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Tourism turns spotlight on infrastructure needs

9 November 2016
Media Release

Tourism turns spotlight on infrastructure needs

From public toilets to port facilities, the infrastructure required to support New Zealand’s booming tourism industry was in the spotlight at today’s Tourism Summit Aotearoa.

More than 250 industry leaders attending the Summit in Wellington were updated on a National Tourism Infrastructure Assessment, which is underway to make sure New Zealand gets the right infrastructure to support soaring visitor numbers and to enable tourism to grow value faster than volume.

“This big and complex project is identifying tourism infrastructure deficits, barriers and the priorities for investment, from water, roading, cruise ship facilities and airports to tramping tracks, hotels, car parks and convention centres,” says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa, which is leading the project with funding support from industry partners.

New infrastructure is vital if the tourism industry is to achieve its Tourism 2025 aspirational goal of $41 billion in annual turnover while continuing to deliver an outstanding visitor experience, says Mr Roberts.

Project supplier Deloitte told Summit delegates it has completed extensive consultation, including surveying hundreds of tourism businesses across the country and conducting interviews with industry leaders.

Councils were also surveyed as some significant infrastructure falls within their responsibilities, such as ports, airports and shared facilities used by both residents and visitors, such as water and sewerage.

Using this insight, Deloitte is now developing a prioritisation framework for infrastructure investment which TIA plans to publish early in the New Year.

Mr Roberts says the project will articulate the key infrastructure requirements of the tourism industry and barriers that exist.

“We want to identify and focus in on the infrastructure that really matters and where there are real concerns that it may not respond to demand.

“We won’t have all the answers on how these needs will be addressed. Other work being carried out by government and the private sector will shed more light on issues like funding.

“It is anticipated that together, all these efforts will provide a substantive body of new information on what infrastructure is needed, when, and how it might be put in place.

“Our project will highlight the opportunities for investment and ensure the private sector and central and local government are making regional and national infrastructure investment decisions based on robust insight.”


Tourism in New Zealand is a $95 million per day industry. Tourism delivers around $40 million in foreign exchange to the New Zealand economy each day of the year. Domestic tourism contributes another $55 million in economic activity every day.

Tourism is New Zealand’s biggest export earner, contributing $14.5 billion or 20.7% of New Zealand’s foreign exchange earnings (year ended March 2016).

13.2% of the total number of people employed in New Zealand work directly or indirectly in tourism. That means 332,322 people are working in the visitor economy.

The Tourism 2025 growth framework has a goal of growing total tourism revenue to $41 billion a year by 2025.

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