It engenders a sense of pride and vibrancy in a place and more importantly attracts people to return and live, to work, to do business and to build new businesses.
In the Bay of Plenty our employment stocks are mirroring the tourism industry – trending upwards.
In the year ended March 2016, there were 7440 people employed in the tourism sector in the region - which includes the Tauranga City, Western Bay of Plenty District and Whakatane District catchments - compared with 6220 in the year ended March 2013.
During the same time period, the average income of those working in the tourism sector increased from $32,796 to $37,857.
Retail, transport, food and beverage, and accommodation, tourism employment growth shows we are tracking in the right direction.
These figures reinforce the important contribution tourism makes to the region’s economy, adding to a record $1 billion spent by tourists in the Coastal Bay of Plenty, from Ohope through to Waihi Beach, last year.
But we can contribute so much more, and hope to create a further 4000 jobs in the tourism industry over the next 10 years.
Our goal is to implement a destination management role, a critical facet for growing tourism in the Bay of Plenty to a $1.45b industry by 2028.
In doing so, we hope to have a much greater input into the coordinated management of all the elements that make up the region.
This will ensure growth that is sustainable both financially and environmentally, so that everyone can enjoy the economic benefits that tourism brings, like more jobs.