The New Zealand Tourism Strategy to 2015 launched last year aligns closely with national Holiday Parks direction Minister of Tourism, Damien Oonnor, told the Holiday Parks of New Zealand Conference this week.
Holiday parks are the first sub-sector to formally demonstrate commitment to the national-level goals and its great to have your strong support, Damien OConnor said.
Both strategies are underpinned by two key values kaitiakitanga and manaakitanga, he said.
These concepts have been summarised as guardianship and hospitality, however their full meanings have a wider range and depth.
Kaitiakitanga refers to our responsibility for the preservation and promotion of our environment, people and culture. Manaakitanga refers to the care, engagement and hospitality we show our guests, on the basis of mutual respect between host and visitor.
While these are traditional Maori values, they resonate globally. I dont believe any other tourism industry in the world has embraced indigenous concepts in this way. They differentiate us in the world, and can inspire visitors. We want visitors to return to their home town and tell others about how they experienced these values first hand.
It is New Zealands natural environment that underpins one of the most successful country tourism brands in the world 100% Pure New Zealand.
Research also showed that up to 1.4 million New Zealanders say they will pay a premium for products and services which have a positive social or environmental benefit.
What these results highlight is an increasing expectation by New Zealanders, as well as our international visitors, that businesses will act responsibly to address these issues. As 70% of visitor nights are spent at New Zealands holiday parks government recognised the importance of listening to feedback from that sector, he said.
I would also like to briefly mention an idea that I am floating with industry at present around an environmental levy for overseas visitors coming to New Zealand, Damien OConnor said.
The money collected would go into environmental infrastructure and it would be focused on wider industry good projects.
It would be an open and transparent fund that would be managed by an independent group including representatives from the industry and central government.
Any such levy would also deserve promotion on the basis that we would be using money for environmental protection to underpin our 100 percent Pure New Zealand brand that is something to be proud of and marketed accordingly. I look forward to hearing HAPNZ thoughts on such a levy.
He said shared strategies seek outcomes of world-class experiences for visitors, world-leading environmental best practice, and strong healthy relationships with New Zealand communities.
While escalating oil prices will provide a challenge for tourism and every other industry in this country it is a challenge faced across the globe and our ability to compete will depend, as always, on delivering a better product than our competitors.
Holiday parks are perfectly positioned to deliver on a authentic experience for both international visitors and Kiwis wanting to find out more about our wonderful country, he said.
Tourism News Bay of Plenty reports today that Papamoa Beach Top 10 Holiday Park won the the AA Spirit of Hospitality Award for holiday parks at the HAPNZ Dinner held on June 23.
Thornton Beach Holiday Park and Waihi Beach Top 10 Holiday Park were among the finalists.
Katikati Naturist Park, Waihi Beach Top 10 Holiday Park and White Island Tours have been named finalists in the National Tourism Awards.
Katikati Naturist Park and Waihi Beach Top 10 Holiday Park are finalists in the holiday park sector of the Visitor Accommodation category, while White Island Tours is a finalist in the leisure activity sector of the Visitor Activities and Attractions. The award winners will be announced on August 5.