Monday , July 23 2018
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Is tourism just like rugby?

AMG24-Industry-TourismExportCouncilReport-Lesley-Immink_300x225 Is tourism just like rugby?What might these two things have in common? For the All Blacks to be successful in a winning world cup Rugby campaign a number of things need to happen.

a) You need great coaches and support behind the scenes to the team
b) You need fit, healthy and confident players
c) You need good crowd support to inspire the players
d) You need a fair referee
e) You need up and coming talented junior players
f) You need good timing and if you have all of the above, then you’ll create your own luck!

For the National Tourism Plan 2025 to be successful we need to consider working together like a sports team. In tourism our line up might look like this:
a) The government and MBIE could be considered the coaches and support crew
b) The industry players are those that go to market and deliver the experience on the ground
c) Our ‘in crowd’ are the willing international visitors who desire and visit New Zealand
d) Our industry referee in this instance is TIA who represent the needs of the private sector to government/MBIE and who have to balance all the incoming data
e) Our up and coming talented players are Young TEC
f) The lucky timing is now! The line up of CEO’s across the public and private sector has never been better.

You might ask yourself, shouldn’t this great relationship and everyone being on the same page for tourism be a given? Well if you have ever been to family reunion with 30-40 years of history, you would know that relationships are not perfect and need constant work. Plus you have external interjectors joining the family with their opinions, who come and go, so it can be hard maintain consistent harmony.

The Rugby World Cup win in 2011 was a 24-year goal, with some good performing periods and some disappointments, which felt like at times we were going backwards. Some of the crowd gave up and players came and went. However, the coach backed himself, the refs appreciated the importance of their role, the players stayed fit and on-task as a group, even though changed occured. In the end, it was a cohesive strategy by all that determined the result – the little bit of luck perhaps being hosted in New Zealand.

The 2025 Plan is in a good place with the up-front players and behind the scenes support team, so we need to scrum down and turn the strategy into actions and results. Patience will be required as the first few years are more about influencing the influencers, and latter years about results. Short term actions are the name of the game, mixed with keeping the long term goal of six per cent growth rather than the adhoc organic growth.

The Tourism Export Council supports Tourism 2025 and looks forward to adding even more value to the accommodation sector and wider industry.

About Lesley Immink, CEO Tourism Export Council