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As the sponsor of upcoming major hospitality, tourism, and retail award in New Zealand, here are a few thoughts on such important industries for our country.

Woburn recognises the importance of hospitality, tourism, and retail in New Zealand and is a huge supporter of these sectors of businesses. We assist with visa requirements when hiring skilled staff from overseas. We are also proud of our track record in helping skilled professionals from these sectors come, work and live here.

This industry sector offers an exciting journey for young people usually aged 18 to 30, but 18 to 35 from a few select countries in the form of a working holiday visa. With a working holiday visa, you can explore New Zealand before heading to secure your future career here!


The hospitality sector plays a significant role in New Zealand’s economy and offers employment opportunities for both locals and immigrants. It is one of the largest employment sectors in the country, contributing about 1.7% of GDP, equivalent to NZ$5 billion annually.

Here are some key points to consider about the hospitality sector in New Zealand for immigrants:

  1. Demand for Skilled Workers: The hospitality sector often has a demand for skilled workers in various roles such as chefs, cooks, baristas, restaurant managers, and hotel staff. Skilled immigrants with relevant experience and qualifications are often welcome to fill these positions. There is a requirement for New Zealand businesses to ensure that there is no New Zealander available to fill the position before looking for options overseas.
  2. Skill and Qualification Recognition: If you have prior experience and qualifications in the hospitality sector, it could be beneficial in securing a job in New Zealand. Some roles might require specific certifications, such as food safety certifications for chefs. It is important that Chefs can prove their skills.
  3. Cultural Understanding: Understanding the NZ local culture and customs can help you excel in the hospitality industry. New Zealand places a strong emphasis on customer service and a friendly atmosphere, so having cultural sensitivity is crucial.
  4. Location: The demand for hospitality workers might vary based on the location within New Zealand. Larger cities like Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch generally have more opportunities, but tourist destinations and smaller towns also have a need for hospitality professionals.


New Zealand is renowned for its stunning landscapes, adventure activities, and unique cultural experiences, making it a popular destination for tourists from around the world. The tourism sector encompasses a wide range of businesses, including accommodations, tour operators, transportation services, and more.

Tourism in New Zealand comprises an important sector of the national economy – tourism directly contributed NZ$16.2 billion (or 5.8%) of the country’s GDP in the year ended March 2019.

Prior to COVID, tourism was the largest export industry of New Zealand and contributed $40.9 billion to the country according to Tourism New Zealand.

Here are some key points to consider about the tourism sector in New Zealand for immigrants:

  1. Job Opportunities: The tourism industry offers various job opportunities for immigrants in roles such as tour guides, hotel staff, travel agents, hospitality workers, adventure activity instructors, and more.
  2. Skill and Experience: Some roles in the tourism sector might require specific skills or qualifications. For example, tour guides might need knowledge of local history and culture, while adventure activity instructors might need certifications in outdoor recreation and safety.
  3. Geographical Considerations: The demand for tourism-related jobs can vary based on the location within New Zealand. Popular tourist destinations like Queenstown, Rotorua, and Auckland tend to have more opportunities, but other regions also have openings. The cruise ship season, which runs from Spring to early Autumn, also brings thousands of tourists each week to many port destinations and generates work opportunities.
  4. Job Search: Online job platforms, tourism industry associations, and local tourism businesses’ websites are good places to look for job listings. Networking within the industry and attending tourism-related events can also help you connect with potential employers.
  5. Tourism Trends: Staying informed about current tourism trends and developments in the industry can give you a competitive edge in securing desirable positions.


The retail sector encompasses a wide range of businesses, including shops, department stores, supermarkets, specialty stores, and online retailers. Retail is a large employer, with 9.6 percent of all New Zealand’s filled jobs in the sector, but the biggest firms account for the majority of employment. (Source: Retail NZ)

Here are some key points to consider about the retail sector in New Zealand for immigrants:

  1. Job Opportunities: The retail sector provides a variety of job opportunities for immigrants in roles such as sales associates, store managers, customer service representatives, inventory managers, and more. Nearly half of New Zealand’s 27,759 retail businesses are owner-operators and employ no staff, while 345 large retail businesses employ over half of the retail employees across the nation. (According to a Retail NZ report). With our national Elections in October, one pathway known as the entrepreneur work visa may become an option.
  2. Geographical Considerations: Larger cities like Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch tend to have more retail opportunities, but smaller towns also have their share of successful retail businesses.
  3. Job Search: Online job boards, company websites, and recruitment agencies are common sources for finding retail job openings. Networking and direct outreach to potential employers are also effective.
  4. Advancement Opportunities: Depending on the company and your skills, there could be opportunities for career advancement within the retail sector. Some individuals start in entry-level positions and eventually move up to management roles.

Keep in mind that immigration policies and the state of the hospitality, tourism, and retail sector can change over time. It’s always a good idea to consult official sources such as the New Zealand government’s immigration website for the most up-to-date information and guidance on immigrating for work in the hospitality, tourism, and retail sectors or you can talk to us.

If you are considering moving to New Zealand, contact one of our licensed immigration advisors here at Woburn, and we’ll provide you with all the information and support that you need to realise your dream of emigrating to this amazing country.

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