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Improving performance in the NZ visitor industry

Improving performance in the NZ visitor industry
May 17, 2011

Maximising the economic and social benefit that visitors can bring communities will be the focus of a symposium in Wellington on 22nd June.

The symposium will explore ways that local government and the visitor industry can work more closely together to attract visitors.

The event will build on the themes developed in Local Government and the Visitor Industry: A Powerful Partnership - a campaign produced last year by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ) and Regional Tourism Organisations New Zealand (RTONZ).

Lawrence Yule, Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) President and Mayor of Hastings, says that councils are arguably the visitor industry's most important partner.

Mayor Yule says councils invest in supporting infrastructure such as museums and stadia, events and festivals, and in promotion activities and agencies like regional tourism organisations and i-SITE visitor centers, stating "we need to maximise the current investment made by local government and find better ways of working with tourism businesses to achieve further growth for regional economies from the visitor industry."

The symposium will establish a set of key action points for local government and the visitor industry based on the priorities set out in Local Government and the Visitor Industry: A Powerful Partnership. It is intended for the symposium to become an annual event that will review progress and implementation against agreed actions.

TIANZ Chief Executive Tim Cossar says the Association has just completed a series of 11 road shows with tourism operators around the country. One of the recurring themes was about finding ways that the industry can better engage with councils at a local level.

Cossar explains "visitor-based businesses see council as a critical partner but many feel they lack a clear understanding of how to get involved and stay involved in decision-making at a regional level. We just have to do better at engaging with local government if we are to extract maximum benefit from the visitor industry."

Incoming RTONZ Chair David Perks says the visitor industry is a key driver of regional economies and how that investment can be better utilised will be a key theme of the day, adding "regional tourism organisations understand the fiscal constraints faced by councils and we want to be able to make better use of available funding."

The symposium will attract Mayors, council Chief Executives and officials involved in tourism and economic development, as well as RTOs and tourism operators.

For more information and registrations, go to

Image: Akaroa Harbour, South Island



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