A partnership approach to Tourism
21 May 2002
The government is continuing to get alongside business and local communities to build a sustainable future for tourism in New Zealand, Tourism Minister Mark Burton said.
The Minister revealed details of tourism budget initiatives today at the TRENZ tourism trade show being held at the Auckland Showgrounds.
"In the coming financial year the government will fund a number of initiatives, as part of our ongoing response to the recommendations of to the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010," Mark Burton said.
The Strategy was jointly developed by the government, the tourism sector and other interests. Last year's budget flagged $14 million of Industry and Regional Development funding over five years for Tourism Strategy initiatives. Some of this funding has already been allocated, to funding support for Maori tourism, regional tourism organisations and local government, and for the expansion and enhancement of the Qualmark rating system. Qualmark will receive further funding in 2002-03.
New initiatives approved for the
1. $1.31 million over four years of new funding to assist Tourism New Zealand to establish and operate an office in India,
2. $632,000 over three years of new funding to further develop the Visitor Information Network, and
3. $220,000 for new research into the development of cultural tourism.
"Emerging tourism markets like India hold a lot of promise for New Zealand," Mark Burton said. "The number of visitors from India has increased by 50 per cent in the past year.
"The 2002-03 budget provides funding from the Strategy Implementation Fund for the appointment of a permanent, full-time Tourism New Zealand representative in New Delhi and a marketing budget which will be used for joint venture marketing activities.
"Tourism New Zealand will also be contributing from within its baselines and will be seeking funding support from private sector partners."
Mark Burton said that the Visitor Information Network (VIN) is a vital partnership between central government, local government and the private sector. VIN is comprised of 90 visitor information centres located throughout New Zealand.
"The government, through Tourism New Zealand, already provides funding for national coordination of VIN activities. The additional funding of $632,000 over three years will support a marketing programme, website development, investigating the feasibility of a common database, and a re-branding initiative.
"The new funding will help VIN meet its aim of being "the most valued source of objective New Zealand information and travel services for the independently minded traveller".
Cultural tourism was identified in the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010 as a key area needing assistance to reach its potential.
"Research is crucial as there has been a dearth of reliable information on cultural tourism in New Zealand and this has inhibited decision-making processes in this area," Mark Burton said.
"The research will give us a better understanding of the demand for cultural tourism products by both domestic and international visitors. Also, when considered with other research being undertaken by the Tourism Research Council New Zealand, the gaps in supply of cultural tourism products and services will be identified.
"The knowledge generated will benefit a wide range of decision makers in tourism, including in local and central government, regional tourism organisations, Maori operators, tourism operators and the culture and heritage sectors."
Industry and Regional Development Minister Jim Anderton said the use of regional development funding for tourism shows there is a whole-of-government approach to economic growth. "Tourism makes a major contribution to the regions and to our economy and is therefore a priority for regional and economic development support," Jim Anderton said.
Mark Burton said that as they are developed, further initiatives in response to the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010 would be announced, utilising the funding made available by the Ministry of Economic Development.
"The government will continue to work with the tourism sector, and other stakeholders, to maximise the economic benefits tourism can provide for New Zealand, while protecting and preserving the environmental, social and cultural resources and values upon which it is based," Mark Burton said.