Strategy offers Northland economic opportunities
19 November 2004 Media Statement
Tourism strategy offers economic opportunities in Northland
Innovative strategies and focussed marketing are the key to continued success in the tourism sector, says Minister of Tourism Mark Burton.
Speaking at the launch of the Northland Tourism Strategy 2003, Mark Burton stressed that all stakeholders need to continue to work closely together to achieve a sustainable future for the industry.
“Northland is one of our premiere cultural and lifestyle destinations, already well established as a cultural destination in the minds of New Zealanders. Tourism currently plays a vital role in Northland as a driver of business activity, jobs, and economic growth, but there is still plenty of room for sector development.
“If Northland tourism is to realise its full potential, it’s essential to build your reputation in the minds of our international visitors.
“Clearly, the sector is strongly focused on this goal. Northland was the first region to apply for—and secure—$2 million in Major Regional Initiative funding under the category of tourism. I also selected Northland as one of five regions to participate in a cultural tourism development programme, aimed at enhancing the quality of, and increasing visitor demand for, Northland’s cultural tourism product.
“With the launch of today’s strategy, you now have all the tools to show the rest of the world what is truly special about Northland—a unique combination of environments, culture, and people. If you are to attract the kind of high-value, high-yield visitor who will engage with your culture, value and respect your environments, and provide maximum economic benefits, it is essential that the entire Northland sector collaborate and cooperate to achieve this goal.
“Northland had six million visitor nights last year alone. Forecasts predict a 20 percent increase on that figure, along with an 80 percent in international visitor expenditure, in the period to 2009.
“I urge you to continue to be clear about where you are pitching your region, to continue to recognise and celebrate the special nature of what Northland has to offer, and remain absolutely disciplined about, and utterly focused on, the quality of both your products and your message.
“With this kind of focus on the future, tourism’s potential is almost limitless.”