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Tourism industry sets priorities for future

Tourism industry sets priorities for future

24 August 2006

Changes driven by new technology, the need for responsible environmental management by tourism businesses, and the challenges of increased competition from other international destinations are among key issues for the $17.2 billion tourism industry, tourism operators say.

More than 350 participants in the industry attended the Tourism Industry Conference in Wellington this week where they contributed to the mid-term update of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010. This document, which sets the course for the tourism industry, is being updated to take account of new challenges facing tourism and extended to 2015.

Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Chief Executive Fiona Luhrs said it was great to see a wide range of people from across the sector contributing their thoughts and ideas to the future of the industry.

“The tourism industry is in good heart and there is widespread support for the approach laid out by the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010, that New Zealand should position itself as a niche destination for high-end travellers who have the time and money to appreciate what we have to offer. We do not want to become a mass-market, low-cost destination,” Ms Luhrs said.

“The industry is working together better than ever before. There was a diverse range of views and opinions but common ground on the big issues.”
Those at the conference identified several key themes for the Strategy to address:

- Technology – implications of online booking (including low cost airlines), web based services, blogging, podcasts; responding rapidly to new technologies and meeting visitor needs and expectations.

- Environmental sustainability – delivering on our 100% Pure marketing promise; protecting the environment tourism relies on; meeting greater demand from visitors for more visible environmental responsibility.

- External shocks – planning for and responding to: rising cost of fuel, terrorism and pandemics.

- Responding to emerging markets – China, India and others that may emerge in the medium term.

- The challenge of competition – understanding our competitor destinations, understanding and exceeding the expectations of our diverse visitors, delivering consistently high quality, world class visitor experiences.
More consultation is planned with industry stakeholders over the next two months. The draft update of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010 will be released for feedback early next year.

Go to www.nztourismconference.co.nz for more conference details.
The Tourism Industry Conference is managed by TIA in partnership with the Inbound Tour Operators Council (ITOC), with support from Tourism New Zealand and the Ministry of Tourism. Event partners are Air New Zealand, Whale Watch Kaikoura, Peek Display Corporation, AA Tourism, Telecom and Visa International.
Key statistics about tourism:

- Tourism is the world's fastest growing industry
- New Zealand tourism arrivals have doubled in size since 1994 to 2.38 million
- Forecast annual growth is 4% on average for at least the next five years
- Tourism is New Zealand's single largest export sector and contributed $7.4 billion dollars to the economy in the year ended March 2004. That is 18.5% of exports
- Domestic tourism contributes $9.8 billion to the economy each year
- Tourism directly and indirectly employs 10 percent of the work force. That is one in 10 jobs in New Zealand.
- Tourism represents 9.4% of gross domestic product and generates nearly $500 million in GST returns from international visitors each year. Tourism is the only export sector whose international clients pay GST.

ENDS

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