TIA Election 2020 Action Plan

Tourism’s priorities for the incoming Government

TIA's Tourism Election Action Plan 2020 sets out the priority actions we want from the new Government to revive and revitalise our tourism industry.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to see each party's tourism policies.


Tourism Election 2020 Action Plan 


First 100-Day Plan for Government


Watch (above): Chief Executive Chris Roberts unveils the Action Plan. 
Watch (above): What are the major parties proposing for tourism? 

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

Tourism was the first industry to be hit by the pandemic and will be the last to recover. The Government elected in October 2020 must use all its resources and work alongside the private sector to revive and then revitalise the tourism industry for the benefit of our people and Aotearoa.

This is also a shared opportunity to make bold changes to fix longstanding systemic issues that have compromised our desire to build a truly sustainable tourism future. Tourism is a highly resilient industry.

With targeted support, system fixes and a shared vision, the industry will once again make an essential contribution to New Zealand’s success.

TIA has identified specific actions required from the incoming Government, in six categories:

Group 4



While the immediate outlook is uncertain, the industry’s longer-term ambitions remain relevant.

TIA’s Tourism 2025 & Beyond, A Sustainable Growth Framework – Kaupapa Whakapakari Tāpoi, sets a vision of ‘growing a sustainable tourism industry that benefits New Zealanders’. The Government’s Tourism Strategy is aligned with this vision and there is a set of joint priorities agreed with industry that should continue to be a focus for the incoming Government.

TIA calls on the incoming Government to:

  • Turn words into action and adequately resource government agencies so they can deliver on the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy
  • Support Tiaki – Care for New Zealand and the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment
  • Support the industry’s efforts to lead the world in sustainable tourism 
  • Take bold decisions to fix system issues
  • Support the recognition of Tikanga Māori


Group 7



We need a public sector that works with the tourism industry to address immediate needs and achieve long-term aspirations.

TIA calls on the incoming Government to:

  • Allocate the Tourism portfolio to a senior Minister, appoint an Associate Minister and continue with the Tourism Ministers’ Recovery Group
  • Commit to ongoing targeted support for businesses directly impacted by border restrictions
  • Ease international travel restrictions as soon as it is safe to do so
  • Strengthen the joint industry/ government leadership approach to recovery
  • Provide policy settings and financial support to enable the fastest recovery possible
  • Ensure all policy decisions and actions take full account of the impact on tourism
  • Reduce the compliance burdens on tourism businesses to support business survival and increased productivity
  • Work with industry to identify national tourism infrastructure priorities and include these in government infrastructure strategies
  • Accept that border cost recovery models (Border Clearance Levy and visa fees) will not generate the expected income and the shortfalls must be replaced by direct government funding
  • Spend the unallocated funds in the International Visitor Levy account
  • Rule out any new tourism taxes
Group 3



Tourism takes place in local communities and provides jobs, regional economic growth and vibrancy.

It is essential that tourism provides real benefits to the communities where it operates. Local government has a critical role to play in managing and enhancing local tourism experiences. It needs central government support to play its part in the rebuild of tourism.

TIA calls on the incoming Government to:

  • Expand MBIE’s programme to assist regions with destination management planning
  • Provide funding to support local government investment in tourism related infrastructure
  • Continue Tourism New Zealand’s mandate to work in partnership with regional tourism organisations and tourism operators to stimulate domestic tourism
  • Invest in building a resilient and safe transport system that promotes regional dispersal
  • Give local authorities the tools to manage freedom camping
Group 2


Natural Resources

The success and wellbeing of our tourism industry is intrinsically tied to our environment.

Fresh water, climate change and carbon reduction are all critical issues for the sustainability of tourism. The Department of Conservation is both a protector of our unique biodiversity, and a highly influential part of the tourism system. But the key legislation governing its operations dates from the 1980s and does not respond to 21st century pressures and opportunities. New Zealand can show global leadership through industry and Government working together to foster environmentally regenerative tourism.

TIA calls on the incoming Government to:

  • Provide sustainable funding so DOC can fulfil its responsibilities in the tourism system without compromising its core role of growing conservation 
  • Replace outdated legislation including the Conservation Act 1987 and National Parks Act 1980 with a balanced, futureproofed legislative and regulatory framework
  • Improve planning and concessions systems to reduce unnecessary barriers to sustainable private sector activities, including an overdue upgrade of the concessions IT system
  • Add tourism as a value in the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management
  • Work with industry to achieve carbon zero tourism in Aotearoa
  • Include the climate threats to tourism when developing regional climate adaptation strategies
Group 1



The tourism industry has long suffered from a dearth of research, science and innovation (RSI).

Tourism is largely unrecognised by the public sector science system and there is no mechanism to access funding from other sources, including from industry itself. A fundamental review of the tourism data system is needed.

TIA calls on the incoming Government to:

  • Establish a co-governance model to agree priority data needs
  • Provide appropriate funding to enhance tourism insight and knowledge
  • Recognise the importance of tourism research and provide access to the public sector science system
  • Vest a portion of the International Visitor Levy to fund an industry-led RSI programme
Group 3 v2



As tourism revives, job and career opportunities will re-emerge.

There is a risk of labour and skill shortages if we permanently lose staff displaced by COVID-19. We also need recognition that workers from overseas will continue to be part of the mix, filling jobs when suitable New Zealanders can’t be found.

TIA calls on the incoming Government to: 

  • Accept the need to attract Kiwis to work in tourism including ongoing support for the ‘Go With Tourism’ programme
  • Invest in workforce development by supporting TIA’s ‘Rebuilding the Tourism Workforce’ programme
  • Ensure immigration settings allow tourism employers to secure quality staff when no suitable New Zealanders are available
  • Foster the participation of Māori in the tourism industry
  • Support tertiary education initiatives to provide fees-free training and qualifications to current and displaced tourism employees
  • Upgrade the status of tourism at secondary school by restoring tourism achievement standards