Call for better tourism planning

There’s 100,000 more cruise ship passengers expected for the 2018/19 season. Photo: Supplied.

A call for the city council to get a better grip on tourism management is being made by Tourism Bay of Plenty CEO Kristin Dunne.

“We will have 100,000 more visitors coming through the port next season,” says Kristin. “We are going from 83 ships to 113 - so the growth in tourism is happening in spite of us, and we need to get in front and manage it, or it is going to start managing us.

“Other regions are really suffering. It’s not a positon that I want us to get into.”

She’s commenting at Wednesday’s meeting of the City Transformation Committee on the draft Tauranga Urban Strategy, which is going for public consultation on how the ratepayers will deal with the issues arising from a fast changing city.

“We are really excited about having a master plan we can be contributing towards,” says Kristin. “As you know we have built our own plan to meet the aspirations of the city. And I think what is critical for us from a tourism perspective is to have those insights that we are missing.

“On any given day we can double the population in certain areas of the city and at any given time of the year and I don’t think at the moment that we are adequately planning for that influx of growth, because we simply don’t understand what it is.

“We don’t know how many people are here why are they here, what more they would like to see.” That insight is critical for tourism Bay of Plenty being able to contribute to the plan in any really meaningful way.

“We understand that amenity can be for both visitors and residents alike, but what are the visitors calling for as well as what the residents are calling for.

We are wanting Tauranga to be an internationally competitive city and that means we have a lot of international visitors coming here. Clearly the biggest barrier to that at the moment is hotels.

And I’m pretty sure when we get the data through on the number of visitors here we’ll be able to improve our business cases much more effectively on how many people are visiting museums, how much they are prepared to pay - all those questions we think we know the answer to, but we don’t really, is fundamental I think to making this successful.

“It would be great to do a bit more place making work and what’s our story so these developments don’t just happen from a developmental and infrastructure perspective, but they are happening to create a place and tell a story. We have got some building blocks for that already but I think we could pick up on and use, make sure that the cultural heart of this isn’t lost as well.”

The cruise ship tourists spending is $60m, says Kristin. Second to Auckland but much higher than any of the other ports.

“What would be great to see along with that spend is how many people, where are they coming from, and who do we want to actively target going forward. To run a sector without understanding that information is not effective.”

Tourism spending for Bay of Plenty is $1.8 billion for the year ended November 2017, according to MBIE figures. Tourists spent $154 million in the Bay of Plenty in November 2017, a month to month growth of 10 per cent.

The annual spending in Tauranga by tourists is $762m.

Committee chairman Larry Baldock says it highlights the need for the city council to progress the new visitor centre and I-port at Mount Maunganui.


@ Accountable

Posted on 04-03-2018 17:08 | By MISS ADVENTURE

I think you will find that TBOP self jsutifies its existence by claiming a link between their existence and indeed expansion with the ever growing number of tourists "passing through and/or past Tauranga. The huge numbers claimed are magnificent, magical and very much self indulgent justification that is self benefical but very much a cost to everyone else. Infact one could easily drawn the conclusion that TBOP is the prime cause of Tauraga to be missing out on Tiurism, that certainly is the view of many in the industry who are self employed.


Posted on 17-02-2018 12:00 | By Accountable

Thanks for the link and yes I had looked at it previously. As I have written in these columns before there is nothing in those statistics that remotely suggest that any increase in spending can be attributed to the efforts of TBOP and they cannot continually suggest that because of their efforts the ratepayer should increase their contribution to spend on expensive and unnesessary buildings which will obviously have limited usage in the future.


