TDC gives up shares in tourism body

00:58, Aug 29 2014

Tasman District Council has handed its shares in Nelson Tasman Tourism to Nelson City Council at no cost and will buy future tourism services from the body in the future.

The organisation was jointly owned by both councils and provided regional marketing, tourism development and visitor information services.

Tasman made the decision to hand over its shares during an in-committee session of yesterday's corporate services meeting.

The district council's deputy mayor, Tim King, said the agreement recognised the value of the tourism sector to the region and opened the way for greater flexibility in the way future support was provided to the industry. "We will continue to work with Nelson City and industry leaders to develop the best model and how to fund it."

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said the transfer would ensure that the services provided by Nelson Tasman Tourism could continue to be delivered in a cost-effective manner.

"Tourism currently brings over $500 million to the Nelson Tasman economy. Nelson City Council is committed to continue investing in the sector through tourism development activities and the i-Site.


"This is an opportunity to use closer ties with NTT to leverage major events and our regional facilities in a way that adds value to ratepayers."

Reese said the arrangement was similar to the councils' system with the Nelson Region Economic Development Agency (EDA) where sole ownership provided the company and stakeholders with certainty about future direction and clarity around reporting lines and obligations

"There is no question that the development of tourism delivered by NTT is vital for the region to retain and grow market share in the competitive tourism industry. The next step is considering options for being more effective and adding value for ratepayers wherever possible."

Nelson Tasman Tourism chairman Phil Taylor said the board welcomed the decision.

He said the tourism sector was going through rapid change and Nelson Tasman Tourism needed to change with it to remain competitive and make the best use of the ratepayer funding and investments from the private sector.

"Having one owner simplifies the process of making the necessary changes to provide a productive platform for the coming years."

Funding is secure for NTT until June 30. Beyond that will be considered by both councils through their respective Long Term Plans.

King said nothing would change significantly for the next year and the funding the TDC had committed stayed in place. The council still had to go through the process in its LTP to decide funding.