BOP tourism gets fund­ing boost

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice -

Tourism Bay of Plenty will be­come the first Re­gional Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion in New Zealand out­side Auck­land to be­come a Des­ti­na­tion Man­ager, af­ter a 48 per cent boost in coun­cil fund­ing.

The $620,910 in­crease, ap­proved in Tau­ranga City Coun­cil’s Long Term Plan, brings Tourism Bay of Plenty’s com­bined an­nual fund­ing from its three con­tribut­ing coun­cils— Tau­ranga City Coun­cil, West­ern Bay of Plenty District Coun­cil and Whakata¯ne District Coun­cil— to $1.9m.

Tourism Bay of Plenty chief ex­ec­u­tive Kristin Dunne says the fund­ing in­crease puts the or­gan­i­sa­tion at the fore­front of the Des­ti­na­tion Man­age­ment move­ment in New Zealand.

She ap­plauded both the Tourism Bay of Plenty Board of Trus­tees and Tau­ranga City Coun­cil for their fore­sight in cham­pi­oning and sup­port­ing what was a “sea change” for the tourism in­dus­try.

“We are for­tu­nate to have such a pro­gres­sive and pas­sion­ate board and coun­cils which recog­nise the po­ten­tial this re­gion has and the sig­nif­i­cant role we play in as­sist­ing its de­vel­op­ment.

“Thiswill en­able us to be­come an in­sightlead or­gan­i­sa­tion that knows who our visi­tors are and what they­want— vi­tal in­for­ma­tion to sus­tain­ably cham­pion tourism growth re­gion­ally.”

Des­ti­na­tion Man­age­ment, a trend world­wide, is the strate­gic and sus­tain­able man­age­ment of visi­tor-re­lated de­vel­op­ment, co-or­di­nated with res­i­dents’ in­ter­ests, to pre­serve a re­gion’s unique iden­tity. It brings stake­hold­ers to­gether and pro­vides them with the tools to work col­lab­o­ra­tively to meet the de­mands of grow­ing num­bers of visi­tors.

In essence, it means shar­ing our love of “our place” with the­world to the bet­ter­ment of the com­mu­nity, not against it, saysMs Dunne.

Tourism In­dus­tryAotearoa chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Roberts says of the 31 re­gional tourism or­gan­i­sa­tions in the coun­try, Tourism Bay of Plenty has had one of the big­gest, if not the big­gest, fund­ing boosts.

They are also among the first RTOs to make Des­ti­na­tion Man­age­ment a clear pri­or­ity in their long-term plan­ning, he adds.

“Tourism Bay of Plenty has suc­ceeded in get­ting the back­ing of their coun­cil fun­ders be­cause they have a great plan and vi­sion, which has been shaped by ex­ten­sive con­sul­ta­tion­with lo­cal and na­tional stake­hold­ers.”

The boost bucks a fund­ing cut trend, with Tourism New Zealand’s govern­ment fund­ing re­duced from $117.3m a year to 111.4m in the lat­est bud­get, while Hawke’s Bay Re­gional Coun­cil’s Long Term Plan in­cludes a pro­posal to cut Hawke’s Bay Tourism fund­ing by $1.8 mil­lion over three years.

This­means Tourism Bay of Plenty now has the abil­ity to shift the fo­cus of the or­gan­i­sa­tion from not just at­tract­ing visi­tors to the Coastal Bay of Plenty (which stretches from Waihi Beach to the Whiri­naki For­est) but to bet­ter man­age their ex­pe­ri­ence once they get here.

“With the ad­di­tional fund­ing we will be able to im­ple­ment our Visi­tor Econ­omy Strat­egy 2018-2028, grow­ing tourism in away that is both eco­nom­i­cally and en­vi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able.”

Visi­tors spent a record $1 bil­lion in the Coastal Bay of Plenty last year— a mile­stone that was orig­i­nally not fore­cast to oc­cur for an­other 12 years. This fig­ure is ex­pected to grow to $1.45 bil­lion by 2028.

“A thriv­ing visi­tor econ­omy that is well planned and man­aged­will bring­with it greater so­cial ameni­ties and higher liv­ing stan­dards. In short, we all stand to ben­e­fit,” says Ms Dunne.

Re­gional Tourism New Zealand ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Char­lie Ives com­mended Tau­ranga City Coun­cil for sig­nalling its long-term com­mit­ment to tourism in the Bay of Plenty.

“It is im­por­tant that re­gions an­tic­i­pate the pres­sure of tourism be­fore it’s too late.

“We are al­ready see­ing early in­di­ca­tors in some ar­eas, such as over­crowd­ing and a lack of ac­com­mo­da­tion. These are warn­ings of the im­pact tourism can have on us if we don’t have a planned, de­vel­oped and man­aged ap­proach,” says Mr Ives.

“Des­ti­na­tion Man­age­ment is un­doubt­edly the way for­ward, and we will be watch­ing Tourism Bay of Plenty’s progress with in­ter­est.”

We are for­tu­nate to have such a pro­gres­sive and pas­sion­ate board and coun­cils which recog­nise the po­ten­tial has.’ this re­gion

KRISTIN DUNNE

Tourism Bay of Plenty chief ex­ec­u­tive Kristin Dunne.

PHOTO / STEPHEN BARKER

THE New Zealand Agri­cul­tural Fiel­d­ays is based on a 114ha site at Mys­tery Creek, 10 min­utes from Hamil­ton and the largest agri­cul­tural event in the South­ern Hemi­sphere. This year is the 50th event.

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