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Backing for Bay of Plenty's 1.45 Billion Industry Vision

Tourism leaders back Bay of Plenty’s $1.45 billion industry vision


22 May 2017: Two of New Zealand’s prominent tourism sector leaders are in Tauranga to back Tourism Bay of Plenty’s bold strategy of developing the region’s industry into a $1.45 billion sector by 2028.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa New Zealand CEO Chris Roberts and Air New Zealand Regional Affairs Manager Ian Collier are part of a team unveiling Tourism Bay of Plenty’s 10-year draft strategic plan to Tauranga City Council’s Economic Development & Investment Committee today.

Tourism Bay of Plenty is seeking feedback on the consultation document from its three funding councils – Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty and Whakatane District.

The plan will also be released to the tourism industry at a networking event tonight with consultation running until 30 June, 2018.

Tourism Industry Aotearoa New Zealand CEO Chris Roberts has reviewed many Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) plans and is impressed by Tourism Bay of Plenty’s strategy.

“They have identified the opportunities, come up with a tangible set of actions and set a clear vision. Now, with the support of local government and local businesses the strategy can be the catalyst for the Bay’s economic and social transformation,” explains Mr Roberts.

Air New Zealand Regional Affairs Manager Ian Collier is pleased with the comprehensive strategy and story Tourism Bay of Plenty has created over the last 12 months.

“As a result, we are here to show our support for Tauranga and the wider Bay of Plenty and Tourism Bay of Plenty’s aspiration to grow the visitor economy.”

The Coastal Bay of Plenty region encompasses both the Western Bay of Plenty/Tauranga and Whakatane districts.

The overall target is to increase the annual visitor spend from $901 million in 2016 to $1.45 billion by 2028 – representing growth of 60% or 4% per annum.

This will be achieved by changing the visitor mix from 80:20 to 70:30 domestic and international; growing international visitor spend by 5.3% per annum and growing domestic visitor spend by 3.7% per annum. It will also create more than 4000 extra jobs throughout the region via public and private investment.

Tourism Bay of Plenty CEO Kristin Dunne says while ambitious, the plan is the fruition of significant collaboration and insight from specialists throughout the country (including Shane Vuletich from Fresh Information Company). Air New Zealand’s and Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s support of the draft 10-year tourism strategy is a huge show of faith and support.

The Visitor Economy Strategy presents a clear aspiration for the contribution tourism makes to the Coastal Bay of Plenty, supported by a tangible set of actions to align thinking, identify opportunities, and direct public and private sector investment in tourism-related initiatives over the next decade.

“Tourism is an intrinsic part of regional economic development and while we believe the prognosis for the Bay of Plenty is very good there is potential to exceed this with support from the public and private sectors and local government,” says Ms Dunne.

“With a strategic approach, tourism can help underwrite the region’s economic and social transformation over the next decade.”

Ms Dunne says to achieve this goal, increased investment is required to support interventions that reduce barriers to growth, build competitive advantage, and create a unique and compelling visitor proposition.

Tourism Bay of Plenty also plans to take a lead role not only as destination promoter but as destination manager, assessing the adequacy and effectiveness of the product, facilities, services and programs that altogether provide memorable tourism experiences for visitors.

“Undertaking these roles will ensure we are working closely with public and private organisations to make the Coastal Bay of Plenty a more compelling and attractive visitor destination,” explains Ms Dunne.

And to gain a larger share of the national visitor economy the Coastal Bay of Plenty needs to transform itself into a ‘must see’ destination with a compelling point of difference for domestic and international visitors.

Figures show the composition of the Coastal Bay of Plenty’s visitor economy has remained unchanged over the past decade (80% domestic and 20% international) and whilst destination promotion has led to significant growth in the last three years (36%), Coastal Bay of Plenty’s market share of international visitors remains below the national average.

Coastal Bay of Plenty’s 3.6% share of national tourism expenditure remains the same as it was in 2009, while international market share has remained relatively stable at 1.8-1.9% in the same period.

“Natural and built attractions still play a key role in the visitor experience, but a rich social fabric is now a critical success factor for any destination. This has resulted in a shift away from destinations built solely around icons and towards those in which visitors can immerse themselves in the local culture and see and do things that are not available elsewhere.”

“The convergence between the visitor experience and the resident experience is being driven by growing demand for authentic experiences, and a desire to understand and interact with the local culture, environment and way of life,” says Ms Dunne.

If implemented, careful management will be required to preserve the Coastal Bay of Plenty’s unique identity and ensure that visitor-related developments do not conflict with resident interests, she says.

It’s also been identified that the Coastal Bay of Plenty must extract maximum value from its limited resources by targeting the right visitors at the right time of the year – negating the drop off in visitor numbers outside peak season periods.

This strategy will be executed in partnership with Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, and Tauranga airport and other airport partners. It will focus on four-high value visitor segments; leisure (domestic short-stay visitors; leisure (international short-stay visitors); major events; and business events.

The Strategic Plan also reveals the Regional brand story and new brand for Tourism Bay of Plenty and positioning of “It’s in our Nature”, which industry will see tonight at an industry event.

-ENDS-

For interviews or images, please contact:

Luke Balvert, Blink Public Relations & Marketing

M: 027 424 3414

E: luke@blinkpr.co.nz


Visitor Economy Strategy: Key Targets

Visitor Economy Strategy: Facts & Figures

Current Facts & Figures at a Glance:

Created: 23 May 2017

Last updated: 29 May 2017