Overall regional marketing for the Nelson Tasman district could suffer if the council withdraws funding for the district.
Simon Wallace, Tourism Industry Association’s policy and research manager, says tourism is a hugely important contributor to the economic wealth of the Tasman District. “But there is no guarantee that visitors will continue to come in their current numbers if Nelson Tasman Tourism’s marketing efforts are diminished.”
Individual tourism businesses market their own operations but Nelson Tasman Tourism provides overall regional marketing that will be lost if council funding is cut, Wallace says.
“Where regional tourism organisations like Nelson Tasman Tourism have been downsized or closed down, there have been negative impacts on the local industry, while strong regional tourism organisations make a measurable difference to visitor numbers,” says Wallace.
“Tourism is a hugely important contributor to the economic wealth of the Tasman District. There’s no guarantee that visitors will continue to come in the current numbers if Nelson Tasman Tourism’s market efforts are diminished.”
More than 3000 people are employed in tourism-related jobs across the Nelson Tasman region. Visitors spend almost $500,000 every day in the Tasman District, that’s at least $181 million a year, with spending spread across many sectors, including accommodation, retail, restaurants and cafés, petrol stations and supermarkets.
Wallace says, “These returns far outweigh the investment the council makes in marketing the region to visitors via Nelson Tasman Tourism. Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne has recently returned from China where he found strong potential for exports from this region. Chinese visitors are New Zealand’s fastest growing visitor market and they too can earn significant foreign exchange for the Tasman region. Not only that, they can be ambassadors for the region’s produce and attractions when they return home. The Tasman District should not ignore their potential.”