‘Director of First Impressions’ is quite some title, and although not on the business card, it is, in fact, a key part of the job, for those in our booming tourism sector.
Over 3.5 million tourists visit NZ annually, growing year on year, with corresponding job growth. And while some industries court youth, leaving mature workers at a disadvantage, in this industry life experience can be beneficial.
Super Shuttle, are one such business riding this tourism wave, on the hunt for mature drivers to make a great first impression. As the preferred airport transfer option, carrying 1.5 million passengers a year, they offer a fixed price, shared ride or exclusive use service in their 11 seat vehicles. With 120 vehicles nationwide in 12 centres, they’re a proudly NZ owned, progressive, business.
Looking to those 50+ is obvious according to CEO, Vaughan Underwood.
“We’ve found more experienced New Zealanders to be particularly customer focused and they tend to genuinely enjoy our customers. The work is very structured, is easy to follow and it is physically manageable with low trailers for easy loading and unloading of bags. With comprehensive training and great support from the Owner Driver, there are very few that cannot pass muster despite many not having a background in driving or the tourism, sector”.
Recent changes to regulations now make commercial driving endorsements much easier to get. There are no tests and all that’s needed is a clean driver’s license, no criminal past and an enjoyment of people.
Greg (68) says he’s never looked back since jumping on board as a driver in his ‘retirement’. “I just love it. It’s very rewarding, enriching in fact.”
Being one of the first points of contact for tourists or meeting fellow travelling Kiwis is a genuine joy in his ‘semi-retired’ work week. Life experience also brings an easy confidence, and an ability to chat about most things to most people. Greg says he “loves meeting folks from all walks of life, chatting with all sorts of nationalities. I’m out and about meeting people, it’s stress-free, and I’m keeping my hand in. It’s perfect”.
Maintaining a sense of purpose in life, keeping active mentally and physically, as well as challenging ourselves to learn something new in our older years, keeps both the mind and body in fine fettle. Mastering new technology is empowering too, and Vaughan notes they’ve got that covered.
“Super Shuttle’s Smart tech has a user-friendly interface for drivers and delivers everything they need for each journey, including GPS integration for ease of getting around the city. It’s a pretty straight forward transition for new drivers, regardless of their experience of technology”.
With NZ increasingly becoming a destination of choice, our growing number of baby boomers hitting retirement age might just be the perfect windfall the tourism sector needs.
If driving for Super Shuttle sounds like you, drop an email to [email protected] or fill out the form below.