The Local Government Tourism Strategy May 2003 Local Government effective governance

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1 The Local Government Tourism Strategy May 2003

2

3 Introduction and Background This strategy has been prepared in response to the New Zealand Tourism Strategy The document put forward 43 recommendations, 10 of which require local government to engage more actively in the tourism sector (refer Appendix 1). In early 2002, Local Government New Zealand identified the need for a programme that would stimulate more active involvement of councils in response to the recommendations in the New Zealand Tourism Strategy A four-step programme led by Local Government New Zealand and funded by the Minister of Tourism, resulted in: Formation of a Tourism Project Team made up of local government and other stakeholder interests (refer Appendix 2). Reviews of local government involvement in planning for tourism, partnerships and provision of infrastructure, product development and marketing. The purpose of the reviews was to scope current practices, issues, success stories and to inform the formulation of a strategy for the local government sector (these reviews are available on the Local Government New Zealand website The reviews took place between April May Seminars in Palmerston North, Whakatane, Hamilton, Blenheim, Invercargill. The seminars aimed at raising awareness of councillors, community board members, Economic Development Agency staff, managers and board members of Regional Tourism Organisations of the scale and significance of local government involvement in tourism. The seminars took place during July A National Tourism Symposium to discuss a draft response and strategy for local government involvement in tourism. This was undertaken in September The Symposium focused on key actions that would clarify roles and strengthen the current position of local government in relation to tourism. The actions, outlined later in this document, were derived from the work carried out in Steps 1 through 3. These actions have also been informed by responses to the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010 formulated by the network of Regional Tourism Organisations, Tourism New Zealand, the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand and the Ministry of Tourism. The Symposium indicated general consensus for almost all of the recommended actions. Comments and suggested changes from the Symposium have been integrated into this draft which has been circulated to all councils and partner agencies to garner further comment. A total of 25 submissions were received and the comments were incorporated into this strategy. 3

4 Why do we need a strategy? Tourism is a complex sector having a wide range of stakeholders at national, regional and local levels. We have prepared this document in order to: Provide a clear and cohesive local government response to the recommendations of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy Look beyond the recommendations in the Strategy 2010 and explore other issues and opportunities for local government involvement in tourism. Clarify the role of local government and its relationships with partner agencies. Raise the awareness of local government to the significance of the tourism sector for local communities. Provide a framework for ongoing collective action by the local government sector. This document is not meant to replace the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010 in any way. Rather it will act as a companion strategy with a more specific set of actions aimed at keeping tourism on the agenda of local government. How are we involved with tourism? By statute, we, along with the Department of Conservation, are the engine room that drives the planning and management of New Zealand s natural and cultural resources. Tourism, among other industries, relies on having these resources in a healthy state. 4 We provide the core utilities and infrastructure on which the tourism industry is based. This includes district and city roads, lighting, water and sewerage, public transport systems, signs, airports and ports and attractions such as museums, art galleries, sports stadia, convention centres, parks, gardens and other amenities. Collectively, this represents a multi-billion dollar investment of public money. It also means that local government is perhaps the largest tourism operator in the country. We enable regional marketing and provide tourist information by being the primary source of funding of Regional Tourism Organisations and the Visitor Information Network.

5 Who is it for? The Strategy has been prepared for and with input from: Elected representatives and council staff, Managers and staff of Regional Tourism Organisations, Economic Development Agency staff, The Visitor Information Network. While the strategy is primarily for local government, we recognise the input from and important relationship we share with our partner agencies such as the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand, Tourism New Zealand, Department of Conservation, Transit New Zealand and Industry New Zealand. We understand that councils are involved with destinations at different stages of development. Some of the actions in this strategy will not be relevant to some councils (either they have undertaken some work already or they are not at a stage where they are ready). However, it was evident at the National Tourism Symposium that the strategy contained something for most if not all councils. We recognise that each local authority is autonomous and is free to choose the extent of their involvement in tourism and the level of implementation of this strategy. Our vision Local government will lead, enable and work in partnership with other stakeholders to ensure a successful and sustainable tourism sector. Our mission We are engaged in the tourism sector in order to: Optimise social, economic, environmental and cultural outcomes for communities, through planning for sustainable development, facilitating growth and managing effects. 5

6 Our Strategies and Action Plan Strategic Aims 1. To provide and manage tourist-related infrastructure in consultation with the private sector and relevant stakeholders. 2. To engage communities in planning for tourism which is socially, economically, environmentally and culturally sustainable. 3. To take a lead role in destination management by forming partnerships with key stakeholders. 4. To facilitate regional tourism marketing and continue with enabling and operational roles in product development. 6

