AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Tourism leaders will “hunt as a pack” to bring extra visitors to the country, Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden said today.
The tourism boss was addressing the first day of New Zealand’s showcase tourism industry conference, Trenz 2013, in Auckland.
More than 250 Kiwi exhibitors are gathered to show off products including accommodation and adventure offerings to 270 international buyers including a strong contingent of 44 Chinese buyers.
The Government has just announced an extra $158 million of funding to the tourism industry over four years, with Tourism New Zealand to get the bulk of that.
Snedden and Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler presented a united front saying they would use such funding for a joint approach.
It was a time when new leadership in the industry was prepared to act collectively for a greater share of growth markets like China, Indonesia and India.
“In the conversations you’ve been hearing this morning you can hear the word ‘we’ being used a lot, and that’s what’s happening at the moment is that we’re at a point in time where leaders right across tourism are talking to each other and listening …,” Snedden told the audience.
“The leaders across the sector are determined to create that collective power … we are going to do better if we hunt as a pack. We are going to do better if we are ambitious.”
“It’s not about holding our own, it’s not about playing catch up. It’s actually about getting to the front of the pack, and it’s about leading.”
He urged tourism operators to lift their game.
Those in the industry had to give themselves a good “talking to, and shake yourselves up” rather than go for the status quo, to get better results, he told attendees.
Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said growth was now coming from new markets like China, the Philippines and Malaysia, rather than traditional markets such as the United Kingdom and Europe.
China for example had seen 17.1 per cent “year over year” growth since the 2008 year.