In line with increasing global demand for tourism, international visitor arrivals to New Zealand have experienced an unprecedented recent period of growth – up 35 per cent in the last five years. Domestic visitor numbers have also increased in line with population growth. Forecasts predict this growth will continue, with international annual visitor arrivals expected to reach 5.1 million by 2024.
This growth has the potential to significantly boost New Zealand’s economy, bring prosperity to the regions and improve New Zealanders’ quality of life. However, realising this potential will require central and local government, the tourism industry and New Zealand’s regions and communities to work together to manage and mitigate the impacts more visitors will inevitably have.
Government has a significant part to play in both helping realise the opportunities created by growth, and supporting the sector and regions to tackle the issues associated with increasing visitor numbers. Looking forward, that will require government to take a more active, deliberate and coordinated role in relation to tourism by strengthening its stewardship of the tourism system, more actively partnering with the sector, local government, iwi and regional and community stakeholders to shape future growth, and better coordinating its tourism-related investments.
This strategy sets out how government proposes to take on such a role. It provides a clear direction for government agencies, as well as signalling to the sector, regions and other stakeholders how the government’s priorities for tourism will contribute to more productive, sustainable and inclusive tourism growth.