LGNZ welcomes TIA’s national tourism plan
With the ambitious plans to grow the New Zealand tourism sector, the role of local government in helping to support and strengthen the industry is crucial, says Local Government New Zealand President, Lawrence Yule.
Mr Yule welcomed yesterday’s launch of the Tourism Industry Association’s (TIANZ), Tourism 2025 Growing Value Together framework which identifies key themes to grow the industry over the next decade.
“Local government is one of the visitor industry’s most important partners,” he said. “It invests in and supports tourism and infrastructure, from roads and parks, to museums, galleries, stadiums, festivals and events. Not to mention i-SITE visitor centres, promotional events and regional tourism organisations.”
Local Government New Zealand’s (LGNZ) Economic Development sub-committee includes membership from TIANZ and Regional Tourism Organisations NZ. This will support the development and strengthening of the local government/tourism industry partnership going forward.
Auckland Council alone spent $435.1m on tourism related expenditure in the financial year to June 2012, including arts services, events, museums and art galleries, parks, recreation services and the zoo.
LGNZ is also working with local authorities and regional tourism organisations to develop strategies to engage more closely with China and other Asian countries.
“There has been massive shift in terms of the growth of the Asian middle classes and a significant lift in its income,” said Mr Yule. “People have more money to spend and one of the things they want to do is travel. New Zealand is in the ideal position geographically to capitalise on that.”
“Tourism is a fundamental contributor to the New Zealand economy. Local government recognises this and is working closely with regional tourism organisations to work out strategies to engage with those markets.
“We need to be forward-thinking in many areas including facilities, signage, food offerings and transport concepts to make sure New Zealand is a really desirable destination.
“The structured discussion on the national tourism plan has helped identify issues impacting on the future development of the tourism sector. This supports the development and strengthening of the local government/tourism industry partnership going forward.”
Some other local authorities’ tourism related expenditure for 2012 included:
• Wellington – $126.44m, including events and promotions, galleries and museums, green spaces, environmental conservation attractions, gardens and beaches, arts and culture and heritage.
• South Taranaki – $3.72m, including arts and museums, parks and reserves, events and information centres.
• Queenstown – $3.9m. The council works with Destination Queenstown to collect and distribute a tourism marketing levy on behalf of businesses which benefit from tourism growth. The council supplements this funding by $200,000 per annum and the funds are distributed to Destination Queenstown, Lake Wanaka Tourism and the Arrowtown Promotion and Business Association.
For more information, please contact LGNZ’s Director of Advocacy, Helen Mexted, on 029 924 1221 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.