Auckland Revises Tourism Targets

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | May 20, 2014 1:52 PM EST

Reserve Bank of New Zealand dollar notes are pictured in Singapore in this June 22, 2006 file photo. The New Zealand dollar tumbled on May 7, 2014 after the country's central bank warned it may have to intervene to weaken the currency, while the U.S. dollar languished at six-month lows against a basket of major currencies. REUTERS/Dennis Owen/Files
Reserve Bank of New Zealand dollar notes are pictured in Singapore in this June 22, 2006 file photo. The New Zealand dollar tumbled on May 7, 2014 after the country's central bank warned it may have to intervene to weaken the currency, while the U.S. dollar languished at six-month lows against a basket of major currencies. REUTERS/Dennis Owen/Files

Auckland has modified its tourism targets by 20 per cent through 2021 because the city's visitor economy was booming, Mayor Len Brown said.

Brown expects the new tourism targets, which is estimated to expand the visitor economy from a $4.8 billion industry in 2012 to a $7.2 billion annually in 2021, would provide 12,000 new jobs in Auckland by 2021.

"Auckland is on track to becoming the world's most liveable city," Brown said.

"Achieving the Auckland Visitor Plan targets would create 12,000 new jobs in Auckland, many of which will provide front-line career opportunities in retail, attractions and hospitality as well as in the construction sector to enable the development of vital new infrastructure, such as hotels."

Brett O'Reilly, Chief Executive of Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), said three new luxury hotels are currently being constructed in the city plus the Rainbow's End theme park is being revamped.

Moreover, new tourism ventures will be announced this week, O'Reilly said.

"We are seeing strength out of China, a rebound from traditional markets such as the USA and Europe, and from Australia which is our bread and butter, our joint venture with Flight Centre attracted 25,000 additional visitors," O'Reilly said.

He said the value of the tourism dollar must be maximised to achieve the $7.2 billion goal.

"Our approach is to grow demand for Auckland and enhance the visitor experience. It's about marketing the destination while simultaneously capitalising on Auckland's amazing natural assets and improving the visitor product offering."

Auckland's inbound air capacity is estimated to expand by 200,000 seats a year in the next 10 years. To support incoming visitors, Auckland would need to have readied 3400 new hotel rooms by 2021.

Also expected to increase are the number of cruise ships visiting Auckland.

"We believe in a short period of time we will have between two and four cruise ships arriving in Auckland on a daily basis."

"Fast-forward two or three years to the [completion] of the New Zealand International Convention Centre, where we're going to having conventions here with up to 4000 or 5000 delegates and their partners - that's another 10,000 people.''

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Reserve Bank of New Zealand dollar notes are pictured in Singapore in this June 22, 2006 file photo. The New Zealand dollar tumbled on May 7, 2014 after the country's central bank warned it may have to intervene to weaken the currency, while the U.S. dollar languished at six-month lows against a basket of major currencies. REUTERS/Dennis Owen/Files
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