Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s Local Government Manifesto 2016 says communities across the country can reap even greater economic and social rewards from international and domestic visitors if councils grasp the opportunity.
Releasing the Manifesto today, TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says it highlights the economic contribution domestic and international visitors are already making to regions in every part of the country.
“Tourism in New Zealand is an $82 million per day industry. Only a fraction of that spending actually occurs in places commonly considered tourism specific, such as hotels and attractions – the balance takes place in cafes, bars, supermarkets, petrol stations, farmer’s markets, vineyards and other local businesses.”
Worth around $30 billion annually, tourism is enjoying record growth in both visitor numbers and value with much more to come.
“We are urging councils to capitalise on the strong projected growth by catering for visitors as well as residents in their planning and strengthening the local government and tourism partnership.”
Mr Roberts says TIA has identified eight priority actions for councils over the next two years. These are closely aligned to the industry’s Tourism 2025 growth framework, which aspires to grow annual total turnover to $41 billion. The priority actions are:
This is the most important thing councils can do – look after and invest in the quality of their region as a destination.
With the rapid growth in visitor numbers, councils have to invest in essential infrastructure and enable the private sector to develop infrastructure by minimising red tape.
Events are one of the best tools for encouraging people to visit a community.
Measuring Visitor Satisfaction
It’s important to understand what visitors think of your community. If they are happy businesses can grow. If there is low satisfaction it can be addressed.
Attracting people to visit throughout the year will develop a sustainable visitor industry with more permanent jobs.
Regional Development & Tourism
Tourism supports regional growth and needs to be incorporated into regional development strategies. It also complements a community’s other industries, such as wine, horticulture and farming.
Enabling Airport & Port Facility Development
Better connections through great air and cruise links are vital to growing tourism. If an airport or port is council-owned, long-term plans need to be aligned with tourism industry forecasts.
Sustainable Tourism Positioning
Every region needs to demonstrate its commitment to look after its economic future and the resources it uses to operate.
Mr Roberts says the Manifesto is relevant for every candidate standing in the upcoming local government elections.
“We are also encouraging tourism operators around the country to use the Manifesto to lobby their local council and push for stronger recognition of tourism, the economic and social benefits it delivers communities and the opportunity it holds.”