Tourism on the agenda in Queenstown

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Tourism bigwigs are in Queenstown today to discuss the “state of the industry” with local operators.

The Tourism Industry Association’s “Creating Our Future” roadshow will air concerns and opinions about the challenges businesses face, plus talk about what potential solutions, opportunities and priorities are.

The closed-door session is part of a national series – TIA’s visited 10 other centres over the last couple of months.

The purpose of the road shows is to create a clear direction for the tourism industry over the next three years and beyond, TIA boss Tim Cossar says.

“We want to ensure our industry capitalises on the opportunities offered in 2011, including Rugby World Cup, the filming of The Hobbit and the introduction of new air links with some of our fastest growing visitor markets,” he says.

“The impact of the devastating Christchurch earthquake on Canterbury and the wider visitor industry and how we can best address that will also be on the agenda.”

The information gathered from the road shows will be further discussed by the chief executives of New Zealand’s biggest tourism companies at an event hosted by Air New Zealand in May.

TIA will then report key priorities to a top-level political summit in Wellington, which will be attended by the leaders of all the key political parties, including the Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key.

Mr Cossar says the industry priorities will form the basis of a 2011 Tourism Industry Election Manifesto which TIA will launch in the lead up to the general election in November.

“It has never been more vital for our industry to provide a strong, united message to the Government about our goals and priorities for boosting New Zealand’s economic performance,” Cossar says.