Many challenges for tourism operators

Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler.

The tourism industry faces challenging hurdles to overcome the effects of the Eurozone financial crisis, international long-haul constraints and changing visitor patterns.

A three-year strategy identified the economic, demographic and technological topics that operators needed to grasp between 2013 and 2016, Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler told tourism representatives in Queenstown yesterday.

His overview touched on the release of Sir Peter Jackson's The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the continuing global financial crisis, particularly in the Eurozone and the US, and the growth of emerging Asian markets in countries such as China, India, Indonesia and Singapore.

"A lot of our destinations and services are going to be more expensive to those spending dollars, the Euro and sterling [and] we don't have a queue of airlines waiting to fly to New Zealand."

While the global airline sector increased to more than 1 billion arrivals this year that growth was concentrated in short-haul markets in Europe, the US and Asia.

Operators needed to think about the power of the baby-boomer generation aged 48 to 66, people who wanted more activity in their latter years.

Eurozone fallout still loomed but there was a sense of optimism in the US, he said.

Australia remains the most important tourism market in New Zealand with 45 per cent of airline arrivals.

The Southland Times