Deloitte: Infrastructure, global visibility NZ’s biggest tourism challenges

Visitor accommodation in places like Queenstown was the most needed type of tourism infrastructure with the greatest potential impact for the sector, says Deloitte. Image: Lawrence Murray

Deloitte has identified tourism as one of five industries with the greatest opportunity to contribute to New Zealand’s future economic prosperity.

In a report titled Shaping our slice of heaven, released last week to mark the launch of Deloitte Access Economics in NZ, the professional services firm said tourism, agribusiness, food processing, international education and advanced manufacturing were the country’s “industries of opportunities”.

“The industries lie at the intersection of global growth and national comparative advantage, forming the heart of New Zealand’s ‘prosperity map’,” said Deloitte.

It gave tourism the second highest industry advantage score, behind agribusiness, and projected it to be one of the world’s fastest-growing industries.

“Opportunities to take full advantage of future growth include better understanding of how the sharing economy is changing the industry, preparing for increasing demand for tourism from Asia, ensuring New Zealand continues to offer a unique visitor experience and more affordable direct air access,” said Deloitte.

Over the past two years alone, the size of NZ’s tourism sector had grown by 24%. Growth of this magnitude brought substantial economic opportunity, said Deloitte in the Tourism chapter of the report.

However, such rapid growth presented challenges.

“Challenges include renewing the infrastructure that supports tourism and maintaining the international visibility of New Zealand as a tourist destination.”

Visitor accommodation was the most needed type of tourism infrastructure with the greatest potential impact for the sector.

“Additional supply of visitor accommodation can relieve constraints and facilitate additional visitation. While developers are likely to increase accommodation supply in metropolitan areas to capture the surplus demand without government intervention, more coordination is required for regional areas,” said Deloitte.

The most acute gaps were in Auckland, Queenstown-Wanaka, Wellington, Canterbury and Dunedin.

Deloitte said it was important for New Zealand to ensure differentiation from other global tourism destinations.

“New Zealand must increase its visibility beyond the traditional clean green image. New Zealand can increase global awareness to include its culture, adventure tourism offerings, cuisine, political stability and safety.”

Click here to view Deloitte’s Shaping our slice of heaven report.

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