We can learn a lot from Swedes’

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Queenstown’s tourism boss believes the Wakatipu can learn a lot from belonging to a worldwide collective of four-season mountain resorts. 

Destination Queenstown chief executive Graham Budd (right) returned last week from the Leading Mountain Resorts of the World (LMROW) annual meeting in the northern Swedish resort of Are. 

Budd says LMROW – which also includes Switzerland’s Saas-Fee, Italy’s Val Gardena and Canada’s Banff/Lake Louise – differs from other purely marketing collectives. 

“Almost the more valuable component is the destination development discussions that we have – how do you do this, how do you do that?” 

In light of plans for a Queenstown convention centre, Budd says it’s interesting that Are’s centre was funded by a public-private partnership: “In Sweden that’s a very well-established model in tourism infrastructure development.
“One of the key things about [LMROW] is just opening your eyes to the way things like this are dealt with in other countries and other regions.” 

Queenstown will host the collective’s next annual meeting, probably next January. 

“The other resorts are very excited about coming to Queenstown in summer because I think it’s not overstating it to say we’re the strongest summer destination in terms of the breadth of our offering,” he adds. 

Local Ziptrek Ecotours director Trent Yeo also attended the Swedish forum.