Export Matters: INSIDE TOURISMby admin - February 15th, 2012. Filed under: Media Releases.
WANTED: An inbound tour operator with a major game changing idea to test the new international growth fund process!
New criteria for export marketing grants from NZTE on the face of it, are encouraging for inbound tour operators who meet the requirements. However, Chief Executive Lesley Immink met with NZ Trade & Enterprise recently and unofficially were told that they were unlikely to qualify. The new F0CUS 500 criteria includes international assistance for the top 500 export companies (they currently fund 380) with a minimum turnover of $3 million, at least 20% of your business must be export and approx 15 FTE’s employed. The new fund is called “International Growth Fund” or the IGF, and while several of our major inbound operators meet the criteria, it is Tourism New Zealand who is charged with marketing New Zealand to the world says Nick Metson of NZTE. It is for this reason that additional government or MED funds would not be allocated to support separate export marketing grants for inbound operators. The other difference to the criteria is that the ‘idea must be a game changer’ and extension on ‘business as usual’ is not enough to be approved. They must also be able to demonstrate for the past three years, significant growth.
When challenged about inbound operators going into new markets to lead the way for Tourism New Zealand and the return on investment could be significant re development in new markets eg. Russia, Brazil, the old ‘tourism is not a very productive sector compared to other export industries’ was bought up. It is for this reason that the new name change for ITOC to the Tourism Export Council of New Zealand cannot come quick enough. (01 March 2012) We need our key agencies to acknowledge the contribution that tourism has in our economy for GDP, Forex, GST and employment opportunities. Their support to the inbound sector re their request for export marketing grant assistance could make a difference in attracting the high yield visitor that we seek, sooner rather than later . Aus Trade in Australia fully support their inbound industry with export marketing grants even though it is their sixth rated industry. They are investing huge amounts into Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South America over the next few years and if we aren’t careful, will be the poor cousins and second choice.
It is obvious that small nimble private sector companies can move quicker and determine financial viability of an export product or service than a government agency. If an operator matches an export marketing grant dollar for dollar, they will not waste their time and money if the early investigations prove fruitless. How many IT companies has NZTE and the FORST fund invested in with no return? The tourism industry is not a risk industry, is surprisingly stable despite the economic crisis and acts of gods, and is the number one export earner for the country. So, the Tourism Export Council is seeking a ‘pipeline inbound tourism operator’ who meets the above criteria to test the process. Contact the Chief Executive on Lesley@itoc.org.nz for more information. Tourism Export Council (ITOC) Background:
The Tourism Export Council of NZ was founded in 1971 and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011. It represents 250 tour operators and suppliers (accommodation, attraction, activity and transportation) throughout the country who package, distribute and market New Zealand tourism products and services internationally.
For more information, please contact:
Lesley Immink, Chief Executive Phone: 04 495 0810 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org