Three years of informal collaboration and discussion has resulted in a binding Memorandum of Understanding between Tasmanian Hospitality Association and Hospitality New Zealand last week.

The two hospitality organisations announced the MOU to establish a formal partnership last Friday, hoping to achieve mutual benefits for their industries and members.

According to THA’s CEO Steve Old, the partnership will help its members solve common industry issues that include recruitment and retention of skilled staff, mental health, workforce development, business costs and viability, staff VISA arrangements and requirements, corporate partnerships and industry engagement.

The history of their strong relationship was also crucial in navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, with the two organisations regularly sharing learnings and responses to the many changes and challenges facing the industry.

Collaborating to support the industries’ recovery and operating in a COVID-safe environment will be a strong focus for both organisations throughout 2021.

Old said: “This is a wonderful opportunity to share ideas and issue solutions with our counterparts in New Zealand.

“The MOU formalises what is already a strong, valuable working relationship between the two entities and we are excited to work with Hospitality NZ on current and future projects.”

Direct flights between the two destinations are expected to resume in early 2021 and a number of collaborative opportunities have already been identified as part of the MOU.

Meetings and a study tour has already been tabled in New Zealand at Hospitality NZ’s annual conference. While THA is hoping to host a similar opportunity for Hospitality NZ members in September 2021, when Hobart will host the AHA National Awards for Excellence.

Hospitality NZ Chief Executive Officer Julie White added: “We’re very pleased to form what we see as a really valuable and natural partnership.

“We have been working with Steve and the THA team for a number of years and this relationship was particularly important throughout 2020 as we supported industry to operate in the COVID environment and now foster the recovery.

“Our priority is that we can further build on our strong relationship for the benefit of the hospitality industries in our respective regions.”

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