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Marketing and infrastructure top priorities


Wednesday 10 September 2008

Media Release

Marketing and infrastructure top priorities for tourism

Increased investment in marketing New Zealand internationally and ensuring the nation has the vital infrastructure it needs to meet visitor expectations are the top tourism priorities for the incoming government.

The tourism industry will launch the Tourism Industry Election Manifesto at a formal reception at the Bolton Hotel in Wellington this evening.

Tourism Industry Association Chief Executive Tim Cossar says the Tourism Industry Election Manifesto outlines tourism’s top six priorities for an incoming government for the next three years.

“New Zealand is recognised as one of the most clean, green and scenic places on earth. The 100% Pure brand positioning built by a vibrant tourism industry has become an important source of national confidence, pride and identity - and a front window for New Zealand to the world.

“If New Zealand Inc. is to continue to prosper, to attract investment and to raise its position in OECD rankings, then it is vital that the tourism industry gets the recognition and support it deserves, and that the positive image tourism projects for New Zealand continues to be strong,” Mr Cossar says.

New Zealand tourism has flourished over the past twenty years, but times are changing. Global economic conditions, rising fuel prices and a strong New Zealand dollar have seen growth in international visitor arrivals slow to just 1% in the past year.

“The potential to lose international market share is a huge concern to the industry and one that demands a response which is very much not business as usual.

“Some new thinking and a sense of urgency is needed to address the issues we face and lift New Zealand tourism’s game,” Mr Cossar says.

“If we don’t take action now, New Zealand will undoubtedly find it harder to maintain the market share its tourism exports enjoy today.”

Tourism expenditure reached $20.1 billion for the year ended March 2007. This represents 18.3% of New Zealand’s foreign exchange earnings.

“Tourism in New Zealand is a $50 million per day industry. Research shows that the potential returns from increased investment in tourism could be as high as 15-1, so the question we have to ask is why wouldn’t the incoming government increase investment in tourism?”

The tourism industry is calling for the incoming Government to:

1. Recognise tourism as a bedrock of New Zealand’s economy - Establish a Tourism Industry Taskforce to drive a whole-of-government approach to issues affecting the industry and ensure the tourism portfolio is managed by a top ranking Minister.

2. Market Destination New Zealand - Increase public sector investment for targeted offshore promotions to markets of strategic importance to New Zealand and for improved marketing efforts in the domestic market.

3. Invest in vital infrastructure - Invest in a national convention centre, cruise ship port facilities and other infrastructure improvements required to reduce seasonality and increase spending from visitors to New Zealand.

4. Improve New Zealand’s environmental performance - Enhance New Zealand’s environmental performance and the capabilities of its tourism industry to deliver on the 100% Pure New Zealand brand promise.

5. Invest in training and work skills initiatives - Ensure New Zealand’s tourism businesses have the people they need to do business and to deliver a high quality visitor experience.

6. Boost the return from major events - Maximise the return to New Zealand of the Rugby World Cup 2011 and other major event opportunities.

“Our aim is that the actions articulated in this manifesto will play a major part in helping to shape the tourism policies of the incoming government. TIA will continue to pursue these actions with the incoming government in the post-election period,” Mr Cossar said.

A full copy of the Tourism Election Manifesto will be available at www.tianz.org.nz from 5pm today.

--

TOURISM OPERATOR QUOTES FROM TIA’S TOURISM ELECTION MANIFESTO MEMBER SURVEY

1. TOURISM’S VALUE

“The quality of urban and rural environments, plus our people will be key to maintaining our international reputation and assist us to compete with other destinations. We must improve and not rely on past glories.” – Megan Harris, Executive Officer, Hawke's Bay Wine Country Tourism Association

2. MARKETING

“Increased fuel costs, rising living costs and more taxes means less money for travel. New Zealand being so far away could see us lose valuable and hard fought 'market share' if advertising budgets are not increased. – Pam and Rob Wigmore, Ferry Landing Lodge, Coromandel

“Tourism marketing expenditure is likely to have significantly more return than any other area of government spending – Murray Bond, CEO, Taieri Gorge Railway

“It's a crowded market place and we need to ensure our voice is heard” – James Helmore, Sales & Marketing Manager, Skyline Gondola, Restaurant & Luge Queenstown

3. INFRASTRUCTURE

“Only robust profitable countries or businesses can invest in infrastructure and pay more than lip service to long term environmental or social goals. Hence the need to both spend more on growing the industry and delivering on the promise.” – Brian Megaw, River Valley

“The convention centre is needed to help combat seasonality issues in the winter period, and proper cruise ship facilities are needed to be able to grow this sector.” – Michael Pusinelli, M L Pusinelli & Associates

“There needs to be more investment in infrastructure, especially where the benefits are not just for tourism but other sectors of the economy as well. This should also target areas where we are not delivering on our "clean, green” promise.” – Michael Pusinelli, M L Pusinelli & Associates

“We must address the appalling situation that we currently have throughout the country with our cruise ship facilities. It is not OK to have our top spending visitors being treated as they are at present.” – Fergus Brown, Chief Executive, HAPNZ

3. ENVIRONMENT

“If we are going to convince people to still come to NZ despite global warming concerns, then we have to make sure we present a country that is exemplary in terms of taking care to reduce carbon emissions. Clean and green has to be genuine.” – Anne Braun-Elwert, Alpine Recreation

“Proving to our important markets that NZ is actually living and delivering the 100% Pure clean green message that we project so well, so that we remain competitive as a destination” – Simon Henshaw, Owner/ Operations Manager, Creative Adventures New Zealand

4. WORKSKILLS & TRAINING

“Continue to make it easier for people to earn a living with free business courses, mentoring and other supportive business practices like the BIZ workshops that I attend on a regular basis. We could not have built this business without this much appreciated help. It must continue!” – Pam and Rob Wigmore, Ferry Landing Lodge, Coromandel

5. EVENTS

“Events such as the 2011 Rugby World Cup are a great opportunity to showcase NZ to the rest of the world.” – Neil Harrison, Serious Fun Riversurfing, Queenstown

“Major events help to address key issues such as seasonality. They provide the motivating factor to make people come now rather than just have us on the shopping list.” – Fergus Brown, Chief Executive, HAPNZ


ENDS

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