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Destination Management Plans Set A Path For Region’s Visitor Economy

November 30, 2023: New strategic long-term plans set the region’s visitor economy on a path toward more regenerative tourism. Destination Management Plans, which capture opportunities, challenges, and community wishes for the future, are complete and available now.

Waitaha Canterbury has two Destination Management Plans, owing to the unique nature of the region – one for Ōtautahi Christchurch, Selwyn, Waimakariri and Ashburton, and another for Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū Banks Peninsula that reflects the peninsula’s special environment and the local situations in Akaroa and Lyttelton, which includes their roles as cruise ports.

As the Regional Tourism Organisation, ChristchurchNZ developed the plans on behalf of and in collaboration with key strategic partners including Christchurch City Council, Waimakariri District Council, Selwyn District Council and Ashburton District Council.

These plans are a government requirement to encourage regenerative tourism across New Zealand while reflecting the aspirations of local communities. While ChristchurchNZ has no current funding for implementation, the plans outline ways in which the objectives and goals can be adopted by businesses and organisations.

ChristchurchNZ’s Head of Tourism Kath Low says, “These plans are the result of an intense research, feedback and collaboration process and we are delighted that the region now has a strong roadmap that aims to support tourists and residents in getting the most out of our region.

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“A lot has changed in the world since New Zealand was last open for widespread visitation. People are more excited about exploring new places following a global pandemic, and people in places that used to

attract a lot of visitors have had a long time to consider if and how they want the visitor economy to change. The Destination Management plans reflects communities’ and stakeholders’ shared goal of developing a well-managed, sustainable visitor destination and we are grateful to the engaged communities and key agencies who made significant contributions and helped shape the plans.

“We are proud that these plans unashamedly announce that Christchurch and Canterbury are back as visitor destinations and that continued growth of our visitor sector is a key way to supercharge our economy. Growth does not have to be at the sacrifice of the environment or social licence to operate – but we can undertake a managed approach to developing our destination, and not just being a gateway.”

The shared vision for the plans is: ‘We welcome manuhiri (visitors) to come and learn about and explore our unique culture, history and geography in a way that delivers benefits for our taiao (environment), our people, and our visitors.’

You can view the plans in full or read the summary version here.

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