Tourism plan prompts plea from mayor

Queenstown mayor Jim Boult. Photo: ODT files
Queenstown mayor Jim Boult. Photo: ODT files
Promoting Queenstown’s ski season to those in the North Island should be an early priority for Tourism New Zealand, the resort’s mayor says.

Queenstown Lakes Mayor Jim Boult was responding to Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis’ announcement yesterday, that he had tasked Tourism New Zealand with planning for the future post Covid-19.

The minister said it was a chance to “rethink the entire way we approach tourism”, and make New Zealand a more sustainable place and the sector “self-sustaining in the longer term”.

He said travel was likely “to be heavily restricted for some time” and cruise ships were banned at present.

Renewing the industry would require a phased approach, Mr Davis said.

“Looking at how we can focus on and promote domestic tourism in the short term and how we can target an international offering.”

Tourism New Zealand will work alongside the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Department of Conservation and relevant stakeholders.

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall said it was an opportunity to work with communities to design a sector that benefited Kiwis.

“Something that genuinely gives back more than it takes from Aotearoa and plays a key role in our economic success.”

Mr Boult echoed the minister’s sentiments regarding a sustainable, more green offering in the future.

He said it was important not to “reinvent” the industry but make sure it was compatible with market demands for sustainability and cultural history — the latter being something the resort had not capitalised on enough in the past.

“The council’s plans around the development of an outstanding performing and visual arts centre will be pivotal in helping shape cultural tourism in the district for time to come.”

Mr Boult said New Zealanders “love coming” to Queenstown and suggested tourism operators could combine with restaurants, hoteliers and airlines to create enticing packages to increase domestic tourism.

The mayor further hoped good snow and support from Tourism New Zealand would bring North Islanders to the resort.

“I am pretty sure our borders aren’t going to be open by then [the ski season], so getting lots of North Islanders to come skiing will be a good thing.

“Air New Zealand will react to the market and if the market is there and people want to go skiing, I am sure they will put on the planes.”

When travel restrictions were eased, bringing Australians to the resort would be vital as they were Queenstown’s biggest international market, Mr Boult said.

Mr Davis also announced the international visitor conservation and tourism levy investment plan would be reviewed in light of Covid-19.

matthew.mckew@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

I hope Mr Boult and Mr Davis have considered that come ski season how many employees still on the payroll have the balls to ask their employers for annual leave to go and frolic in the snow in the coming months. After my employer has had to close down for at least a month and that there is a huge surge in excellent workers looking for work, I won,t even be be asking for an hours leave to attend at the dentist in the next six months!

I don't particularly like Queenstown. It's very crowded and very expensive. I've never felt like anything more than a means to paying the bills for someone working there. Boult hasn't done anything in the past few weeks that would motivate myself or my family to part with our hard earned money on a vacation in Queenstown. All of his hystirics and theatrics only make me want to avoid Queenstown more. Maybe, when there is a more balanced leadership there we might want to go and spend some of our time and money. But right now, they voted for him, he's yours. Im happy to be an idiot avoiding the place at all costs.

Not to forget Timmy, that Queenstown is also South Islands Covid19 central! You'll do well to stay the heck away for some time to come.

Noooooo problems there!!!

I love Queenstown, it's my home town, but I always say I am from Cromwell or somewhere else to avoid a barrage of negative comments about the place when travelling in New Zealand. Average Kiwis hate Queenstown. Skiers not so much. Outside of NZ I come from Queenstown again. This is sad but true. You have a lot of work ahead of you Queenstown.

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