TIA Local Government Manifesto 2016
How your community can benefit more from international and domestic travellers
The tourism industry makes a significant contribution to regional economic development through the jobs and income it creates.
Only a fraction of visitor spending actually occurs in places commonly considered visitor-specific e.g. accommodation, attractions.
The rest takes place in shops, cafes, petrol stations and other local businesses. Local farmers and market gardeners benefit from selling their goods directly or indirectly to visitors
Who is visiting your community? They are people on holiday or visiting family and friends, people on business trips, conference or event attendees, students and their families. On any day of the year, your community is hosting the visitors, domestic and international, who are helping support local jobs and businesses.
One of the keys to a strong regional visitor economy is the quality of the visitor experience. Councils play an important part in that experience with the investment they make in infrastructure e.g. roads, water/waste disposal, broadband, attractions and events in addition to their support for promotional bodies.
Councils play a vital role in helping visitors, as well as ratepayers, make the most of their time in the community.
Tourism is on a roll! We’ve enjoyed two years of record growth in visitor spend and numbers and there is more to come. We all have to get ready for this, to ensure we maximise the benefits for our communities.
Ensure the needs of visitors as well as residents are considered in your council’s planning, so your community can reap the benefits of the visitor economy.
Tourism 2025 established a growth framework to ignite tourism growth out to 2025.
The following Tourism 2025 actions are the priorities for a stronger local government/tourism partnership over the next two years:
This is the most important thing councils can do – look after and invest in the quality of your region as a destination.
- This is the most important thing councils can do – look after and invest in the quality of your region as a destination.
- Facilitate and enable communities to meet the needs of growing numbers of visitors, as well as residents.
- Identify your unique selling points as a destination and promote them.
- Work with neighbouring communities to attract visitors to the wider region.
With the rapid growth in visitor numbers, we have to invest in essential infrastructure and enable the private sector to develop its infrastructure by delivering efficient planning and approval services.
- Define and plan for the priority infrastructure that meets the needs of visitors as well as residents.
- Examine the regulatory environment applied to tourism operators and other businesses serving visitors, and assess where the compliance burden can be reduced to support increased productivity.
Events are one of the best tools for encouraging people to visit your community. Use them to your advantage.
- Schedule events (meetings, conferences, sports events and festivals) outside of the peak season to foster off-peak travel activity.
- Attract high value business visitors through the availability of quality facilities, such as convention centres where appropriate.
MEASURING VISITOR SATISFACTION
It’s important to understand what your visitors think of your community. If they are happy, businesses can grow. If you know there are areas of low satisfaction, you can address the problems. Without this insight, you can’t increase value.
- Track the satisfaction of international and domestic visitors, whether by direct customer feedback or social media, and use this information to address areas of dissatisfaction and deliver ever higher satisfaction levels.
Help your community to prosper by attracting people to visit throughout the year. This will develop a sustainable tourism industry with more permanent jobs.
- Council-owned or supported marketing agencies (e.g. RTOs, EDAs) build a stronger focus on promoting off-peak travel activity to high value visitors.
REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM
Every region wants to grow and tourism can and does support this goal. Tourism complements your community’s other industries like wine, horticulture and farming.
- Encourage and incentivise tourism as part of your regional development strategies.
ENABLING AIRPORT AND PORT FACILITY DEVELOPMENT
Great air and cruise links are vital to growing tourism. If your airport or port is councilowned, make sure long-term plans are aligned with industry forecasts. There are long lead times, so you have to think ahead.
- Councils work with local airports to establish and implement long-term and sustainable development strategies.
- Councils work with their port company to ensure cruise tourism is enabled.
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM POSITIONING
Every region needs to demonstrate its commitment to look after its economic future and the resources it uses to operate.
- Identify the regional priorities required to develop a sustainable tourism industry across economic, social, cultural and environmental considerations.