Posted on 15-02-2018 20:54 | By Sg1nz

The RA numbers are available via MBIE - so easy to find if your interested: think that’s the right link, that will show BOP and also allow you to view Tauranga. PS - GrahamTGA $800M is a lot of ice creams.

for GrahamTGA

Posted on 15-02-2018 18:05 | By Jayleen Wood

You will not be seeing Tourism Bay of Plenty use the Tauranga Tourism name any time soon as together with the love our lifestyle city slogan it is a registered trademark in the hands of a privateer. Incompetence at its best with no foresight by those charged with the responsibility of protecting something so simple as essential naming rights for the city of Tauranga. These bosses are all the same. The last one liked to see his picture in the newspaper, this one wants to dazzle its council masters and us with promises of collaboration and press release scoops filled with future proof talk. Spend and more spend. All we really need is someone who will actually do for the local industry through sincere action. Everything else will then fall into place. Im with Geoff and others here. Push the restart button. Again.


Posted on 15-02-2018 11:46 | By Accountable

Can you produce the links that you are quoting from as this will quell us all with the proof?It must be remembered that a large part of the financial figures that TBOP quote have nothing to do with their efforts but are from the cruise ships and friends and relations visiting friends and relations as well as the domestic market which has been there long before TBOP was invented.So where is the proof that TBOP have added a particular sum of money from their efforts to our economy? The facts are that they honestly can’t. My facts come from twenty years of being partenered to a manager within the organisation and with being deeply involved with the industry from outside TBOP but still follow each managers spin with great interest as a lot of their work is damaging to the local industry as well as costly through the rate

A little more understanding

Posted on 14-02-2018 22:07 | By Sg1nz

I guess I’m confused by the changing story. First your complaining that TBOP does nothing of Tauranga’s economy. When that is proven wrong, then your story changes to be that Rotorua benefits more than Tauranga does. That’s a hard one to prove. Yes Rotorua has a higher Tourisum income than Tauranga. But are you saying that you would gladly give up the almost $800M that does come into Tauranga? That’s a $200M since 2009. In terms of TCC funding - yes I could have been clearer. Yes TCC provide the highest level of opex funding $1.5M (that’s not a bad investment for a $800M return), but TCC are also one of the highest debtor. So net, not the highest. My point though, is that people keep acting like there is no tourism benefit to Tauranga and the numbers don’t support that.

Grrr… there’s nothing more fake than your post

Posted on 14-02-2018 15:09 | By GrahamTGA

I have travelled on these ships with passengers and they consider Mount Maunagnui as the drop off berth to access Rotorua’s huge selection of attractions and activities. At best they buy a ice cream, coffee and a small souvenir in Mainstreet when we return from a days touring. Tauranga and Mount Maunganui are a drive through as time allows when returning from Rotorua etc. Why spend on promotion and building isites and iports when you have nothing to offer as activities and attractions that are of suitable international standard.How much does Rotorua contribute to TBOP Answer= Nothing. How much does Rotorua gain from TBOPs and the ports cruise ship arrangement Answer= the biggest portion by far. Who pays for most all this Answer= TCC being us Tauranga ratepayers. Sorry mate but theres no lack of facts or examples past or present on all this situation.

back at Sg1nz - This is why we need change.

Posted on 14-02-2018 11:57 | By Angela (Mt Maunganui)

Your fake news comment demonstrates just how hoodwinked some are. In the latest TBOP Financial Statement online under the Funding section and contributions table on page 17. An account of the TBOP funding clearly shows TCC as the main funder of TBOP to the tune of at least 4 times that of any other single income source. Look a little further and you will find that it is TCC that are also funding the iSites. It has always been like this. There is no fake news here, just numbers in print. No one is trying to tear down anything, but enough is enough and a change in approach is needed. Your other criticisms of posts being WRONG are easy to dispel by anyone who has been involved with local tourism. I provide apartment accommodation and my son in law runs a tour company and hire business. Whats your connection?

A lack of fact

Posted on 13-02-2018 19:50 | By Sg1nz

Most of the post here are just wrong:- TCC fund most of TBOP - WRONG- Tourism spend is decreasing - WRONG- Tauranga tourist spend includes Rotorua or BOP - WRONG- Ships only stop here because of Rotorua - WRONGAll of this info is available and easy to find. Yet some here find it easier to push fake news and tear the city down.