7 Strategic Aim 1: To provide and manage tourist-related infrastructure in consultation with the private sector and relevant stakeholders. Commentary Local government and its associated trading enterprises plays a central role in the provision of utilities such as district and city roads, lighting, water and sewerage, public transport systems, signs, airports and ports and public infrastructure such as museums and art galleries, sports stadia, convention centres, parks, gardens and other amenities. There is a need to better understand the costs and benefits of this infrastructure in relation to tourism. Currently, some councils are facing substantial costs for the replacement of ageing infrastructure and the development of new facilities. There is ongoing debate over who should pay and by what means. Outcomes we want to achieve by 2010 Research in selected locations has identified the users and beneficiaries of local infrastructure. Practical funding models have been developed to cater for infrastructure upgrades or new development. Central government has clarified its policy on assisting with tourism infrastructure. Our indicators of success Funding policies that are based on robust research. Funding systems that can be controlled by local government. A practical working partnership with central government over tourism infrastructure that is in the national interest. 7

8 Key actions to undertake (in order of priority) Note: Lead agency refers to the agency that should coordinate that action. Actions Lead Agency 1.1 Undertake research that will help identify the demands on local infrastructure, and implications of the forecast growth in tourism numbers. Joint approach underway with the Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Economic Development, Department of Conservation, Treasury and Internal Affairs. 1.2 Develop a tool kit of practical models and systems for the sustainable funding of infrastructure from rates, user charges, development levies and central government contributions. Recognise that these will vary from council to council depending on the extent of tourism development within each district or region. Local Government New Zealand with the Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Economic Development. 1.3 Clarify central government s role in assisting with upgrading existing and developing new tourism infrastructure. Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Economic Development. 1.4 Identify destinations where there are pressing infrastructure issues and promote these for funding by government. Local Government New Zealand, Territorial Local Authorities Regional Tourism Organisations. 1.5 Advocate that tourism be included as a factor in funding models and systems in other sectors such as roading, police, health and environment. Local Government New Zealand, Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand. 8

9 Strategic Aim 2: To engage communities in planning for tourism which is socially, economically, environmentally and culturally sustainable. Commentary The recent reviews and follow-up awareness seminars revealed that the understanding of tourism and how it effects local communities, planning and governance varies markedly around the country. In general, there is a need to raise the awareness of elected officials and council staff about local government involvement in tourism. There is also a need to supplement the statutory planning framework of the Resource Management Act with research and non-statutory tourism strategies that better address tourism growth and its effects. Outcomes we want to achieve by 2010 Research on tourism demand has been carried out at regional and local levels and integrated into statutory and non-statutory plans and policies and asset management plans. Communities have articulated their tourism goals into Long Term Council Community Plans. Regional tourism strategies have been prepared where needed in order to guide development and inform statutory plans. Councils develop systems so that tourism is integrated across council functions. Our indicators of success Completion of research that provides a better understanding of tourism demand at regional and local levels. 9 Regional tourism strategies have been integrated with statutory plans and policies including Long Term Council Community Plans. Councils have adopted a whole of council approach to tourism (recommended by the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010).

10 Key actions to undertake (in order of priority) Actions Lead Agency 2.1 Identify and prioritise council research requirements for strategic tourism planning, infrastructure and monitoring of effects. Territorial Local Authorities and Regional Tourism Organisations 2.2 Undertake baseline studies (in terms of infrastructure use, costs-benefits, visitor satisfaction, preferences, activities, likes and dislikes) for follow-up monitoring. Regional Tourism Organisations and Territorial Local Authorities with the Tourism Research Council New Zealand and Ministry of Tourism (to input key national level data). 2.3 Encourage the preparation of regional tourism strategies (where needed) and assist councils and Regional Tourism Organisations in the process with guidelines. Local Government New Zealand with Regional Tourism Organisation New Zealand. 2.4 Develop a good practice guide on the Resource Management Act and tourism. Local Government New Zealand 2.5 Designate tourism advocates within councils to encourage and all-of-council approach to tourism (this maybe at both senior management and councillor level). Territorial Local Authorities 2.6 Advocate co-ordination between Maori Regional Tourism Groups and councils/regional Tourism Organisations/Economic Development Agencies. Territorial Local Authorities and Maori Regional Tourism Groups Develop a good practice approach to monitoring the economic impact of events or other substantial tourism activities Joint Local Government New Zealand, Territorial Local Authorities and Regional Tourism Organisations with Ministry of Tourism assistance (refer also Action 4.8). 2.8 Continue to raise awareness of tourism for council staff and elected officials. This would include seminars, conferences, workshops and meetings that integrate into existing networks. Local Government New Zealand

