Frequently Asked Questions


Who is Tourism Bay of Plenty?

Tourism Bay of Plenty (TBOP) is a Destination Management Organisation (DMO) responsible for supporting the Coastal Bay of Plenty to be a thriving tourism destination. This includes growing the region’s visitor economy in a regenerative way that helps our region’s cultural identity, environment, community, and economy flourish.

We work closely across industry sectors including travel trade, cruise lines, domestic and international media, visitor services, events, and local business to ensure a holistic approach to the region’s tourism sector that faithfully represents the stories of Our Place and Our People.

Find out more about Tourism Bay of Plenty here.


What is Destination Management and why is it the answer?

Destination Management is the holistic and coordinated approach to managing all aspects of a destination that contribute to a visitor’s experience, taking into consideration the perspectives and expectations of local residents, iwi, visitors, industry businesses, Te Taiao (the environment), and local government.

It enables the tourism sector to collectively preserve a region’s identity while ensuring visitor-related development does not conflict with residents’ interests. In fact the aim is that visitors add more to the region than they take away- in other words, a move up from sustainable tourism to regenerative tourism. Regenerative industry growth opportunities are at the heart of Destination Management through the seeking of private investment for new visitor attractions and experiences. This includes building robust tourism-related infrastructure, as well as creating employment opportunities and career development pathways in tourism. 

Destination Management is at the forefront of global thinking in tourism.  

TBOP is one of the only RTOs outside Auckland to earn and uphold DMO status.


What is Tourism Bay of Plenty’s Destination Management Plan?

The Destination Management plan and strategic vision - Te Hā Tāpoi | The Love of Tourism -  was launched in March and puts the region’s environment and culture at the forefront of tourism activity that is deeply entrenched in the local heritage and culture.

The plan intends to make every visitor and their experience leave our region better than it was before they visited – the idea is that visitors give back more than they take away, not just from an economic perspective, but a cultural and environmental perspective too.

After years of planning TBOP is ready to hit the ground running with tangible actions to see the region’s tourism industry recover through this turbulent post-COVID time, directly aiding both current and new and emerging businesses evolve to become successful, regenerative entities that help our region, cultural identity and environment flourish.

The Destination Management plan created by TBOP is a leading light in the tourism sector in New Zealand and an opportunity for the local industry to help lead by example as the national industry navigates its way out of the effects of COVID.

The Destination Management plan pre-empted many of the effects of COVID and works with the difficulties in had brought to bring about change for good. We cannot do tourism as we have in the past, COVID has thrown that into focus even more. 

Find out more about our Destination Management strategy here.


How is TBOP funded?

TBOP is jointly funded by Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District and Whakatāne District Councils.


How does funding work?

TBOP is seeking to maintain its current funding from Tauranga City Council (TCC) to capitalise on unique opportunities open to the local industry. Status quo funding this year from TCC will not only allow TBOP to build on the rapid gains it has made since becoming a Destination Management Organisation (DMO) in 2018, but to access a $20.2 million Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) fund to the tune of approximately $750,0000, more than doubling the region’s funding when it is needed most.

This funding boost is only accessible to Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) with a comprehensive Destination Management Plan. TBOP is one of the few RTOs to have Destination Management status thanks to the foresight and planning of the past five years.


What does the extra funding allow TBOP to do?

This funding boost will assist the local tourism sector to implement tangible, practical actions to lift the industry post-COVID.  The strategic planning over the last five years has prepared TBOP for events such as this and now funding will be aimed at directly providing marketing support and practical, expert advice for tourism operators, current and emerging to implement.


How is the i-SITE connected to TBOP?

The i-SITE New Zealand brand is owned and managed by Tourism New Zealand under the Visitor Information Network (VIN INC). Each i-SITE is governed and/or owned either by an RTO, Council or Private Enterprise. The Tauranga i-SITE Visitor Information Centre is managed by Tourism Bay of Plenty. The i-SITE is essentially the front line of visitor information and the team provide friendly customer service to all locals and manuhiri (visitors). The Tauranga i-SITE Visitor Information Centre is armed with expert knowledge and tasked with providing relevant information and travel bookings both locally and throughout New Zealand.


What does the tourism industry mean to Bay of Plenty?

Tourism is one of the largest economic contributors to the region and TBOP forecasts the visitor economy will grow from $1 billion in 2017 to $1.45 billion in 2028. Tourism is also responsible for around 7500 jobs and the visitors that the tourism industry brings into the region enable the retail and hospitality sectors to thrive.

The value of tourism is clearer than ever before as we’ve seen what happens across the community in terms of jobs, spending and the impact of small businesses when it is taken away.

The Bay of Plenty region has a large domestic visitor economy, which puts the region in good stead to recover post-COVID. The composition of the region’s visitor economy has remained unchanged over the past decade – around 80% domestic, 20% international and there is ample space to grow within the domestic visitor economy, including growth in South Island visitors.

The implications of a serious drop in tourism are clear and effect not just the tourism industry, but the entire community.