NZ Tourism Industry Association gives wishlist to NZ G'ment

- Posted in New Zealand by Visa Bureauon 11 September 2008

The manifesto claims the Government is not giving the tourism industry enough kudos, despite being New Zealand’s number one exporter. 

It also said, although the current Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor is doing a satisfactory job, he is ranked number 37 in the Labour Party list and the TIA feel that a higher ranking politician should be in charge of such a vital part of the New Zealand economy.

"The [tourism] industry is one of the most significant contributors to the New Zealand economy. Its sheer size and its potential to help transform our economy into one which is more sustainable and of higher value means it is a priority sector for government attention," the Minister recently told reporters.

During July, 175,700 international visitors and New Zealand visa holders arrived on New Zealand’s shores, with the majority coming from Australia, the United Kingdom, and America.  The numbers of Australians, Americans and Germans increased during this month on the same period last year, while the numbers of Chinese and South Koreans lowered.

The wishlist in the manifesto included a Cabinet-level tourism workforce, an extra $30 million in annual public funding, a $200-$300 million national conference centre, more action taken to boost industry training and ensuring operators implement sustainable approaches to tourism and the environment when possible.

Tim Cossar, Chief Executive of the TIA, said he hoped the manifesto would spur the Government to "raise the bar and lift their game".  He added that the seemingly lack of concern for the country's biggest earner was a worry for the Government. 

"Is that acceptable for New Zealand's largest export industry? If we were losing share in the dairy or wine industry, people would be concerned," he said.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.

Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.