What is recreational fishing worth to NZ? According to Department of Conservation (managers of the Taupo Fishery) recreational trout fishing in this region brought in over $90 Million in annual economic impacts to the Taupo economy. Others estimate it supports over 1000 jobs in accommodation (motels, hotels, B & B’s, fishing lodges, back-packers, rental houses plus many more holiday homes) tackle shops, clothing shops, support industries such as restaurants, cafes, pubs, hospitality suppliers, etc. By their usual visiting patterns, these angling tourists are top value VIP visitors with many staying one two, to three months at a time and return again and again.
A similar result with millions of dollars contribution could be repeated in many other small secondary rural locations throughout NZ. In simple economic terms it is a no-brainer. The activity that attracted them – trout fishing – needs much more official acknowledgement and protection.
These tourist anglers are so valuable as they are often the only visitors attracted to the more remote ‘marginal’ (i.e. struggling economically due to lack of employment opportunities or lack of any other sustainable industry) natural scenic locations near national parks.
A good example – just to pick one at random – could be that cute little tourist town, Turangi, adjacent the dual world heritage area.
Very Strong growth confirmed
With New Zealand tourism on the upswing, the industry is in a good position to take stock of its future direction, says Lincoln University professor David Simmons.
“Total tourism expenditure this year has amounted to $29.8 billion – a 10.3 percent increase,” says Professor Simmons. “However, tourism arrivals always ebb and flow and we need to make sure we’re continuing to trend upwards as we look to the future.
“We should keep our focus on adding value to the New Zealand economy and all of our regions.”
Tourism contribution up 17%
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive, Kevin Bowler, concurs, and suggests growing off-peak and regional demand are the keys to managing growth. Recent figures have reinforced tourism’s role as the country’s biggest services export.
Total tourism contribution reached $12 Billion for the year ended June 2015 – up 17% on the previous year, with international visitor arrivals exceeding the three million mark for the first time mid-year,. They are now finally recognising the contribution from the regions and putting 80% of their resources and effort into driving ‘shoulder’ and off-peak arrivals in recognition that our greatest capacity of the fact that our greatest capacity to grow is outside peak months…. About time…
These regions realise their value, but this is the first time there has been appropriate recognition from “Head Office”. Tourism NZ publicity promotional brochures suggest that all tourists want to see are glow worms and hobbit houses and Rotorua mud pools and Queenstown jet boats and bungy. It is a numbers game.
The rest of NZ is largely ignored. Trout fishing rarely receives a mention. (Most local anglers will be cheering at that.)
“What’s Recreational Fishing Worth to NZ?”.
So far they have raised about $50,000 towards research to prove to Government what it is worth.
For more info go to:
Overview of latest international travel trends – Four weeks ended 1 Nov. 2015
International visitor arrivals
Four weeks ended 22 November 2015 – Total visitor arrivals are up 10% compared to the same four-week period last year.
UP: China 31%, Korea 23%, Germany 13%, India 13%, Singapore 9%, UK 9%, Australia 7%, Canada 6%, USA 4%, Japan 3%.
Tourism is arguably NZ’s biggest industry!.
The recent drop in dairy returns should be a timely reminder which industry is the most sustainable.
Tourism is far more important in this region in terms of employment numbers.
Yet strangely NZ Inc. appears to have a policy of discouraging tourist anglers by increasing their licence fees above local levels, encouraging hydro power and irrigation schemes to destroy the natural rivers and natural habitat – the very things that attract them here, further limiting the pure wild fisheries…
And now, their latest brain fade, almost unbelievable, establishing by stealth an unfortunate precedent to introduce trout farming at – of all places? – the Trout Centre at Turangi, whilst they promote the Tongariro as a ‘wild’ fishery…
Acknowledgement – The title was pinched from an essay by Nussman – the president and CEO of the American Sportfishing Association (ASA). Comparatively their recreational fishing industry is valued at $115 billion and it supports close to a million domestic jobs… And guess where is their preferred destination to fish for wild trout?