Parking the Elusion
Here are some big numbers to keep in mind: Travel & Tourism constitutes ten percent of the world's GDP. The GDP contribution of travel touched $8 trillion in 2015 and is set to be rising to almost $12 trillion a decade from now. It is also one of the most fragmented, complex and misrepresented industries in the world!
Yet, for a small country like New Zealand, international visitors deliver $40 million in foreign exchange to the economy each day of the year. This is one in five export Dollars earned by the country. Domestic tourism contributes another $59 million in economic activity every day. Tourism generated a direct contribution to GDP of $14.7 billion, or 5.9% of GDP in 2017. Why is New Zealand so prosperous in their tourism campaign?
We have our views about why New Zealand is punching above its weight in this sector. Firstly, the New Zealand landscape is unique. It has an incredibly diverse natural beauty from the North Island to the South. You don't have to go far to be in awe with the shades of greens, blacks, blues and whites that are dished up to your camera lens, all hours of the day and night. It is a nature photographer's paradise.
New Zealand has a rich and diverse cultural landscape too. It blends Pacific, European and Asian into a beautiful tapestry of people and community. It is probably one of the only places where you wash down a lamb dim sum donburi with limoncello, and have a creampuff with your kumara madras.
Speaking of food, it is an absolute culinary paradise. Everything grows and thrives in the fertile New Zealand climate. Agriculture has been the backbone of the economy since the country's inception. It was only in 2013 that Tourism took over from dairy as the dominating export of the nation. New Zealand attracts great culinary talent with all this beautiful produce, that is locally grown and innovatively cultivated. There is no shortage of food celebrations, shows and festivals which, together with sports, make the country an event magnet.
Getting Real Marketing Done Deep Downunder
Here is the real reason why we love New Zealand: Small businesses thrive! Competition is healthy, and people are innovative when they bring products and services to market. The tourism product is good, and it keeps growing. They know to celebrate their successes and tell their stories. Marketing is a crucial foundation for everyone involved in New Zealand's tourism businesses.
Our Canadian Provinces are missing this crucial point. It doesn't matter how many Dollars you throw at the not-for-profit staff-bloated destination supposed marketing organizations, if the product is not solidly good, even they cannot put lipstick on a pig. There must be an incentive for tourism and travel operators to market themselves. Like so many other matters, leaving a government in charge of this crucial business task is courting disaster.
Canada has a lot of natural splendour, but its entrepreneurs have lost their motivation. What should be a help to develop the tourism product of Canada has become like so many things in the country, just another destination marketing gravy train for tenure incentivized bureaucrats. What remains to be marketed then is... natural splendour. If only we - the Two Cowboys - can get a more significant chance to highlight Canada's tourism product and related businesses, then we may just be able to light the flame again of entrepreneurship and blow it stronger for Canada, our other home country.
In the meantime, while we sit out the cold winter months, we cannot get enough of exploring this great little country of New Zealand. We can call it our village because we also carry a Kiwi Passport. We are and remain committed to its success!
Enjoy our travels deep Downunder and we hope you can make the journey with us in person, one day. See you back in Canada again, soon.
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Episode 2: Flying from Kelowna, BC to Auckland, NZ