Local Government New Zealand welcomes the Government’s draft Tourism Strategy, announced this morning, which recognises the huge potential of the tourism industry and the need for sustainable growth and cooperation between all stakeholders.
The draft strategy identifies five key outcomes, including that tourism protects and enhances New Zealand’s natural, cultural and historic heritage, that regions and communities benefit from tourism, and that New Zealanders’ lives are improved by tourism.
“More people than ever want to visit New Zealand, which is fantastic for our regions and economy. We’ve seen the benefits this brings, but also the challenges around impacts to our environment, communities and heritage, and the draft strategy recognises this,” says LGNZ Vice-President Stuart Crosby.
“As a small country, it is important that we cooperate to maximise the opportunities presented by our largest export industry, and this strategy importantly recognises that need,” says LGNZ Vice-President Stuart Crosby.
The strategy identifies a number of priority work areas, including cross-agency work to develop funding models to cater for tourism growth and enable those who benefit from infrastructure to contribute to its costs.
“We welcome the Government’s move to implement an International Visitor and Conservation Tourism Levy at the border, which alongside the Tourism Infrastructure Fund will begin to address the infrastructure shortage our regions face, and look forward to working with the government on sustainable funding for the future.”
“Councils want to maintain the social licence of tourism, by providing adequate facilities to visitors, as well as ensuring that local ratepayers aren’t unduly burdened, and we are pleased with the way the Government have identified this and are working with our communities.”
Stronger government leadership, improving destinations plans at a regional level, addressing seasonality and skills and implementing the recommendations of the Responsible Camping Working Group are also underway.
“We believe the best approach to maximising tourism is through cooperation, as seen with the recent review of the Tourism Infrastructure Fund, the work of the Responsible Camping Working Group and in today’s draft strategy, and the local government sector are please to represent our communities in that collaborative spirit.”