© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2020

Tourism in need of a government with a vision

Lucy Bendell
TIA photo
Tourism in New Zealand  Tourism Industry Aotearoa

The election is approaching and the new Government in power must have the vision to revitalise the tourism industry.

The Government must have the vision to take bold decisions to fix the issues that occurred from the Coronavirus outbreak that developed at the start of this year.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) Chief Executive, Chris Roberts, said, “Our industry has suffered an enormously painful setback and 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."

"All parts of the Government must understand their impact on tourism and their role in its revitalisation," said Roberts. 

The election on September 19 will require an action plan from the new Government with the vision of growing a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders.

“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 and address longstanding issues like congestion, poor infrastructure, low wages and undesirable visitor behaviour," Roberts said. 

TIA will be calling on the new Government to turn words into action and adequately resource government agencies.

“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."

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. 

ChristchurchNZ, Tourism partnerships manager, Julia Hunt said, "The government needs to support regional tourism organisations as they are able to connect tourism businesses and help to promote to the wider audience."

Tourism businesses need to learn how to operate at a smaller volume, pivoting from relying on international numbers, which creates 50% of the revenue.

Tourism businesses now are relying to tailor their businesses and their products to the domestic market for at least 12 months, said Hunt. 

The new government needs to tap into resources that ensure there is always funding available and support through marketing strategies, allowing all businesses to understand and tap into the domestic market and the new opportunity. 

We need to ensure that businesses are able to prepare to survive long term so when the borders open again they are ready, said Hunt.

"Businesses can't do it alone, they need help from the central government to fund regional tourism organisations."  

Chris Roberts
Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chief Executive Chris Roberts Tourism Industry Aotearoa