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Group to steer tourism policy and research agenda

18 July, 2006
Media Statement

Ministerial Advisory Group to steer policy and research agenda for tourism

A high-level group of tourism industry stakeholders has been established to provide guidance on the key future initiatives affecting tourism, Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor said today.

The Ministerial Advisory Group on tourism has been set up to advise on several issues before the industry, including the mid-term update of the 10-year New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010, and to provide strategic advice on future research needs. The group met last week in Wellington.

Mr O'Connor said the group's formation and stated goals recognise the clear need for the industry and government to work together to ensure the ongoing success of a sector that is vital for New Zealand.

The membership of the group was decided at the meeting. Members include representatives of several industry associations, local and central government agencies, the New Zealand Maori Tourism Council and tourism businesses. (See below).

"The Tourism Strategy has served New Zealand extremely well, and much of it is still relevant going forward. At the same time however, both the industry and the government have identified significant changes in the global tourism market, and understand that New Zealand must respond accordingly to keep its competitive edge."

Mr O'Connor said the group has agreed that protecting the environment, reviewing marketing capability, skills training and infrastructure are among the key issues facing the industry.

The group will be developing a programme of engagement with operators and others within the industry to get a range of views that will lead to an invigorated tourism strategy for the next five years, Mr O'Connor said.

"For us to get the best outcome, it is vital that everybody who is involved in the industry gets involved in whatever way they can. There will be some great ideas out there that are as yet untapped."

Mr O'Connor said he was pleased that solid progress was being made at the meeting, with all parties agreeing on the main issues facing the industry.

Timelines:

- August 2006: Tourism industry conference – an opportunity for people to put forward their views.
- December 2006: Draft of strategy update complete.
- May 2007: Document signed off by group.

The membership of the Ministerial Advisory Group:

Damien O'Connor, Minister of Tourism,
Geoff Burns, retiring chairman Tourism Industry Association,
Tim Cossar, chairman RTONZ,
Johnny Edmonds, chairman New Zealand Maori Tourism Council,
Dave Hawkey, chief executive Real Journeys,
Lex Henry, chairman Tourism Research Council,
George Hickton, chief executive, Tourism New Zealand,
Jennie Langley, retiring chief executive New Zealand Hotel Council,
Fiona Luhrs, chief executive Tourism Industry Association,
Stuart Neels, president ITOC,
Ray Salter, general manager, Ministry of Tourism,
Andrew Te Whaiti, chief executive Te Puia,
Norm Thompson, deputy chairman Air New Zealand,
Darryl Wilson, general manager Wilson's Abel Tasman Experiences,
Paul Yeo, chief executive ITOC,
Clive Geddes, Mayor of Queenstown,
Harry Broad, Department of Conservation.

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

ENDS

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