Mick San Juan Brady and Cindy O'Brien, both of Ireland,
visit Puzzling World, Wanaka. Photo by Mark Price.
A new economic development strategy identifies Wanaka as
one of several ''opportunities'' for achieving higher tourist
The report done for the Queenstown Lakes District Council by
Martin Jenkins will be tabled at a meeting of the council on
The two priorities identified in the strategy are generating
''higher value'' tourism and growing ''knowledge-based
In the tourism section, Mr Jenkins said the main focus
''needs to be on growing visitor expenditure, not just on
He listed four ''opportunities'' for doing that, including
achieving ''higher growth in visitor expenditure'' in Wanaka.
The others, applying to the whole district, were:
• Increasing growth in higher expenditure visitors.
• Increasing the proportion of business visitors.
• Developing higher value offerings and reducing seasonality
in visitor numbers.
Mr Jenkins said there were seasonal ''troughs'' in tourist
numbers after Easter until the end of June and from September
''Reducing the size of the troughs would clearly help to
increase visitor expenditure annually, while not putting
additional pressure on infrastructure in peak periods.''
In his report, Mr Jenkins noted the district had achieved
higher growth in tourism over the past decade than the rest
of the country, with visitor expenditure in the district
estimated at more than $1.5 billion in 2013.
However, he pointed out Wanaka, which was more reliant on
domestic visitors, had had ''more moderate growth'' than
Mr Jenkins said Wanaka's tourism reflected a more personal,
open-space and away-from-the-crowds experience.
He considered there could be a need to assess the
effectiveness of the split in destination marketing and
promotion responsibilities and in his summary of proposed
actions to be achieved within nine months, Mr Jenkins said a
review of economic development funding and support needed to
He suggested the council consider employing two more staff to
expand its marketing and promotion functions.