It is now more nearly 18 months since we released our ground-breaking Destination AKL 2025 strategy developed in collaboration with industry.
Since the launch, we have set about delivering some of the major priorities within the strategy, which involves the wider industry working together towards a shared vision of collectively and proactively managing the impact of the visitor economy in a way that makes our region not only better off economically, but also socially, culturally and environmentally.
As the strategy’s guardian, we have a vital role in driving its implementation through our Major Events, Tourism, Business Events and International Education teams’ activities.
In addition to the Go with Tourism initiative outlined above, our key work includes developing a new destination narrative and positioning for Auckland. Guided by an industry advisory group, the project is using an evidence-based approach to understand what differentiates Auckland in the competitive global market. The findings are being used to develop an Auckland destination marketing plan to attract high-value tourism – including business events – and also to develop an Auckland resident marketing plan to encourage support of the visitor economy.
We are working to have this completed and in market next year ahead of 2021 when Auckland is hosting a mega event year including the 36th America’s Cup, Women’s Rugby World Cup 2021, and APEC Leaders Week.
We also launched the exciting inaugural Elemental AKL festival, which brightened up the region in July with a diverse and vibrant programme spanning the themes of light, food, entertainment, and culture.
The development of a compelling Auckland winter festival to promote sustainable tourism growth by encouraging visitation more evenly throughout the year, and dispersing visitors across the region, meets a key Destination AKL 2025 priority agreed with industry.
Elemental AKL featured more than 65 events and 120 participating eateries throughout the region. Auckland’s winter story was brought to life with a captivating line-up of light shows, culinary events, cultural performances and entertainment – with almost half of the events free. The festival is on its way to being an unmissable annual highlight for our region.
We welcomed May’s release by the Government of its New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy focused on sustainable growth. There is strong alignment between that and Auckland’s strategy.
ATEED believes all regional tourism plans need to feed into a cohesive national strategy, and it’s clear that our strategy does that in crucial areas. There is growing recognition among communities, regional and central government, and the tourism industry that sustainable future growth is paramount – and ATEED supports the Government’s priorities outlined in the national strategy. Challenges such as pressure on sensitive environments and infrastructure need to be addressed collectively.
As ATEED said in our submission to the draft strategy, a coordinated national approach around future destination management in collaboration with industry is essential, and the new strategy should help to ensure that.