– Tourism 2025 – promising start but much more to do

New Zealand’s tourism industry has made a promising start on achieving its 2025 goal but with strong international competition it can’t afford to be complacent, today’s 2014 TIA Summit has heard.

Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Chief Executive Chris Roberts told Summit delegates that the industry needed to stay committed and aligned to achieve the Tourism 2025 goal of almost doubling total tourism revenue to $41 billion a year.

The annual target for growth in international visitor revenue was 6% CAGR (compound annual growth rate) but the actual growth was 7.4% last year, Mr Roberts said.

The domestic tourism target was 4% CAGR. However, growth was only 3.2% in the last 12 months.

“In total, we saw a 5% increase. So we’ve made a promising start but there’s a long way to go.”

The industry was undertaking a wide range of activities to bring Tourism 2025 to life, Mr Roberts said. These were being highlighted on the Tourism 2025 In Action blog.

However, there were many more opportunities the industry could exploit, such as growing New Zealand’s air connectivity. A recent International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecast projected that air routes to, from and within the Asia-Pacific would see an extra 1.8 billion annual passengers by 2034. New Zealand needed to ensure it had the infrastructure and tourism products available to get its share of that growth.

Planned convention centres and the cruise sector offered huge opportunities but New Zealand needed to attract more infrastructure investment.

“The China market continues to evolve at a rapid pace. 100 million Chinese will travel overseas this year and that is expected to double to 200 million by 2020. We need to keep thinking about who we are targeting in China and in emerging markets because every other destination is also eyeing these big prizes,” Mr Roberts said.

TIA was leading a project with the aim of ensuring that the tourism industry had the workers it would need to host growing visitor numbers so that visitors would have outstanding experiences.

“Tourism can and should deliver increased economic activity, jobs and business opportunities and add vibrancy to our communities across the country. But dozens of global destinations are targeting the same opportunities as New Zealand.

“But with the right commitment, alignment and policy settings, our industry can reach its 2025 goals and make an even greater contribution to New Zealand’s overall wellbeing.”

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