TIA has made a submission on the Auckland Council Annual Budget 2023/2024 Consultation Document. Our submission was regarding the further proposed budget cuts of $44m for the destination marketing and events attraction functions of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited.
TIA strongly considers that a budget cut of this magnitude will be detrimental to the Auckland visitor economy.
TIA’s key points in the submission are:
1. Destination Marketing, an Investment not a Cost. Auckland Council should view its spending on the destination and event attraction management as an investment that will generate a substantial rate of return, directly for Council and indirectly by businesses and people across the Auckland region.
2. Retaining Capability. Auckland Council should make every effort to ensure the specialist skills and capabilities of the people within Tātaki Auckland Unlimited are retained in the interest of the current and future work to ensure the positive functioning of the Auckland visitor economy over the long term.
3. Sustainable Industry Funding. Auckland Council should align its decisions around the funding of the destination management and event attraction functions of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited with a number of wider processes underway relating to tourism industry funding.
4. COVID Recovery. Auckland Council should deliberately supports the important functions of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited in shaping and enabling recovery of the Auckland visitor economy so that it delivers the strongest benefits for Auckland, recognising there are significant down-side risks of not doing so.
TIA requested that Auckland Council retains the existing funding for Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and, if that is not possible, ensuring that the funding reduction is limited to a level where the capability of the destination marketing and events attraction functions are retained so Tataki can quickly rebuild as funding returns.