Value better than volume


New Zealand’s tourism industry has unveiled its goal to contribute $41 billion a year to the economy by 2025, up from $24 billion now.

Tourism 2025 – Growing Value Together/Whakatipu Uara Ngatahi is a framework to unite New Zealand’s large and diverse tourism industry and ignite strong, aspirational economic growth.

It is an industry commitment to growing value by working together, for the long – term benefit of New Zealand tourism and the wider economy.

“ Tourism 2025 is the industry aligning for growth. We can see the world has changed. We are excited by the new opportunities but we understand that as more and more countries enter the race for the global tourism dollar, we will succeed only if we improve the competitiveness of New Zealand tourism,” Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Chief Executive Martin Snedden says.

“ Our aspiration is for annual tourism revenues to be $41 billion by 2025. To achieve that, we must grow international tourism at a rate of 6% year on year and domestic tourism at a rate of 4% year on year. The focus is value , rather than visitor numbers. We will grow volume, but we will grow value faster. ” . . .

Whenever I hear someone talk about increasing tourism I recall two incidents in Europe.

The first was in the Sistine Chapel in Rome where there were far too many people, and in spite of requests to show respect by remaining silent, far too much noise detracting from the beauty and the sacredness.

The second was climbing the steep path to the Acropolis in Athens when our guide turned round and said, “Bloody hell, where did all these people come from?”

When a guide complains about the crowd you know it’s far too big.

Kiwi friends were with us and we all agreed that the message for New Zealand was to go for value rather than volume.

We can’t compete with the plastic mass tourism that other countries offer and we shouldn’t try to.

There are places which can cope with crowds, but many of our attractions and much of the country’s beauty are better appreciated by fewer people at a time and would be spoiled by large numbers.

We’ve already got problems with people doing New Zealand on the cheap who freedom camp and leave rubbish and human waste in their wake.

We shouldn’t shut the door to any tourists, but the effort should go into attracting those who are more likely to spend more.

Tourism supports a lot of relatively low paid jobs in hospitality. Cleaning is cleaning regardless of the price people are paying for their rooms. But people who stay at more expensive places also tend to spend more money in other businesses.

A  man who takes Chinese visitors on limousine tours told me he has had passengers who come with $1 million in spending money. He took one couple to a shop which sold alpaca blankets and they bought 80 for gifts to take home.

There is potential for a lot more tourists like this as long as we ensure that we provide value for those who seek it.

Councils’ purpose needs clarity


BusinessNZ says the purpose of local government needs to be properly established in new legislation:

Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly says the purpose statement in the current Act is very broad and permissive, and has resulted in a number of councils taking on, or investing in, too many non-essential activities exposing ratepayers to unnecessary risk and cost.

“The current Act allows councils to ensure communities’ ‘four wellbeings’ – social, cultural, economic and environmental – and this very broad purpose statement has allowed councils throughout New Zealand to continue to expand their operations into the provision of services which more appropriately should be undertaken by the private sector, if at all. Moreover, councils have backed projects with marginal or negative economic returns. Businesses often bear a disproportionate share of these costs given the significant use of business rating differentials by many councils.

“The Amendment Bill has a more restrained purpose statement and is a significant improvement on current legislation, but should to be tightened further.

“A clearer definition of local government’s important role is essential,” Mr O’Reilly said.

Amen to that.

Although Tourism New Zealand is concerned events and festivals will be at risk.

“The tourism industry is concerned that the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill could restrict councils investing in events, festivals and other visitor infrastructure if it is passed in its present form,” TIA Chief Executive Martin Snedden says. . .

TIA is calling for local government to continue to be allowed to invest in the visitor industry, which creates jobs and income in communities around the country. Support from visitors makes possible a range of events and festivals that residents also enjoy, enhancing that community’s vibrancy and well-being. . . .

Events and festivals do attract visitors and add to the vibrancy of communities but current legislation has enabled councils to back them at great cost with questionable return.

Hasn’t it been lover-er-ly?


If Eliza Doolittle was looking back at the last six weeks and the Rugby World Cup, I reckon she’d say it’s been lover-er-ly.

As we wait for tonight’s final it’s timely to look back at some of the people which have made it such a success.

Full credit to:

* The Tongan community who were the first to show their true colours and did it so exuberantly.

* The fans who came from their homelands to follow their teams; the recent immigrants and those who discovered or rediscovered their links to other countries.

* All the supporters who backed a team, their own or not, which added so much to the fun of matches.

* The individuals, businesses and communities who got behind the event to paint the country in the many colours of the 20 teams.

* The volunteers, unfailingly helpful, polite and cheerful, at every venue for every match.

* The people who perservered to build the stadium in Dunedin and had the good sense to put a roof on it.

* Proper choirs singing proper anthems, properly  thanks to the New Zealand Choral Federation choirs, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and Anthony Ritchie who did the arrangements.

* The Real New Zealand Festival which showed the World Cup was about so much more than rugby.

* Good sports, on and off the field, who thankfully were the very large majority.

* The minnows and middling fish who played well and won hearts, if not games.

* The special moments – the opening; Jock Hobbs presenting Richie McCaw and Mils Muliaina with their 100th test caps; the singing by the crowds . . .

* The teams, their coaches and entourages.

* Martin Snedden who wrote in an open letter:

We set out to make people happy and proud. I think we’ve achieved that.

It’s been a really tough last 12 months for New Zealand. The magnitude of the
Christchurch disaster and the complexity of the road to recovery have knocked us
all. Pike River added to our sadness. On top of that, the economic recession has
lasted long and bitten deeper than any of us expected. We’ve grieved for those
directly affected by these events and worried about our country’s future.

Rugby World Cup 2011 hasn’t solved the problems but it has given us some
fantastic relief at a time when we needed some form of escape. Our collective
efforts have given us just cause to be proud of who we are and, most
importantly, to start smiling again. The nation’s morale has lifted.

Our thousands of guests have sensed our mood and responded brilliantly,
adding rich colour and flavour to this celebration of our national game and our
country. We owe them heaps. . .

* The All Blacks.

Whatever happens tonight, I hope we can remember the fun and the excitement, agree the tournament has been a success and accept the result with grace or magnanimity as appropriate.

Oh, and GO THE ALL BLACKS, let’s all have a love-er-ly time tonight!

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