Spend is increasing

Posted on 13-02-2018 14:16 | By Scott Parker

Not sure what you’re looking at. But go and look at the reals numbers:- Tauranga as an AT is broken out separately- Spend is increasingThose are the facts.

No, No, No....

Posted on 13-02-2018 08:59 | By GrahamTGA

more money must be put into a tourism organisation like this that is not effective. Rather create a new Tauranga Tourism Board with a properly trained and qualified new team of staff to concentrate on marketing just Tauranga and Mount Maunganui. Make it something manageable cost wise for ratepayers that we could get behind as a city a drive for our own benefit.

There's absolutely no proactive thinking or investment

Posted on 13-02-2018 08:11 | By NZAdventurer

If the Port of Tauranga cannot look after everything to do with a docking cruise passenger liner, they should not be accepting these vessels. A ports primary function is to move cargo and passengers. If they cannot deliver dockside services including safe and secure disembarking facilities for easy passenger movements together with all manner of passengers other arrival needs, they should be held accountable in some way. Well over a million cruise liner passengers have passed through the Port of Tauranga and look at it! Its yet another kids project courtesy of ’the professionals.’ Nothing gets done by Port of Tauranga! And why should they bother, when the TCC and TBOP setup provides a steady flow of ratepayer money for short term patch up solutions. Geoff

SO TRUE Accountable

Posted on 12-02-2018 14:53 | By AndyCap

Spend in Tauranga is DECREASING because Tauranga has sat on its hands and not invested in itself. The TBOP ceo confirms many of her organisations shortfalls by calling for better TCC management to put Tauranga first. We have placed much to much value on the cruise ships. If we cannot generate income for Tauranga from each and every ships arrival, what is in it for us? But no, we actually go the other way and spend big, providing the facilities and services (even if they are poorly done) to promote other destinations. Surely it is also up to the port to provide for their passengers, much like an airport? I bet they cash in on every ship that visits. TCC pays so that private businesses, many of which are not even in Tauranga can reap the profits. Same old. Every time TBOP cry, TCC mother them with another feed

Sorry Sg1nz but selling Rotorua in Tauranga doesn’t count!

Posted on 12-02-2018 12:35 | By Angela (Mt Maunganui)

Point 1. Figures have increased across all areas of tourism, but most cruise ship visitors and high value international tourists still spend little time or money in Tauranga compared to say Rotorua. Look around and you will see Tauranga is a domestic beachside tourism favourite for kiwi families, together with loads of backpacker and seasonal worker type visitors. Yes, when the cruise ships are here some passengers can be seen wandering around the shops and Mount, but the $ spend is minimal in comparison. And lets be honest, even TBOP admit not knowing the true breakdown of visitor expenditure. The supposed $ spend in Tauranga comes from what? It is certainly not from tourism related attractions and activities as we have almost none. So mabye it’s best we just be ourselves and save on all the constantly wasted TBOP infrastructure and marketing costs.

Sorry Sg1nz continued

Posted on 12-02-2018 12:26 | By Angela (Mt Maunganui)

Point 2. In reference to this article, it should not be the job and responsibility of the Tauranga City Council to fund or manage a tourism office that caters for all Bay of Plenty. Yes, we know other areas also throw in a token contribution, but ultimately Tauranga foots most of the bill. Why should Tauranga build and operate tourism offices together with loss making public information sites to benefit areas other than Tauranga, Mount Maunganui and possibly a handful of neighbouring kiwi fruit orchards? We need to get to a point where we can sell Tauranga as The Destination, and not just a stop over for cruise passengers or budget focused backpackers living in vans eating noodles on the side of the street. What is clear from Kristins admission is that TBOP are unable to deliver any real results or benefits for time and money spent.


