Tourism New Zealand’s new chief executive, Stephen England-Hall, started his role this week. Below is his first industry address distributed by Tourism New Zealand.
It’s week one for me at Tourism New Zealand and I am enjoying getting to know staff and stakeholders. This is a really dynamic time for tourism in New Zealand and I am looking forward to working with you all to keep achieving sustainable results that are good for our industry and good for all New Zealand.
With tourism the biggest export earner in the country, it is an exciting time to be coming into the sector as it considers the challenges and embraces the unprecedented opportunities.
This week I will be in Wellington to attend my first tourism CEs’ meeting. This brings together the leaders of government agencies involved in tourism-related work. These meetings provide an important opportunity for us to take a broader look at tourism, acknowledge some of the considerations facing the industry and agree where we need to be channelling our combined efforts.
We now have an approved new Tourism New Zealand strategy that will guide our direction over the next four years. A top priority for FY18 is growing the shoulder season, and there are continuing signs that our concentration on promoting shoulder season travel is having an effect. Latest figures show that although our holiday arrivals for summer (December – February) were up 8.3 per cent on the same period last year, our spring season arrivals (September – November) were almost double that, with a 16.1 per cent increase.
I am looking forward to my first TRENZ next month where, I’m told, around 288 New Zealand exhibitors will be pitching to something like 377 international and domestic buyers. TRENZ will be a valuable opportunity for me to outline more of our plans and also to get to know as many industry people as I can.
Following TRENZ I will be getting out to meet more of you with roadshows planned for late May around much of the country. As a newcomer to this important, exciting and dynamic industry, I am keen to hear your thoughts and value your input.
May our paths cross in the coming months.
Chief Executive, Tourism New Zealand