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Good start to mid-term update of tourism strategy

Hon Damien O’Connor
Minister of Tourism

28 April Media Statement

Good start to mid-term update of tourism strategy

A high-level group of tourism industry stakeholders said today they have made a good start to a key review that will map out the future direction of the industry.

The group, which is leading a mid-term update of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010, met yesterday in Wellington to take stock of the sector and help guide its continued strong performance.

Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor, who chaired yesterday's meeting, said he was pleased that solid progress was made, with consensus achieved on the main issues.

"There was agreement across the board that the principles of the strategy, formed five years ago, still provide a good base for the future.

"The review will build on these principles by updating the strategy to take into account new challenges facing the industry, such as a shortage of skilled workers, increasing fuel costs, greater use of technology and the need for greater capital investment."

Mr O'Connor said the group would consult widely within the industry and across government agencies. The review would also look at domestic tourism to better understand its dynamics, adding to work that was already underway.

He acknowledged the work of the original Tourism Strategy Group, which he said laid the framework for an exceptionally successful period for tourism in New Zealand.

Tourism Industry Association (TIA) Chief Executive Fiona Luhrs said yesterday’s meeting made valuable progress on the strategy update.

“The work will now be advanced by a group of industry leaders comprising TIA, Tourism New Zealand and the Ministry of Tourism. We’ll also be using the Tourism Industry Conference, August 21-24, as a forum to debate key strategic issues with tourism business operators and other interested parties.”

TIA will provide regular updates to the tourism industry on the progress of the strategy update using its established communications channels, Ms Luhrs says.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton who was part of the original strategy group said reviewing the strategy was vital to keep it as relevant as possible.

"The tourism world has changed significantly since the strategy was launched in 2001 and this process will help the industry look at how we might meet the new challenges we face."

Mr Hickton said all parties at the meeting were committed to ensuring that tourism's success continued into the future.

A provisional timetable was agreed:

May 2006: Discussions with key partners and stakeholders.
June 2006: Terms of reference and format of industry conference finalised.
July 2006 Terms of reference and project plan agreed by group.
August 2006: Tourism industry conference.
December 2006: Draft of review complete.
March 2007: Review signed off by group.

To read the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010, go to: http://www.tourism.govt.nz/strategy/index.html


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