8 Aug 2020

Call for new government to show vision for tourism industry's rebuild

8:20 am on 8 August 2020

The tourism industry is calling for the incoming government to make bold decisions to revitalise the hard hit sector.

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Tourism can create a sustainable future for the country in the long term, says an industry boss. Photo: 123RF

Tourism Industry Aotearoa has released its election action plan that's identified specific areas needed after the election.

Its chief executive Chris Roberts said tourism had suffered an enormously painful setback and the agony was far from over.

But he said the industry could be rebuilt to fix systemic issues and create a sustainable future for the long term.

"We can and will revive. It may never return to what it was just a few months ago - but we can rebuild something very special that we can all be proud of," Roberts said.

Chris Roberts the Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa at the iSITE in Wellington. He is surrounded by New Zealand maps and tourist leaflets

Chris Roberts Photo: RNZ/Teresa Cowie

Part of the action plan identifies vision as an area action is needed from the government elected on 19 September.

"While the immediate outlook is uncertain, the tourism industry's longer-term ambitions remain relevant.

"For the industry to be sustainable - environmentally, socially and economically - we must protect and enhance the environment on which tourism businesses depend, maintain support from local communities, deliver outstanding visitor experiences and honestly address long-standing issues like congestion, poor infrastructure, low wages and undesirable visitor behaviour," he said.

"At a political level, we need a government that has the vision to support and champion the industry's own efforts to lead the world in sustainable tourism."

The new government needed to deliver on its tourism strategy to enrich the country through sustainable growth, Roberts said.

"Like the industry, the government wants tourism growth to be productive, sustainable and inclusive. We can only achieve that by steering the waka in the same direction."

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