Posted on 12-02-2018 10:23 | By Accountable

If it wasn’t for Rotorua the cruise ships wouldn’t visit Tauranga. The information in the media regarding tourism spending increases does not mention specific areas and the Bay of Plenty region is a large area which includes Rotorua who have seen increases in visitor numbers particularly with the increasing Chinese visitation but we in Tauranga have seen nothing of this increase and in fact it appears we are all seeing a decrease in visitor spending and as I am heavily involved in the industry I know that this is a fact. TBOP use these media releases to convince the public they are doing a good job and you for one have fallen for this sneaky ploy.

Trouble check the numbers

Posted on 11-02-2018 17:40 | By Sg1nz

Trouble tells us that tourists skip Tauranga and head out of the area. That’s simply an outright lie. Check the 2013-2017 Tauranga tourism spend (which is reported separately to BOP). Massive spend increases year on year.

@ Gr8town, great job you say

Posted on 11-02-2018 15:47 | By GT in Bay of Plenty

As commented, TBOP have been the RTO for nearly twenty years and by their own admission they clearly state they don’t know or understand what’s happening around them in the tourism marketplace. TBOP have always been a bottomless money pit for ratepayers, and the achilles heel for tourism in Tauranga. Never, have they had a positive working relationship with all others, including most local tourism operators. Neither have TBOP ever been viewed as professional in their approach and delivery of FIT tourism information services. TBOP repeatedly put out sub standard work, as seen in the current logo and plagiarised its in our nature branding. And, to top all this off TBOP lack accountability for their expenditure and financial mismanagement and lack of maintenance of their own assets. I could go on and on. By what measure do you consider this doing a great job?


Posted on 10-02-2018 21:21 | By old trucker

You are AWESOME and you are spot on they should stay out of it, a lot of tour operaters dont get a look in as (i believe) are BUDDIES of the CEO and TCC and are given preference, my thoughts only on this subject, go MISS ADVENTURE, im on your side ,keep up the good comments ,and Sunlive who is No1 AWESOME,Thankyou. 10-4 out. phew.

Tbop doing a great job

Posted on 10-02-2018 19:13 | By Gr8town

Some comments reflect a limited understanding of the industry. Kristin is right they need more data so that more local attractions can be supported and developed. Tbop role is international promotion and information which they do great at. At the moment they are forced to be the conduit between operators and cruise passengers becaude of port rules and cruiselines making it hard for local operators.

Same old nothing

Posted on 10-02-2018 15:04 | By trouble

TCC you are bunch of wallies. Spend money on an isite. Spend spend on shite, that’s all you do. Tauranga is nothing but a loading bay for the tourist. What is there to see in Tauranga & the mount? A few shops. They all go to Rotorua, hopition, kiwi fruit land. Maybe you should start trying to get tourist & locals to stay in the area instead of building a isite. Know your market before shoting from the foot about nothing you know !! Stop wasting money

Just more council sponsored TBOP window dressing!!!!

Posted on 10-02-2018 14:57 | By Bobby2

Here we have the CEO of our TCC empowered tourism organisation asking council to pull up their socks and get a better grip on tourism, whilst all they themselves have ever been good for is regurgitating MBIE figures that are public record. I too simply do not understand any of this latest gibberish from Kristin. Its about time that TCC insist on a full quality rebrand of the name and that TERRIBLE logo, and also get in some fresh proven tourism professionals to run things into the future, as Tourism Bay of Plenty are totally ineffective in representing, managing, promoting and operating almost every aspect of the tourism sector. TBOP will always run at a loss despite more and more funding! Please TCC how much longer does this embedded rot continue???

I’m Sorry???

Posted on 10-02-2018 11:41 | By waiknot

Larry you cant progress with a massive spend up on the isite etc untill you know the answers to the questions raised. To quote from the article: What would be great to see along with that spend is how many people, where are they coming from, and who do we want to actively target going forward. To run a sector without understanding that information is not effective.


Posted on 10-02-2018 11:12 | By Accountable

What are you trying to tell us? You are talking in riddles. Private enterprise is very inventive and I am sure they will cope and do a better job without any more money being spent on pointless buildings. Do you think Larry was actually listening and could he understand your dribble. The obvious answer is no.


