Sunday , May 27 2018

Plenty needed to shape bay’s tourism

The Bay of Plenty is seeking a $600,000 funding boost to help pay for a top-level destination marketing boss to shape its tourism development.

Bay of Plenty Tourism wants an extra $621,000 from Tauranga City Council for 2018/9, with funds used to create a dedicated role to develop its visitor economy in the right way.

“As a regional tourism organisation, we take our role of guardianship extremely seriously”, Tourism Bay of Plenty chief executive Kristin Dunne told the Bay of Plenty Times.

“We live in a beautiful part of the world and we want it to stay that way for future generations, but we can’t plan for and mitigate the negative effects of rapid tourism growth without additional funding.”

The tourism industry has created 1220 new positions over a four-year period in the region, with the average income of those working in the sector increasing from $32,796 to $37,857.

Last year, $1 billion was spent by tourists in the area stretching from Waihi Beach to Ohope – with around $782 million of that in Tauranga and $94 million in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Regional Tourism New Zealand executive officer Charlie Ives said destination planning, development and management was a critical facet of growing tourism.

“Our industry will continue to be a good news story as long as both regionally and nationally we plan ahead, foresee the issues that may arise and address them long before they’re bothering anyone,” he told scoop.co.nz.

The funding request was made through the Tauranga City Council’s long term plan, with submissions closing this week.

Bay of Plenty tourism currently receives a combined $1.3 million from Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and Whakatane District Council.

Of that, Tauranga City Council’s investment is $1,021,000. If the rise is approved, that figure would grow to $1,627,766.

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