More focus needed on tourism in transport policy statement
The Government needs to ensure the movement of domestic and international visitors is properly considered in its transport planning, Tourism Industry Aotearoa says.
TIA has expressed its concern to the Minister of Transport Phil Twyford that the current draft of the Government Policy Statement on Land Transport for 2018/19-2027/28 does not adequately reflect the inter-relationship between tourism and land transport.
TIA is particularly concerned that the Government is intending to move ahead without first ensuring that it has adequate data on road use patterns.
TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says “we are concerned there is not enough data available on the different user groups, especially visitors. We would like to see greater emphasis in the GPS on developing better insight into future visitor flows and the impacts these will have on land transport planning.
“More and more domestic and international visitors are choosing to self-drive as their preferred way to explore the country, increasing the need to have a better understanding of visitor flows.”
TIA has been an active participant in the New Zealand Transport Agency’s Safer Journeys – Visiting Driver Project, and is keen for it to continue.
“Safety on the road is extremely important to the tourism industry. The project has been successful but more remains to be done and we are concerned that the focus may be coming off visiting drivers,” says Mr Roberts.
TIA is backing the Government’s increased focus on improving transport connections, and is urging it to make network resilience a priority.
“We strongly urge the Government to assess critical connections from a tourism perspective. The Kaikoura earthquake and recent climate events in Takaka and Northland have shown how vulnerable our regions are. When visitors cannot access a region, the local impact can be severe.”
“Overall, we are pleased with the improved acknowledgement of tourism in the GPS, but we remain concerned that the investments the Government aims to make guided by the GPS will not adequately recognise and meet the needs of the tourism industry.”
To read TIA’s full submission, go to https://tia.org.nz/advocacy/recent-submissions/air-connectivity/
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