Discussing the implementation of a national tourism
strategy are (from left) Tourism Industry Association chief
executive Martin Snedden, Tourism Dunedin chairman Barry
Timmings and Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton,
in front of the Dunedin Railway Station yesterday. Photo by
Despite several failed attempts, a national tourism
strategy is due to be implemented at the end of the year.
Tourism Industry Association chief executive Martin Snedden
was in Dunedin yesterday hosting a focus group for a dozen
leaders within the visitor sector.
It was the eighth of eleven such sessions Mr Snedden will
attend around New Zealand this month.
He wanted to ''pick the brains'' of key stakeholders within
each region to determine the best process for implementing a
national tourism strategy.
Such a plan had been tried unsuccessfully in the past, Mr
But an industry worth $23 billion a year and which provided
187,000 jobs needed to be aligned from the top, giving
guidance to private operators as well as tourism groups and
''The visitor industry is huge, but by its nature it is
fragmented - there is no cohesive strategy. It's not about
micromanagement, it's about providing an overarching
strategic framework that allows cohesion to how we improve
the quality of our visitor economy.''
The strategy would not restrict or bind operators, but rather
give them direction in working for the best possible outcomes
- both at a personal and community level.
It would take months to develop and would start to be
implemented by the end of the year, Mr Snedden said.
''Once the key, top-level ideas are decided on, then
implementation can start quite quickly.''
Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said a national
strategy was ''absolutely'' necessary and would benefit those
involved in the Otago visitor sector.
He relished the opportunity to be consulted alongside other
tourism leaders from throughout Otago.
''In the development of our own strategies it's important
that we consider the alignment of that to what's happening at
a national level. That's vitally important to be able to
share a road map that we can place our own geographic and
destinational themes on top of - it will be extremely
Tourism Dunedin chairman Barry Timmings said it was
encouraging to discover ''pretty strong parallels'' between
Otago and national plans.