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Toolkit will help councils develop tourism

Toolkit will help councils develop sustainable tourism strategies

Monday 26 July, 2004

From today local councils will have a new tool to help them develop tourism strategies that better manage the impacts of tourism growth, while still capturing the benefits. The Tourism Planning Toolkit, launched at the Local Government New Zealand conference today by Tourism Minister Hon Mark Burton, will be a great resource for council officers and councillors said Local Government New Zealand’s Chief Executive Eugene Bowen.

“This web-based resource has been developed by Lincoln University with significant input from Local Government New Zealand and the Ministry of Tourism.

“It will help councils plan for tourism, taking into account all the factors, so the positive impacts can be maximised and the negative impacts can be clearly identified and minimised. In short, it’s a practical tool for developing local tourism that is sustainable.

“The toolkit is part of Local Government New Zealand’’s response to the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010.” Mr Bowen said local government had always played a big role in tourism development: in marketing through visitor centres and regional tourism organisations; in management of tourist destinations such as museums and sports facilities; and as planners.

“In the past the focus has sometimes been more strongly on the development of tourism than on managing its impacts, but in recent years we have taken a much more global approach. Tourism is New Zealand’s biggest industry, and all the projections are for the strong growth seen in recent years to continue – for instance international visitor nights are expected to increase by 50 percent by 2009.

“If tourism is to be sustainable local government will need to ensure the economic benefits are properly balanced against the need to protect the environment and the quality of life of its citizens. The Tourism Planning Toolkit will help us do that.”

ENDS

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