Tourism Dunedin —city councillors not convinced

### ODT Online Sun, 3 Mar 2013
Tourism bright side seen
By Debbie Porteous
A series of unmet targets led Dunedin city councillors this week to question whether Tourism Dunedin could handle more responsibility. […] The questions came as councillors considered Tourism Dunedin’s half-year report to September [2012], which showed a decline in guest nights in the city, including a sharp 17.5% fall in international visitor nights despite an increase in domestic visitor nights. Dunedin was the only Otago area with a decline in international guest nights.

Cr Paul Hudson pointed out that of 18 targets with known outcomes at that stage, Tourism Dunedin was on track to meet, or had met, only seven. He questioned whether the council, which is about to form a single city marketing agency led by Tourism Dunedin, should be giving the organisation more responsibility. [our emphasis]

Cr Teresa Stevenson asked that a list of the specific projects and work Tourism Dunedin was doing to achieve its goals be included in future reports.
Read more

Report – Council – 25/02/2013 (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Tourism Dunedin 2012-2013 Half Yearly Report

Posted By Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under #eqnz, Business, DCC, Economics, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Tourism

27 responses to “Tourism Dunedin —city councillors not convinced

  1. ### March 5, 2013 – 6:41pm
    Almost 4% increase in number of international passengers
    Dunedin International Airport Ltd has reported an almost 4% increase in the number of international passengers using the facility. The company has released more details from the first six months of the 2012/2013 year. The airport, which is half owned by the DCC, delivered improved revenue and an increased operating surplus, despite what it says is a challenging environment.
    That environment resulted in a 0.8% drop in domestic passenger numbers. But international seat capacity increased by 8%(eight percent), along with the increase in passengers. That was despite a drop in the number of Australian visitors to New Zealand.The company says the increase is an encouraging sign.
    Ch9 Link [no video]

  2. Anonymous

    One area tourism fails is the cost of a taxi service from Dunedin to the airport – one company said $80 to $90 and the other said $90. That is bloody highway robbery! And don’t get me started on the horrific customer experiences from both – O. M. G.

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    The cheaper ones are barred from operating there so if you rang one of them it would have been definitely a one-way trip for the driver – couldn’t pick up someone coming to town to pay for the other half of the time & mileage.

    • Fair Go ~!!! (expose and embarrass, to hell with duopolies… the supermarkets are bad enough)

      [pay someone under the table – in a private car for pickup and delivery – no-one has to know]

  4. Mike

    $80 is what I regularly pay, on the other hand parking is cheap enough that if you are going for a week it’s often cheaper to drive and park… and of course Momona is starting to fill up with people who park there and walk

    • Complained the other day, a driver from Dunedin Taxis picked me up at the supermarket. As I buckled in he farted loudly, apologised like that would help, then driving along the one-way coming up to a busy intersection he started swigging from a 1.5 litre soft-drink bottle, using one hand to steer. All his driving movements were jerky (hard to do in an automatic). He forgot to open the boot at my address, took three goes to do so… headed to phone the taxi company 477 7777 as soon as I got my groceries inside. Told the company what I thought of his ‘standard’ of professional driving, and of my assumption that he was on something!


  5. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s their Fawlty Taxis option. You should have said you wanted the regular service.

    • Haaaa….
      A great aid to tourists’ first impressions of Liability Cull’s Dunedin.

      • Thinking about Cull, this from Bob Jones at NZ Herald:

        Legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee once said to me, “all adversarial activities are won by those setting the agenda”.

        • Scary. Ditch the credit card – go back to cash!

          The new data shows, for instance, the majority of Chinese credit-card use is in Auckland (62%). Otago is second (14%) and the Bay of Plenty, including Rotorua, third (12%).

