EDNZ Submission to MBIE on NZ Tourism Strategy

About Economic Development NZ

EDNZ is a national not for profit that represents and serves economic development agencies and practitioners throughout NZ.  Our members include the 14 regional economic development agencies (some of which are also the regional tourism organisations), local economic development agencies, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, many individual practitioners and various councils and consultancies.

Our members typically promote economic well-being at a regional and local level.  Some also have responsibility for social and community well-being.

We have consulted with our members on the proposed NZ Tourism Strategy and have reflected their insights below:

1.1   In general our members felt that the language within the document could benefit from being more direct and
        specific with clear definitions of terms such as Destination Management, Productivity, Quality Jobs etc. 

1.2   It may be of value to clarify and highlight the benefits to New Zealanders of increased tourism growth and how
        these benefits will be achieved.

 1.3   The system diagram could benefit from the inclusion of the impacts and benefits of the tourism industry.    

 1.4   It would be helpful if the value of and need for social licence was acknowledged.

 1.5   Equally we ask that you consider replacing the Strategy’s overarching aim with “New Zealanders” lives are
         improved by tourism”, putting New Zealanders at the front and centre of the system diagram. 

1.6   Good practice suggests that policy makers should take into account the impact on other industries when tourism
        policy is developed and implemented, to ensure there are no unintended consequences (e.g. a de-emphasis on
        backpackers could cause a shortage of seasonal workers). 

 1.7   A useful additional goal would be “to inspire international visitors to support New Zealand products and
         services both here and when they return home”.

 1.8   We encourage MBIE to await the report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment on the
          environmental impacts of tourism before finalizing this strategy.  Obviously some of the reports findings may
          have ramifications for this strategy.

 1.9   Readers would be interested in examples of how the Government plans to support the travel industry/tourism
        sector move towards a low/zero carbon future. 

1.10  We ask that you consider including a goal to boost tourism-related profits and wages earned by New
         Zealanders, including the minimum of the living wage and better working and living conditions for people
         employed in the tourism industry.

1.11     In addition to revenue, we encourage the architects of the strategy to consider the profit margins of New
            Zealand-owned and operated visitor-related businesses when measuring growth.    

 1.12    Consider central government support to develop innovation initiatives such as the Tourism Innovation Lab.

1.13     Consider expanding expand the definition of the tourism sector to include New Zealand-based tourism
             products and services sold globally, adding these businesses to the system diagram.

1.14   Consider the role of government in supporting the growth of this niche industry.

1.15    Consider adding  “A genuinely sustainable tourism industry for New Zealand” as a separate outcome.

1.16   The strategy doesn’t address or mention the educational visitor market, this is a significant omission.

1.17   It is vital that the importance of region be incalculated in the strategy since visitors do not recognize borders
          within regions.

1.18 Potentially measure the role that tourism plays in attracting business and immigrants.

1.19  Provide more timely data and insights to the Tourism sector that enable better quality investment and reinvestment decisions.  For example: Improved methodology of international expenditure data, data capture from non-traditional sectors (Airbnb and Bookabach, Campermate) to provide more accurate view of overnight stay numbers.

1.20 Consider how the strategy enables better planning for infrastructure and facilities based on estimated tourism numbers. 

EDNZ thanks you for the opportunity to make a submission relating to the NZ Tourism Strategy is committed to providing further information should you wish to explore any of the views articulated above.

Please contact: Susan Houston, CEO of EDNZ , ph 027 204 4715 or by email| info@economicdevelopment.org.nz