11 Strategic Aim 3: To take a lead role in destination management by forming partnerships with key stakeholders. Commentary In association with the Department of Conservation, local government is the cornerstone of destination management in New Zealand. Destination management is essentially about cross agency co-operation in areas of planning, provision and functioning of information centres, management of infrastructure, Regional Tourism Organisation/private sector marketing activites and site management. Much of what is referred to as destination management involves ongoing and close liaison between key players who manage and promote destinations within a region. Destination management encompasses the elements of planning, provision of information, management of infrastructure, marketing and site management and by implication, is not the sole responsibility of any single organisation. Local government however are the brokers with the legal mandate to lead the formation of community and industry partnerships. A co-ordinated effort by stakeholders councils, Department of Conservation, Iwi, Transit New Zealand, Regional Tourism Organisations will go a long way in ensuring that destination marketing is aligned with the management of each destination and the delivery of quality tourism products and services. Outcomes we want to achieve by 2010 More effective and efficient management of destinations through improved co-ordination of stakeholder groups. This is required at national, regional and district/city levels. The Visitor Information Network system continues to play an important role in the management of destinations. Visitor Information Network offices are operating efficiently. The existing sign system of Transit New Zealand is reviewed and the sign policy applied consistently around the country. Councils have access to case studies and best practice examples of the ways in which destinations are managed in New Zealand. 11 The adoption of industry improvement schemes such as Green Globe 21 becomes more widespread in the New Zealand tourism sector. Clear links between destination marketing and destination management and mechanisms for each to inform the activities of the other.

12 Our indicators of success Co-ordinated stakeholder responses to planning hearings, submissions on plans, development of regional tourism strategies. Positive feedback from visitors, residents and industry on factors such as satisfaction, perceptions of crowding, environmental impacts, infrastructure, law and order, distribution of costs and benefits. Consistent application of a revised Transit New Zealand sign policy and positive feedback from visitors, local residents and industry. A whole of council approach to destination management. 12

13 Key actions we will undertake (in order of priority) Actions Lead Agency 3.1 Develop stakeholder partnership approaches to strengthen the management of destinations. This could include the use of existing committees or formation of regional, district or other local destination management groups or Joint Committees. Long Term Council Community Plans could also address destination management. Territorial Local Authorities with Regional Tourism Organisations. 3.2 Advocate for greater national co-ordination between the national tourism bodies and other agencies such as Transit New Zealand. This recognises that destination management is also required at a national level. Local Government New Zealand 3.3 Continue to support quality improvement and funding of the Visitor Information Network system and advocate for improved financial performance. Territorial Local Authorities and Visitor Information Network Inc. 3.4 Advocate for a review of the Transit New Zealand sign system for tourist attractions. Local Government New Zealand 3.5 Promote consistent application of Transit New Zealand s Tourist Signage Policy. Territorial Local Authorities and Local Government New Zealand. 3.6 Encourage tourism operators to consider participating in industry improvement schemes. Regional Tourism Organisations and Economic Development Agencies. 3.7 Develop a website-based collection of destination management case studies that will serve to inform councils of options that are available to them. Local Government New Zealand with the Ministry of Tourism and assistance from Regional Tourism Organisations. 13

14 Strategic Aim 4: To facilitate regional tourism marketing and continue with enabling and operational roles in product development. Commentary Local government plays a key role in enabling regional tourism marketing through funding of Regional Tourism Organisations. Local government is perhaps the largest tourism operator in the country in that it provides most of the country s museums, parks, gardens, sports stadia and events. It also assists with the development of new products through the work of Regional Tourism Organisations and Economic Development Agencies and BIZ Centres. Outcomes we want to achieve by 2010 Certainty of long-term funding for Regional Tourism Organisations. Continued close working partnership between councils and Regional Tourism Organisations. A strong relationship between Regional Tourism Organisations and Tourism New Zealand that keeps councils abreast of trends in international and domestic tourism. Establish clear pathways to information, advice and funding for existing or new tour operators. Our indicators of success Long-term funding agreements for Regional Tourism Organisations. Establishment of a national secretariat or similar for Regional Tourism Organisations. 14 Positive feedback from relevant council staff, Board members of Regional Tourism Organisations and industry on the level of coordination between Regional Tourism Organisations, Economic Development Agencies, councils and Tourism New Zealand. Clear accountabilities and constructive relationships between each Regional Tourism Organisation and their funding councils.

