Auckland’s visitor economy is booming with new targets set to deliver 12,000 new jobs by 2021, when the industry will be generating a record $7.2 billion annually.
Mayor Len Brown today announced plans to expand the visitor economy from a $4.8 billion industry in 2012 to a $7.2 billion annually in 2021 – demonstrating growth of 50 per cent or 4.6 per cent per annum.
The targets, adjusted to better reflect the current value of the visitor economy, feature in the revised Auckland Visitor Plan being developed by ATEED, on behalf of Auckland Council.
“Auckland is on track to becoming the world’s most liveable city. The visitor economy plays a critical role in Auckland’s economic growth, by 2021 the industry’s annual injection of $7.2 billion will help to make Auckland a better place to live and work as well as a better place to visit,” says the Mayor.
“The projected growth will have significant implications for tourism related infrastructure and capacity and provides a series of economic opportunities for other industries including food and beverage, marine, and equine.
“Achieving the Auckland Visitor Plan targets would create 12,000 new jobs in Auckland, many of which will provide front-line career opportunities in retail, attractions and hospitality as well as in the construction sector to enable the development of vital new infrastructure, such as hotels.
The increase in financial targets follows a record-breaking summer for Auckland, where visitor arrivals, guest nights and accommodation occupancy all reached unprecedented levels. Holiday arrivals to year end March were up 8 per cent on the previous year and accommodation occupancy peaked at 93 per cent in February.
ATEED Chief Executive Brett O’Riley says the Auckland Visitor Plan economic growth focus is to increase demand for Auckland and enhance the visitor experience.
“Over the next decade it is estimated that Auckland’s inbound air capacity will need to grow by around 200,000 seats per year and Auckland will need up to 3,400 new hotel rooms by 2021.
“From the tourism perspective, Auckland is an exciting and vibrant destination. It’s about marketing the destination while capitalising on Auckland’s amazing natural assets and improving the visitor product offering”, says Mr O’Riley.
The Auckland Council group has made a significant investment in the visitor economy over the past three years. This includes the development of Shed 10 as a cruise ship terminal, new infrastructure to accommodate super yachts at Westhaven Marina, and the $20 million investment in the WERO tourism destination in Manukau.
“Auckland is ripe for future investment and several hotels are already under construction or in the planning stages. Many of the opportunities created by the development of tourism infrastructure have flow-on effects for a number of ATEED’s targeted growth sectors including international investment, youth employment, and major events and are generating additional jobs, more income and greater prosperity for Auckland and Aucklanders,” he says.
Auckland Airport Chief Executive Adrian Littlewood says everyone in the industry must play their part to capture the growth opportunity that is right on our doorstep in the Pacific Rim.
“Our partnerships with airlines, ATEED and Tourism New Zealand show what can be achieved to drive passenger growth and achieve the New Zealand tourism industry goal of 6 per cent annual value growth. Auckland Airport is also very focused on delivering its 30-year infrastructure vision so the resulting growth in passengers and flights can be accommodated.”
To achieve the best outcomes for the Auckland Visitor Plan, ATEED is focusing its marketing resources on not only the domestic New Zealand market, Australia and China, but also USA, Indonesia, Japan and the emerging market of South America.
The new targets will be achieved by increasing international visitor receipts from $2.46 billion in 2012 to $4.23 billion in 2021, and growing domestic tourism receipts from $2.37 billion in 2012 to $3 billion in 2021.