Transforming the foundations of the tourism system
Becoming one of the most aspirational travel destinations and transitioning to a regenerative model requires fundamental change to the foundations of our tourism system.
The pace and scale of visitor growth prior to COVID-19 in New Zealand-Aotearoa surpassed the capacity of the tourism system. While visitor growth increased the opportunities and benefits of tourism, it also highlighted the costs, including infrastructure pressures, overcrowding and environmental impacts. Foundational change is needed to ensure that sustainable tourism growth in New Zealand-Aotearoa continues to be underpinned by tikanga values. Foundational change is needed to ensure that sustainable tourism growth in New Zealand-Aotearoa continues to be underpinned by tikanga values.
Two key government initiatives underway that will drive some of those foundational changes are:
- the Tourism Industry Transformation Plan
- the Innovation Programme for Tourism Recovery
Tourism Industry Transformation Plan
The Tourism Industry Transformation Plan is being designed and delivered by a partnership of government, industry, workers and Māori.
The goal is to identify actions all partners can take to address well- known challenges facing the tourism industry and to transform tourism in New Zealand-Aotearoa to a regenerative model.
The initial focus of the Tourism Industry Transformation Plan is on developing a Better Work Action Plan for the tourism and hospitality industry. Investing more into people, deepening our talent pool and ultimately providing better work for those in the tourism system is a key component of regenerative tourism.
Next, the Tourism Industry Transformation Plan will focus on addressing challenges and harnessing opportunities related to how the tourism industry interfaces with our natural environment.
The Final Better Work Action Plan is expected to be delivered in late 2022 (following consultation on a draft Action Plan), and the scoping for the environment phase is expected to be completed in mid-2022.
Innovation Programme for Tourism Recovery
This Programme is designed to deliver transformational outcomes for the tourism sector. $54 million has been allocated to fund the Programme as part of the Government’s work to shift the sector towards a regenerative model and to support an innovative recovery from COVID-19. Increased innovation will also drive aspiration in the sector and provide more compelling stories for our visitors to share with others.
The Programme will provide funding for projects that deliver on one or more of the following outcomes:
- Climate: reduce carbon emissions in the tourism sector or have a positive impact on the climate.
- Sustainability: increase the resilience or environmental sustainability of tourism.
- Technology: lift productivity or capability of the tourism sector through technology-based solutions.
The Programme is being designed in consultation with key stakeholders and sector representatives. Design is expected to be completed in late 2022.