AA challenges domestic tourism operators to join forces
25 September 2013
AA challenges domestic tourism operators to join forces for growth
The AA says participants in New Zealand’s $10 billion domestic tourism sector need to band together in order to develop their sector and maximise their capacity.
Domestic tourism operators exist off the back of more than 40 million trips taken by Kiwis every year.
AA Club Operations General Manager Peter Moxon says private cars are used for the majority of those trips, which cements the organisation’s involvement in the sector.
“We’ve assisted Kiwis to explore their country for more than a century and have been active in the tourism sector since the 1920s,” Mr Moxon says.
“Alongside that, we are a champion of Kiwi motorists’ mobility which is also an important component of the domestic tourism sector.”
The AA publishes more than three million maps, accommodation and touring guides, offers accommodation discounts to its 900,000 members and has delivered more than $90 million in fuel discounts to motorists over the last two years with AA Smartfuel.
“We’ve been supporting the industry with a variety of activity for decades and will continue to do that which is why the AA is working closely with the Tourism Industry Association (TIA), led by Martin Snedden, as it prepares a tourism growth framework for New Zealand.
“The industry doesn’t always have a co-ordinated approach to growth and the AA believes this framework will assist with providing that,” Mr Moxon says.
“And I want to ensure that any new tourism plan includes a strong domestic focus.”
The TIA will launch Tourism 2025 on October 1 which will include key initiatives the industry needs to implement in order to develop future growth in the sector.
While there has been growth in domestic tourism over the last two years, Mr Moxon says the sector often plays second fiddle to international tourism given the dominant focus on export earnings for New Zealand.
Mr Moxon says ignored are the millions of domestic trips taken each year by Kiwis which leads to a spend of more than $13.8 billion on accommodation, attractions, food and beverage, fuel, rental cars, retail, events and flights.
“While this includes domestic business travel of $3.4 billion, the motivation for Kiwis to visit friends and family and to holiday and explore different parts of New Zealand is consistently strong.
“The economic importance of all tourism in New Zealand at $23 billion is second only to agriculture, but unlike agriculture, New Zealand lacks a cohesive, collective domestic tourism strategy to grow the size and value of this important component of our industry.”