourism has influenced where things are.

“We meet with the Queenstown Winter Festival team to understand what goes into a major event. This year we also met Destination Queenstown and the Queenstown Resort College to find out how tourism in Queenstown has changed over time and how Covid has impacted the industry. The students also surveyed local businesses on how Covid has affected them.

“We like to do a couple of tourism activities, ideally ones where the students can meet the operators. They usually do the gondola and the luge. This year they did iFLY, which was great. It can be tricky to keep kids engaged, but Jason at iFLY was a really engaging speaker and connected with the kids.”

iFly Indoor Skydiving

Bringing university tourism students to Queenstown

Willem Coetzee is a Senior Lecturer for the University of Otago’s Master of Tourism. The University brings two groups of students to study tourism in Queenstown. It’s a popular trip because Queenstown’s on their students’ bucket list of places they want to visit.

Masters of Tourism students are often international students from India and China. The University brings them to Queenstown to meet tourism operators and course alumni who now work in the industry. They tour around, visiting attractions, and talking to operators.

The Destination Development students aim to get a high-level overview of tourism in Queenstown. They meet with Destination Queenstown, the team from the airport and local councillors. Last year the university booked a space at Queenstown Resort College and invited speakers to come there.

Willem explains: “Our main challenge is getting to know the industry and who does what. For example, we’re looking for experts in sustainable tourism, which is a topic of growing importance. We find Destination Queenstown and the team at Queenstown Resort College to be a wonderful resource when it comes to local advice and industry connections.”

Students in Library

Planning your student group visit to Queenstown

If you’re planning an educational field trip to Queenstown for your school, college, or university we’re here to help. Use our student groups information hub, or contact the Queenstown Convention Bureau team and we can give you information and advice.