New Zealand has unveiled its new national tourism strategy, designed to maximise the potential of the sector over the next 12 years.
The ‘Tourism 2025’ strategy, which was released this week at the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) Summit in Wellington, identifies the need for New Zealand’s tourism sector to “evolve and adapt” to take advantage of new opportunities. It focuses on five key areas:
Firstly, the need to “prioritise insight”, to enable the sector to track its own performance, which in turn would support the industry’s decision-making processes.
Secondly, the plan identified the need to increase the country’s air connectivity. Ninety-nine percent of New Zealand’s visitors arrive by air, and Tourism 2025 stressed the need for “profitable international and domestic connectivity”.
Thirdly, the plan urges the industry to target “high-value opportunities”, including source markets like China and sectors like international student family visits, which it said “remain a rich, largely untapped, source of value”.
Fourth, Tourism 2025 stressed the need to provide an “outstanding visitor experience”, which in turn would drive repeat visits and word-of-mouth recommendations.
And finally, the plan urged the industry to “focus on productivity for profit” – reducing seasonality issues and encouraging wider regional dispersal of visitors. In line with this, it identified the need to target new markets, such as cruise and MICE, which would improve productivity.
“There is no single solution to growing the value New Zealand gets from tourism. But in developing Tourism 2025 over the last six months we have found a range of areas where there are significant opportunities for the industry to increase its value and its profitability,” said TIA’s chief executive, Martin Snedden.
“Tourism 2025 has a firm focus on value growth – growing yield, profitability and return on investment. We are developing a range of initiatives, some for immediate action and some for longer-term implementation, that will allow the industry to seize the opportunities available,” he added.
Tourism New Zealand welcomed the plan, which it said would help the country achieve “long-term, enduring, value-based growth”.
“Change in this industry is constant and as a collective, we need to be constantly re-visiting and re-evaluating what we are doing in order to adapt,” said the tourism board’s chief executive, Kevin Bowler. “This framework… provide[s] the ‘big picture’ thinking that the whole industry can come in behind.”