Q&A with Dolphin Encounter Kaikoura’s Lynette Buurman

Lynette Buurman, Dolphin Encounter & Albatross Encounter Kaikoura

Lynette Buurman

Lynette Buurman came to tourism from a business background and, along with her husband Dennis, bought a share in their tourism operation. An experienced traveller she is using all of her skills and knowledge now to guide her business through the recovery following the Kaikoura earthquake.

Title: Business Partner

Job description: Business Manager – Marketing & Finance

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job? I would have to say being part of a vibrant industry and also seeing very satisfied customers enjoying unique experiences in our beautiful country.

What is the toughest part of your job?  That is a difficult question – I think finding enough time to manage my “wish list” of ideas. Tourism allows you to take an idea and develop it into a business opportunity and the ideas don’t stop coming!

What is the biggest challenge facing tourism today? Keeping up with the changes in the way we do business and making sure we are reaching our target audience effectively.

If you could change one thing about the industry, what would it be? To be able to influence a consistently high level of customer service across the whole of the tourism industry and this would ensure that every customer would feel that they were valued and appreciated for choosing to take their holiday in New Zealand.

Why did you decide to work in tourism?  I purchased a shareholding in a tourism business so I had to learn all about how tourism works

Describe your career path:  I didn’t study tourism but I bought business experience to my involvement in tourism from previous businesses that I owned and operated and also previous management roles I had.

What have been the major challenges/rewards you’ve faced in your career? There have been a few but the most recent one is of course the 14 November 2016 earthquake. The impact of the quake was devastating and challenging on so many fronts. How many risk management plans include an uplift in the seabed and what this will mean for the business continuity? I think we have faced an unprecedented challenge for our business with this event.

Has there been a role model or any other type of inspiration that’s motivated you in your career?  I can’t say there is one particular role model that has influenced my career but I can say that traveling and experiencing for myself, a variety of destinations and opportunities is where I really draw my inspiration from. I am always looking at ways we can improve the visitor experience for our guests and that is very motivating in itself.

What are you preoccupied with at the moment at work?  Recovering from the earthquake and getting the business back to trading at its best is the current focus. This will take some time because so much of what we need is outside of our immediate control so we are remaining as positive and upbeat as possible while we wait for the progress that we need.

What advice would you give women thinking about entering the industry today? Tourism offers an opportunity to be highly organized, responsive, connected and invested in a dynamic and rewarding industry.  There is freedom and space to be as innovative and as entrepreneurial as you dare yourself to be. It is a great industry to grow and develop with and it never stands still. Jump on board!

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