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Auckland wants to attract wealthier visitors and make the city a more interesting place, especially during the off-season. An overhaul of the New Zealand city’s tourism strategy moves away from attracting as many people as possible to offering visitors more cultural experiences.
Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), the region’s economic growth agency and an Auckland Council-controlled organisation expects the ‘Destination AKL 2025’ strategy hopes to lift the spending by visitors from an annual USD 8 billion, to nearly USD 14 billion, in seven years.
ATEED and industry leaders want to attract the expected arrivals through hosting business events such as conventions.
Steve Armitage, General Manager – Destination, ATEED said, “Most international visitors coming off a cruise ship or looking to stay overnight, people staying for short breaks – something we’ve actively promoted, find the fact that the city’s shops close quite early as a bit of a surprise.”
The strategy called for local events to attract visitors in the off-season and said more is needed to be built around Auckland’s cultural mix especially Pacific and Māori culture. Major events are a useful adjunct and contribute to the visitor economy in Auckland, probably more valuable than the regular activities that happen to bring visitors inconsistently.
They plan to improve the basic amenities like good public transport and also aim at championing at the sustainability factor to improve the tourism in the country. ATEED has an eye on America’s Cup and the APEC leaders meeting in three years time, as a target to make changes.