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Regional Tourism Welcomes the End of a Fragmented Approach

Regional Tourism New Zealand says it wants to work with the Government to ensure all regions benefit from the burgeoning tourism industry.

RTNZ Executive Officer, Charlie Ives who represents 30 tourism regions in New Zealand has welcomed the New Zealand Tourism Strategy released by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Conservation Minister Eugene Sage today saying a plan for the future of our biggest export industry was overdue.

“Tourism has grown over 40% in the last five years and we just couldn’t keep kicking the can down the road without taking a strategic look at how we can ensure New Zealand gets the best value out of this growth industry into the long-term future.

We have been calling for a consistent approach to tourism for some time after years and years of fragmentation, so we are delighted with the launch of this strategy.

We know New Zealand can continue to benefit from tourism as long as we spread the visitors out to all 30 of our regions.

While we are seeing pressure of numbers in some areas, every single region in New Zealand has something unique to offer. We need to amplify that message to visitors, so they get out and experience different parts of the country at different times of the year and spread the economic value they bring.”

Mr Ives says tourism, more than any other industry can have an enormous impact on reinvigorating regions.

“We have seen some towns and regions rejuvenated thanks to investment in new attractions and facilities in their region.”

But he says it’s important not to lose sight of some of the fundamentals that visitors want and need.

“While the industry is investing in new and improved attractions, it is imperative that local and central government work together to offer the fundamentals, such as consistent signage, plentiful, clean toilets and a welcoming community.

We need to protect the visitor experience, so that they go home promoting New Zealand in their own markets – sometimes making sure of the essentials makes all the difference.

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