15 Key actions we will undertake (in order of priority) Actions Lead Agency 4.1 Establish a flexible model approach to long-term funding contracts with Regional Tourism Organisations (for instance, rolling budget with regular reviews). Regional Tourism Organisations New Zealand and Local Government New Zealand. 4.2 Encourage national co-ordination of the Regional Tourism Organisations as an important sector group. Territorial Local Authorities and Local Government New Zealand. 4.3 Advocate for increased regional collective efforts for international marketing where benefits can be clearly identified. Territorial Local Authorities, Regional Tourism Organisations and Local Government New Zealand. 4.4 Develop a range of options that reflect local needs for structuring Regional Tourism Organisations and other local marketing activities. Regional Tourism Organisation New Zealand and Local Government New Zealand. 4.5 Develop processes for interaction between Regional Tourism Organisations and Tourism New Zealand to assess strategic alignment of Tourism New Zealand and Regional Tourism Organisation international marketing activities. Regional Tourism Organisations and Tourism New Zealand 4.6 Encourage alignment of Regional Tourism Organisation and Tourism New Zealand destination marketing with the work of destination management groups. Regional Tourism Organisations and Territorial Local Authorities (refer also Action 3.1). 4.7 Coordinate provision of information on funding and technical advice for existing and new tour operators in relation to product development or enhancement. Regional Tourism Organisations and Economic Development Agencies. 4.8 Clarify procedures, roles and responsibilities for running, promoting and measuring the benefits from significant council funded events. Territorial Local Authorities, Regional Tourism Organisations and Economic Development Agencies. 15

16 Appendix 1 Recommendations for local government from the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010 (abridged). Recommendation Local government response 1. By July 2002, a new public/private organisation is established to lead international branding and marketing. Its Board will be governed by representatives from central government, Local Government New Zealand on behalf of Territorial Local Authorities and NewRegional Tourism Organisations, Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand on behalf of industry. Tourism New Zealand has been given an enhanced partnership mandate to guide its international promotion of New Zealand as a tourism destination. The private sector is now formally consulted on Tourism New Zealand s proposed strategies, plans and projects. Tourism stakeholders are invited to nominate appointments to the Tourism Board through publicly advertised vacancies. Regional Tourism Organisations maybe best represented by their own secretariat. 4. By mid 2002, NewRegional Tourism Organisations will be established and take an enhanced role in destination marketing and management, domestic and international marketing, regional tourism planning and development and facilitating provision of services to tour operators. Local government has the mandate for tourism planning and destination management. Regional Tourism Organisations are well placed to feed into those responsibilities. Regional Tourism Organisations would continue with their marketing function, liaison with industry members and are the ideal conduit between Tourism New Zealand and local government. 5. Local government builds stronger links with NewRegional Tourism Organisations and increases funding and certainty by July Agree refer Action Adoption of a whole-of-sector model to reduce complexity and improve efficiency in tourism planning and development by This will be led by Local Government New Zealand with Territorial Local Authorities, iwi and others. To be considered by Local Government New Zealand. 22. Adopt the Visitor Information Network strategy. Underway within Tourism New Zealand. 24. NewRegional Tourism Organisations work closely with regional and local government to closely align destination marketing and destination management. Agree refer Actions 3.1 and A working group of NewRegional Tourism Organisations develops detailed options and recommendations for Regional Tourism Organisation functions, including the reduction of the existing 25 Regional Tourism Organisations. Agree presently underway. The Regional Tourism Organisation response to this recommendation continues to evolve.

17 26. A working group of Regional Tourism Organisations investigate a shared back office business case for common functions most efficiently undertaken on a joint basis. Currently underway. 27. By mid 2002, Territorial Local Authorities and central government confirm their long-term commitment to the tourism sector and confirm infrastructure. Underway this strategy forms part of that process. 40. Central and local government and the private sector develop a model and agree on roles and responsibilities in relation to tourism infrastructure needs. Agree this process has started and this strategy forms part of the clarification of roles and responsibilities. 17

18 Appendix 2 Members of the Local Government New Zealand Tourism Project Team Sukhi Turner (Chair) Jim Harland Clive Geddes Mary Bourke Paul Matheson Sue Piper Jim Archibald Peter Yeoman John Tregidga Kim Kelly Stuart Grant Charles Roberts Diane Ridley Sue Anderson Jeff Troon Annette Main Simon Douglas Katherine Lowe John Moriarty David Barnes David Wilks Bev Abbott Tim Davin Angela Gore Mayor of Dunedin Dunedin City Council Mayor of Queenstown Mayor of South Taranaki Mayor of Nelson Wellington City Council Tourism Coromandel Environment Canterbury Hauraki District Council Hutt City Council Kaikoura District Council Rotorua District Council Southland District Council Southland District Council Venture Southland Horizons.mw Ministry of Tourism Ministry of Tourism Tourism Industry Association New Zealand Tourism Industry Assocation New Zealand Tourism New Zealand Tourism New Zealand Local Government New Zealand Local Government New Zealand 18

19

20 ISBN Local Government New Zealand PO Box 1214, Wellington, New Zealand phone: , fax: effective local governance

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