New Zealand tourism industry body Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) has demanded the incoming NZ Government have a vision to revitalise the industry and fix long-standing issues that have prevented tourism from delivering maximum benefits.
TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says: “Although many of us in tourism are feeling down in the gutter, paradoxically there may never be a better time for our industry to reach for the stars. To put it another way, Matariki 2020 can be the start of a bright new journey for tourism in Aotearoa.”
The industry has suffered an enormous setback and Mr Roberts says: “The agony is far from over, but we can and will revive. It may never return to what it was just a few months ago – but we can rebuild something very special that we can all be proud of.”
TIA’s Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan identifies ‘Vision’ as one of the six categories where action will be required from the Government elected on 19 September.
“We have an opportunity to make bold changes to fix longstanding systemic issues that have compromised our desire to build a truly sustainable tourism future that will benefit New Zealand for the long-term.
“While the immediate outlook is uncertain, the tourism industry’s longer-term ambitions remain relevant. For the industry to be sustainable – environmentally, socially and economically – we must protect and enhance the environment on which tourism businesses depend, maintain support from local communities, deliver outstanding visitor experiences and honestly address longstanding issues like congestion, poor infrastructure, low wages and undesirable visitor behaviour.”
TIA will be calling on the new Government to turn words into action and adequately resource government agencies so they can deliver on the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy. All parts of the government apparatus must understand their impact on tourism and their role in its revitalisation.
“At a political level, we need a Government that has the vision to support and champion the industry’s own efforts to lead the world in sustainable tourism. Like the industry, the Government wants tourism growth to be productive, sustainable and inclusive. We can only achieve that by steering the waka in the same direction.”
The foundations for this vision are already in place…
TIA’s Tourism 2025 & Beyond, A Sustainable Growth Framework – Kaupapa Whakapakari Tāpoi, sets a vision of ‘growing a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders’. It aligns with the Government Tourism Strategy and is supported by the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment – He Kupu Taurangi Kia Toitū ai te Tāpoitanga; and for visitors, both domestic and international, the Tiaki Promise.
For more details, read Roberts’ blog on this topic.
What is the Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan?
To support the revival and revitalisation of the tourism industry, the Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan identifies 37 specific actions required from the incoming Government, in six categories – Vision, Partnership, Regions, Natural Resources, Knowledge and People.
TIA is sending the Action Plan to all the major political parties, encouraging them to incorporate the action points into their tourism policies.
The association is also encouraging tourism operators around the country to get involved and highlight the importance of tourism to their local election candidates. They can use the Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan to lobby MPs and raise tourism issues at election meetings.