Governor-General Discussion with Queenstown Tourism Leaders
18 November 2015
Governor-General has Round Table Discussion with Queenstown’s Tourism Leaders at Walter Peak
Queenstown’s tourism and hospitality leaders met with Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae at the Colonel’s Homestead Restaurant at Walter Peak last night, to discuss the challenges facing the tourism industry.
Organised by Real Journeys, the group of fifteen included company owners, chair or chief executives of Destination Queenstown, the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce, AJ Hackett Bungy, Ngai Tahu Tourism, NZSki, Queenstown Airport, Skyline Enterprises, Winter Games NZ, Ziptrek and regional representatives of the Hospitality and Tourism Industry Associations.
Real Journeys Chief Executive Richard Lauder says it was an excellent opportunity for the group to come together to share their views with the Governor-General.
“One of the main concerns to come out of the discussion was that the entrepreneurial spirit that has created Queenstown has so many constraints placed on it, that it is now very difficult for any new tourism attractions to be developed. To continue to innovate and evolve tourism products is being hindered by red tape and the application of lengthy legislative processes both at national and local levels,” says Richard.
The group agreed that if they were entering the tourism industry today it was unlikely AJ Hackett Bungy would have ever got off the ground, that Skyline would have been granted consent for the gondola or that the Remarkables would have become a skifield.
With two million visitors a year to Queenstown (two-thirds of them international) and rising - other issues concerning the group were managing growth; infrastructure; lack of visitor accommodation; staff recruitment and affordable living for workers. It was also acknowledged that the fact it was such a popular destination was not a bad problem to have.
The Governor-General told the group he was aware of the issues facing them but that seeing and hearing directly from them had given him a better understanding.
Following the discussion, the group enjoyed a gourmet barbecue at the lakeside setting. The evening began with a cruise on the TSS Earnslaw. It was the first time the Governor-General had travelled on the 103-year-old steamship. Lady Janine Mateparae joined Real Journeys co-founder, Olive, Lady Hutchins and her daughter Robynne Peacock on the cruise and dined with them at Walter Peak.
Sir Jerry and Lady Janine Mateparae are now heading south to join a Milford Sound Overnight Cruise - another Real Journeys experience.