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Strong support for a national focus on sustainable tourism growth

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Today’s announcement of a new government tourism strategy focused on sustainable growth has been welcomed by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), the Auckland Council agency responsible for managing the region as a destination.

ATEED Chief Executive Nick Hill was part of a panel discussion about destination management at the influential TRENZ travel trade event in Rotorua today where the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy was released by Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis.

Nick Hill says there is strong alignment between Auckland’s own strategy - Destination AKL 2025 - which was released by ATEED a year ago, and key aspects of the Government’s new national strategy: "We believe all regional tourism plans need to feed into a cohesive national strategy, and it’s clear that our strategy does that in crucial areas."

"As today’s discussion about destination management showed, there is growing recognition among communities, regional and central government, and the tourism industry that sustainable future growth is paramount - we are well past the point of looking to simply keep boosting visitor numbers," says Nick Hill.

"The benefits of tourism to the national economy are obviously important, but the industry needs to ensure New Zealand is better off socially and environmentally, as well economically."

Nick Hill says ATEED supports the Government’s priorities outlined in the strategy released today.

"Challenges such as pressure on sensitive environments and infrastructure need to be addressed collectively. As we said in our submission to the draft strategy, a coordinated national approach around future destination management in collaboration with industry is essential, and the new strategy should help to ensure that - reinforced by the accompanying priority on destination management and planning."

Nick Hill says Auckland’s destination strategy is underpinned by mana whenua aspirations and Māori principles, and ATEED is pleased to see the Government’s strategy place Māori culture at the heart of New Zealand-Aotearoa’s tourism offering.

"We are also extremely supportive of the Government’s priority about obtaining better data and insights. Evidence-based decision making is crucial, which is why we partnered Tourism Industry Aotearoa last year to obtain insights into the way young people viewed tourism careers.

"That ground-breaking research gave us the impetus to develop the ‘Go with Tourism’ skills campaign we launched in partnership with industry last month. It has already gained great traction with young people and tourism employers."

Nick Hill says Auckland contributes more than 30 per cent of the total national tourism spend, and ATEED looks forward to working with the Government on the implementation of the national strategy in collaboration with all regional tourism offices and the industry.

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