The expo made its return with its first show post-Covid, with up to 15,000 people expected to come through the doors over the course of the three-day event.
All major universities and tertiary institutes were in attendance, with over 50 exhibitors on-site. These included the NZ Defence Force, Agri Training and the Air New Zealand Academy of Learning.
Go With Tourism programme director Matt Stenton said the majority of secondary schools in the area had registered for the show, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.
Go With Tourism is is a Government-funded initiative established to build the tourism workforce.
The programme was launched by Stenton in 2018, after receiving $5.2 million in Government funding; and joined the NZ Careers Expo for a revamped show with an emphasis on interactivity.
"In our Go With Tourism area we are all about the touch, feel and experience."
Stenton believed the approach was better than the traditional way of giving out information flyers to students, as it allowed them to gain a better understanding of the career paths available to them.
He called the programme a "one stop Wikipedia shop for tourism and hospitality", which also travels around schools, invests in placements and internships and provides a job search.
Stenton said being at the show provided the opportunity to clear up misconceptions about the tourism and hospitality industry.
"There is a negative perception that our industry is decimated and there are no jobs," he said.
In fact, prior to Covid-19 the industry needed up to 40,000 people, a gap that has grown to 80,000 due to the lack of migrant workers.
A report from last month showed a 42 percent month-on-month growth in job advertisements within the tourism and hospitality industry on Seek.
Go With Tourism was launched following a research report investigation into youth perceptions of the industry and why young Kiwis weren't studying tourism or hospitality.
Stenton said the report found it often stemmed from high school, as the subject was not university-approved, meaning it is often viewed as the "dumb subject".
He said the show meant he was able to further explore potential employment pathways with students and have quality conversations.