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Concessions review provides certainty for tourism

Concessions review provides certainty for tourism operators

Improvements to concession processing will provide tourism operators with more certainty and clarity, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) says.

TIA Advocacy Manager Geoff Ensor says today’s announcement by Conservation Minister Kate Wilkinson is a big step forward for the Department of Conservation’s relationship with the tourism industry.

“Several hundred TIA members hold concessions to operate on public conservation lands and marine reserves. These activities offer visitors some of their most memorable experiences in New Zealand, including tramping, mountaineering, jet-boating, whale watching and caving,” Mr Ensor says.

“TIA has been working closely with DOC to find ways of improving the processing of consent applications. The revamped process will offer operators greater certainty in their business planning.”

The protection of New Zealand’s conservation estate, and the safety and quality of visitor experiences will remain central to the process, he says.

The processing improvements are also being welcomed by tourism concessionaires.

Alpine Guides Managing Director Bryan Carter says his organisation has had a long and largely positive relationship with DOC.

“Given the many challenges faced by our industry, it’s particularly encouraging to see them focus attention on delivering better, shorter and more consistent concession processes, while ensuring quality, safety and conservation values remain paramount,” Mr Carter says.

Adventure South, which offers a range of experiences on public conservation land throughout New Zealand, applauds the plans to address consistency and timeliness.

“In particular, the ability to work with one conservancy on our nationwide concession will be of real value,” Operations Manager Tim de Jong says.

ENDS

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