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NZ Tourism seeks stronger ties with Councils

NZ Tourism seeks stronger ties with Councils
August 27, 2010

New Zealand’s tourism industry is seeking a much stronger partnership with local government, saying it will boost the already significant economic contribution visitors make to communities throughout New Zealand.

The publication Local Government + The Visitor Industry: A Powerful Partnership highlights the economic wealth visitors pump into the regions, and how a closer partnership will maximise the benefits to business, communities and councils.

Launched yesterday before a tourism and local government audience in Auckland, the document has been developed by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ) and the Regional Tourism Organisations of New Zealand (RTONZ).

A copy of the document is being sent to every candidate in the upcoming local government elections and to key council staff.

As TIANZ Chief Executive Tim Cossar explains, “we want to highlight that tourism is a core activity for most councils around New Zealand, and that councils are vital in helping tourism businesses provide the best possible experiences for visitors. In return visitors generate wealth, jobs and vibrancy in communities.”

Cossar says the visitor industry generates $59 million daily and directly supports almost 100,000 jobs, and those figures increase significantly when you factor in the indirect visitor spend in places like petrol stations, supermarkets, cafes, roadside stalls, bars and shops.

“Our message to council candidates and staff is that there is potential for visitors to contribute much more to New Zealand communities if we can build a stronger tourism and local government partnership.”

RTONZ Chairman Don Gunn says councils are arguably tourism’s most important partner, stating “they play a huge role in determining the level and quality of visitor services and infrastructure available, the events that take place and the public money that is invested in destination promotion. This activity helps attract visitors, influences how long they stay and importantly whether visitors recommend the region to friends and family.”

The tourism industry is calling on all candidates who are successful in the October local government elections to work with it to take action on five priorities:

1. Engagement 
Central government recognised the importance of the visitor industry, we’re now seeking a closer working relationship with councils, underpinned by a shared appreciation of the industry’s value and the opportunities it presents for regional economic growth. 

2. Investment
TIANZ and RTONZ seek to partner with councils on investment decisions that will maximise community benefits and enhance the quality of the visitor experience. This includes investment in people, infrastructure and broadband. 

3. Environment
TIANZ and RTONZ seek to work more closely with councils to enhance environmental management in the regions and deliver on the environmental promise that is so important for visitors and other industries. This priority calls for action in areas like accessible recycling facilities and the development of clear guidelines for camping.

4. Regional Profile
TIANZ and RTONZ endorse council investment in regional promotion and want to engage in joint initiatives that will maximise the return from promotional efforts. Regional Tourism Organisations, i-SITE Visitor Centres, festivals and events are all great examples of council investment that delivers benefits to their communities.

5. Regulatory Environment
TIANZ and RTONZ seek to partner with councils to ease the compliance burden on businesses of all types and sizes and to foster a business-friendly regulatory environment for high quality operators. New Zealand tourism industry is dominated by small-to-medium sized enterprises and overly-bureaucratic compliance requirements – from RMA consents to food hygiene guidelines – can stymie business growth.

Cossar adds that the visitor experience is the sum total of how business, local and central government and communities welcome and understand visitor needs and improve the visitor experience.

“If local authorities can play a lead role in facilitating that, then communities will reap the benefits that visitors offer.”

Jennie Langley, New Zealand Hotel Council Chair, endorses TIANZ's campaign, saying that a stronger partnership between local government and the visitor industry is in everyone’s best interests.

 “It is vital that councils understand the significance of tourism and the value it has as an important economic resource that attracts significant investment, provides jobs and brings visitors, both domestic and international, to their regions.

"At the same time, it's incumbent on tourism operators to engage with councils to ensure their views are heard."

To read Local Government + The Visitor Industry: A Powerful Partnership go to



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