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Report offers new future of tourism – Tourism Futures Taskforce

The Tourism Futures Taskforce Report, We Are Aotearoa, lays out how the tourism system could change to for a better and sustainable tourism future, Taskforce co-Chairs Steve Chadwick and Grant Webster said today.

"We formed the Taskforce at the request of the former Tourism Minister to look at the future of tourism in New Zealand Aotearoa," Steve says.

"The report looks to the future beyond COVID-19 as that was our mandate. As we’ve seen, and operators have experienced, COVID-19 has dealt a devastating blow for the tourism system. It has also provided a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to overhaul the system which is fundamental to transform the visitor economy," Grant says.

Both co-chairs agree that that pressures from visitor growth over the past 10 years need to be addressed to ensure tourism keeps its social licence and truly contributes to New Zealand’s wellbeing.

The Taskforce believes the future visitor economy must be regenerative and resilient. As well as delivering across social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeings, it would also need to contribute to the unique essence, culture and health of local communities and their places, and be enriched by the values of Te Ao Māori.

"Across the industry, there is a strong desire, and willingness, for a more sustainable tourism industry, and this theme is also conveyed across reports from the Climate Commission and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment," Steve says.

"The mahi of our Taskforce colleagues has been exemplary. While we have different backgrounds we came together and worked as one, identifying how the industry could change for the better. We acknowledge the immense input of the Advisory Group who supported us through this work.

"We greatly appreciate the people who gave up their time for us in the course of this preparing this report, including those who took the time to write contributions with their views."

"Having delivered our Report in December, there is now an opportunity for The Taskforce to enter a new phase, given the ongoing nature of the COVID-19 disruption faced by the tourism sector," Grant says.

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