More visitor accommodation is the highest priority infrastructure needed to support the future growth of New Zealand’s booming tourism industry, according to new research carried out by Deloitte for TIA.
Released on 12 April 2017, the other priority infrastructure types identified by TIA’s National Tourism Infrastructure Assessment are telecommunications, airport facilities, road transport, car parking, toilets, and water and sewerage systems.
The Assessment finds that the tourism industry will need to work closely with central and local government to achieve the required development to close these infrastructure gaps as market forces alone are unlikely to be sufficient.
Smart, coordinated and active interventions are needed to ensure tourism growth is sustainable, that the industry keeps growing its contribution to New Zealand’s economy and reaches its Tourism 2025 goal of $41 billion annual revenue.
A comprehensive infrastructure assessment
Supported by a number of industry partners, TIA commissioned Deloitte to undertake the comprehensive National Tourism Infrastructure Assessment in August 2016.
Surveys, interviews and various data sources were used to assess 20 categories of infrastructure across 31 regions.
We wanted to identify infrastructure gaps that have a high tourism impact, and require a great deal of coordination between the public and private sectors.
Need for a substantial infrastructure fund
At a national level, seven infrastructure types fall into this category – visitor accommodation, telecommunications, airport facilities, car parking, public toilets, water and sewerage systems, and road transport.
At a regional level, each region has a different pattern of priorities depending on local circumstances.
Three of the priority areas – car parking, toilets, and water and sewerage systems – are the types of facilities usually provided by local government. As an additional piece of work to the main Assessment, TIA commissioned Deloitte to estimate the scale of need for ‘local and mixed use infrastructure’ – facilities that are used by both residents and visitors.
This gathered information from councils around the country and TIA members on tourism-related infrastructure projects they might be contemplating.
The list was a real mixed bag of projects big and small, some ready to go, others just ideas. But it served to demonstrate the scale of the need. We have provided the results of that work to the government, and we believe it supports the case for a substantial Tourism Infrastructure Fund to support local projects.
Done well, this fund can address much of the concern for these local and mixed use infrastructure types.
The other priority infrastructure types – visitor accommodation, telecommunications, airport facilities and road transport – each need further investigation and development of specific approaches to ensure the right investments are made and gaps are closed. TIA will work with the public and private sectors to identify the best way forward.
About this project
Deloitte was the research project supplier. This consultancy brought deep infrastructure expertise to the project from its New Zealand and Australian-based tourism specialists.
Initial results were presented at TIA's Tourism Summit Aotearoa in Wellington on 9 November.
This project articulates the key infrastructure requirements of the tourism industry and barriers that exist. It does not, however, provide all the answers on how these needs will be addressed. Other work, such as an industry report released in December 2016 and commissioned by Air NZ, THL, Auckland Airport and Christchurch Airport, and policy work by the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment will shed more light in these important areas. (See MBIE's tourism infrastructure report).
It is anticipated that together, all these efforts will provide a substantive body of new information on what infrastructure is needed, when, and how it might be put in place.
The findings will guide TIA's advocacy on behalf of the industry into the future. They will also inform central and local government on national and regional tourism infrastructure priorities, and will assist in informing investors of the opportunities available.
Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this important TIA project.
Tourism infrastructure fund
A new Regional Mid-sized Tourism Facilities Fund of $12 million over four years was established by the Government in 2016 to co-fund mid-sized infrastructure projects that deliver facilities utilised by visitors and that enhance the visitor experience.
The Fund reflects the reality that some districts have a limited ability to respond to the pressure created by high or increasing levels of visitor numbers, because of their small ratepayer bases. It will help communities fund visitor-related facilities such as restrooms, carparks or minor water management projects, to help them maximise their tourism growth potential.
A good start but not enough
The $12 million fund is a good start, however TIA is calling on central government to establish a more substantial tourism infrastructure fund ($50 million - $100 million) to ensure councils can rapidly respond to investment needs and ensure the benefits of tourism growth are shared fairly. Read more.
In March 2017, the Minister of Tourism Paula Bennett announced up to $5.5 million in extra funding to help regional communities respond to visitor growth through new tourism infrastructure was being made available. Read more.
TIA believes the findings of our National Tourism Infrastructure Assessment support the case for a substantial Tourism Infrastructure Fund to support local projects
Other TIA activity
- Influencing New Zealand Trade & Enterprise’s ‘Project Palace’ to provide greater insight into accommodation investment needs. The report was released in May 2016. Read our media release.
- Influencing the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment’s tourism infrastructure review to ensure government alignment on the key issues.
- Working with the Department of Conservation to create an infrastructure development programme and support private sector investment that allows New Zealanders and international visitors to enjoy the conservation estate.
- Ensuring tourism interests are recognised and protected in the reform of the Resource Management Act.
- Investigating international approaches to meeting tourism infrastructure needs and identifying options for application in New Zealand.
- Identifying the crucial infrastructure-related government policy and investment needed to support Tourism 2025.