The Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) and Regional Tourism Organisations – Destination Queenstown and Lake Wanaka Tourism – are seeking a more active and collaborative approach from Central Government in relation to the visitor industry.
On Monday, 4 February 2019, a joint submission was provided to Central Government in response to their draft Tourism Strategy which primarily focusses on environmentally, socially and economically sustainable tourism growth across New Zealand.
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The joint submission offered six areas that the Strategy should address, from a Southern Lakes perspective. These include taking a regional approach, ensuring inter-sectoral integration, considering sustainability, productivity, and innovation in decision making, and emphasising the need for data and insights.
Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult advised that as the visitor industry is the country’s largest export earner, this strategy indicates a step in the right direction.
“Tourism plays a significant role in New Zealand, particularly in the Queenstown Lakes District. It is the backbone of our local economy and provides numerous jobs and opportunities for business ventures. As the pace of growth in this industry is set to continue, it needs to be managed in a sustainable, holistic way,” said Mr Boult.
Lake Wanaka Tourism Chairman Mark Morrison applauds the government’s initiative to create a national tourism strategy.
“It is critical that the strategy is embraced by an ‘all of government approach’ that recognises tourism as New Zealand’s number one export earner and fulfils the ambition for tourism to improve the lives of New Zealanders. To be successful, this long overdue strategy will need a comprehensive and coordinated approach from central government, across legislation, policy, funding and research,” said Mr Morrison.
Destination Queenstown Chairman Matt Hollyer advised the Tourism Strategy should provide tools and resources for each region and the industry to ensure its continued success.
“This joint submission reflects a shared desire to improve insights and investment in this sector so that our industry, and the many businesses and community members that have a stake in it, can prosper in an ever-changing global competitive environment,” said Mr Hollyer.
“Our district is seen as the go-to location for many visitors to New Zealand and we want to maintain this image, however we also do not want to stifle what makes our region so special. It definitely is a balancing act,” Mr Boult said.
“Through this Tourism Strategy, we hope to see greater strategic and sustainable investment by Government, particularly in regards to pressure points such as infrastructure. This is a challenge that our district faces as an Established Tourist Region,” added Mr Boult.