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New Zealand Government delivers strategy for sustainable tourism growth

New Zealand Government delivers strategy for sustainable tourism growth
May 16, 2019

The New Zealand Government has released a new national tourism strategy setting out a more deliberate and active role for Government in tourism, to better manage the challenges of growth and share the benefits of tourism more widely.

Launched today by New Zealand Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage, the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy aims to deliver benefits to New Zealanders through productive, sustainable and inclusive tourism growth.

Recent forecasts from New Zealand’s Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment suggest moderate growth in international arrivals which are expected to rise on average by 4% annually, so we can expect 5.1 million visitors a year by 2025, up from 3.9 million last year.

To cope with that the tourism strategy sets out five key priorities which involve Government agencies working more closely with Maori, local government, communities and the tourism and conservation sectors. 

They will focus on improving productivity, protecting New Zealand's natural environment, culture and historic heritage, providing good visitor  experiences, making sure communities are better off economically, and distributing tourism around the regions.

The draft strategy released last year received more than 250 submissions, just over half of them from members of the public.

Many wanted more focus on communities and social wellbeing ahead of ever increasing visitor numbers.

There were also calls for more investment in transport and visitor infrastructure.

Introducing the Strategy, Minister Davis stated “tourism is a vital part of New Zealand’s ongoing success, supporting national and regional economies, creating jobs and allowing us to celebrate who we are. We must ensure that we’re set up to continue enjoying these benefits, while better managing the challenges that growth can bring.

“The Tourism Strategy sets out five key outcomes for tourism in New Zealand to ultimately improve New Zealanders’ lives through tourism and enrich our country through sustainable tourism growth.”

New Zealand’s natural environment, culture and historic heritage are an important focus for the Tourism Strategy, with Minister Sage adding “New Zealand’s natural and cultural heritage is at the core of our tourism industry and our national identity. We must build a sustainable visitor industry that protects and cherishes this heritage for future generations.

“As visitor numbers rise we must ensure the tourism industry is part of the solution for our biggest conservation challenges; including climate change, impact of pest species, and habitat loss and degradation.

“Tourism can be a champion for the restoration of the natural environment, and show other industries and sectors how it can be done successfully.”

The Tourism Strategy includes a work programme and priorities to focus the new direction for tourism and make sure it is a success. Tools such as the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy, and the response to the Responsible Camping Working Group will help to make this a reality.

The ongoing success of the Tourism Strategy and tourism overall, will rely on strong industry leadership.

Minister Davis added “we know that we’ll have better tourism outcomes by working closely with the tourism and conservation sectors, and building stronger partnerships with Māori tourism enterprise, iwi, hapū and tangata whenua. We look forward to working together with the industry to achieve our goals.”

Click here for more information on the New Zealand- Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy.

Images: Views of Auckland (above) and Queenstown (below).

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