Posted on 10-02-2018 11:11 | By Accountable

What are you trying to tell us? You are talking in riddles. Private enterprise is very inventive and I am sure they will cope and do a better job without any more money being spent on pointless buildings. Do you think Larry was actually listening and could he understand your dribble. The obvious answer is no.


Posted on 10-02-2018 09:30 | By overit

These floating hotels fill up with water when they arrive. I hope they are charging them heaps, as the poor old ratepayer is choked with costs for new infrastructure.

Just what does TBOP actually do?

Posted on 10-02-2018 08:10 | By Babs

Having been involved with the tourism sector for many years, TBOP have always been nothing but a operations hindrance to many. Always wanting to control and manipulate everything to their own and their few mates ends. They have done nothing for tourism and have themselves restricted the growth of many businesses, including mine. Here again, is what I can only say is gobbledygook from the CEO enforcing this organisation as nothing more than a rates funded collaboration of the same old TBOP blurb. Im guessing this is how they talk up the need for their next iSite sales office palace. When will TCC ever learn that TBOP is a useless waste of money?

Tourism Planning?

Posted on 09-02-2018 22:35 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Isnt the first challenge to have Tourists to plan for, Tauranga is simply a place that Tourist on Crusie ships pass through on their merry way elsewhere such as Kiwi360, Rotorua and Hobbiton. At best, a few stragglers "miss the bus" and have to hang around for the day. The muppets do their best of course but in reality it is nothing better than a complete and utter failure. As always the more ’thinking’ done, the longer it will be before any sort of meaningful results appear. That is in this situation "POSITIVE 100%" commentary on this subject.


Posted on 09-02-2018 21:22 | By Capt_Kaveman

Should keep their noise out of it, TCC has nothing to do with cruise pax but just to make themselves look important, in the current mess sums them up 100%

Well said

Posted on 09-02-2018 21:19 | By Sg1nz

Tourism spend increased significantly in Tauranga last year - well for at lease the last 5 years. We need to act on this.

This is crazy.!!

Posted on 09-02-2018 20:23 | By Marshal

$762 million dollar annual spend by tourists.. Let the companies that are sharing in the rewards’ pay for and run the tourist infrastructure system’ and supply and fund the staff to promote there industry. The council is not here to promote , fund and run the tourism sector.. The entire Tauranga city council needs to go back to councillor school and learn the basics of running a city for the ratepayers and not the business owners.. Huh..!!

FURIOUS as TBOP continue to fail!

Posted on 09-02-2018 19:26 | By NZAdventurer

I had to read this article several times to attempt to understand Kristins ramblings. TBOP have been cobbling up annual funding for nearly two decades, and from this article they sound like clueless bystanders in the tourism sector. So, the growth in tourism is happening in spite of us. Wow, that’s amazing! You also say in some way or another that TBOP are still missing some insights; do not fully understand the growth in tourism; and dont know how many people are here,why they are here and so on? Clearly Kristin, for me the biggest barrier to tourism in Tauranga is not hotels, but rather a TBOP that has drowned in its own incompetence a long time ago! Andnow, you want TCC to be the ones to get a better grip on tourism management TCC should do tourism a favour -close the tap on TBOP and push ’Restart’. Geoff


Posted on 09-02-2018 18:04 | By maildrop

I avoid the Mount in summer. This just reinforces my stance. Horrible place. We need targeted rates.

Stand and deliver

Posted on 09-02-2018 17:56 | By backofthequeue

I have family who operate a very successful tourism related business who purposely avoid the Port of Tauranga due to the practises of Tourism BOP. Ask any local retailer or tourist operator and they will tell you the S1.8m spend is mostly outside of Tauranga and the Mount. Tourism BOP CEO Kristin Thomas is absolutely correct when she states that growth is in spite of their management.

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