          ### ODT Online Wed, 6 Mar 2013
          Tourists’ spending tracked
          By Mark Price on
          ”Big data” is providing the tourism industry with detailed information about visitors and their spending habits. As part of a new system introduced by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, every time a tourist uses their credit card in any region of New Zealand, a computer records the transaction and collates it for use by the tourism industry. Data from credit-card transactions, often referred to as ”big data”, is being used, in this case, to provide a picture of where tourists went and how they spent their money.
          Read more

        • Dunedin’s cultural reputation boosted

          Hopeless pap, today’s ODT editorial:

          Play: Test cricket in Dunedin
          What a veritable feast of sport. Dunedin, Otago and the South could so easily have become sporting backwaters. Instead, we are spoilt for choice.[…]Without doubt, it is the ”grounds” that have made the difference both in attracting top sport and in the enjoyment of them. Putting aside for the moment – if that is possible – the $228 million question of paying for Forsyth Barr Stadium and also the cost of running it, there is little doubt it is the envy of many and has been a catalyst in attracting big games. It also should be acknowledged Dunedin was elevated as the alternative South Island venue when the Christchurch earthquakes wrecked Lancaster Park stadium.
          Read more

          (Non-consulted) ratepayer subsidy and a corrupt Dunedin City Council really help “boost”……….

  6. Hype O'Thermia

    Yup, never play the game the other fellow set the rules for.
    Bob Jones has said more sensible things than he’s given credit for. One of them was when he said NZ lacked an investment culture. [See this is Key’s flogging off our assets for short-term spending, whereas he could have been prudent regarding silly plastic-waka and other mainly sports-related money-scrambles, knowing schools etc were due for worth-while investment.] Questioned about this and the average person’s inability to invest in the stock market and properties, he said it is a mind-set, eg planting a vege garden, and fruit trees and bushes, pay a little up-front, put in the work and later reap the rewards. Deferred gratification.
    Should be pointed out regularly, everywhere from playgroups to parliament.

  7. Glory in your faith, All Ye Faithful.

    ### March 6, 2013 – 7:24pm
    Nightly interview: John Christie
    Dunedin’s run of events and visitors have been in the news recently, with cruise ships, international sport and music heading this way. Otago Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie is here to tell us about the economic ramifications.

  8. Hype O'Thermia

    Well, he’s an unbiased observer, no Right-thinking individual would think otherwise.

  9. Oh wait – let’s have hair-losing he-devil PM Key throw $158 million at his portfolio, Tourism. That would pay for a few school lunches and surgical operations.
    [Think Big, Elizabeth]

    ### ODT Online Wed, 17 Apr 2013
    Tourism pledge welcomed
    By Dene Mackenzie
    A pledge by Prime Minister John Key yesterday to spend an additional $158 million over four years on tourism was welcomed by the country’s national carrier, Air New Zealand. In a pre-Budget speech, Mr Key said achieving growth in tourism earnings required targeted investment to position New Zealand as a high-value destination in markets with real potential for growth.
    Read more

  10. Hype O'Thermia

    Oh great, let’s concentrate on developing more opportunities for casual part-time minimum pay rate jobs, that’ll see NZ catch up with – where was it again, Scunthorp? Bradford? A totally sick-munted part of Africa where even the termites can’t afford a mound?

  11. FURTHER EVIDENCE of the highrise hotel and apartments bid at Dunedin getting the green light from DCC ?

    Cull and COC showing from the weave of Mr Saxton’s suit.

    ODT Online Mon, 22 Apr 2013
    PM expects ‘a lot more’ visitors to come from China
    By Rosie Manins
    Dunedin and Queenstown are leading destinations for the 180,000 Chinese predicted to visit the South Island annually in the near future. About 200,000 Chinese visited New Zealand each year, and that figure was expected to increase to about a million, Prime Minister John Key said. He spoke yesterday at Trenz, New Zealand’s largest tourism trade conference, this year being held in Auckland. Mr Key announced details of how the Government’s additional $158 million for tourism over the next four years would be spent. He said China would produce ”a lot more” travellers to New Zealand.

    Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said while Australia remained the largest tourism market, China’s potential was too good to ignore, especially as European markets struggled economically. ”We are still in the early stages with China, which is such an important market because the level of potential is so great.” Dunedin and Queenstown were ”ideal” destinations for Chinese travellers, particularly those wanting ”high-end” luxury experiences, he said. A five-star hotel, as proposed for Dunedin, would help reinforce the notion to Chinese that the city had all they expected from an international destination, Mr Saxton said. He has just returned from a business trip to Shanghai with Tourism Dunedin chairman Barry Timmings, as part of the sister city delegation.

    Read more

    Comments at another thread:

    April 1, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    I liked the reply from Hamish Saxton regarding Tourism Dunedin: we don’t do local projects, we are a marketing agency.

    ps Can it be said that the Insiders Dunedin project is dead, having been relaunched to the same effect as the first time round i.e none?


    April 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Anonymous, Mr Saxton believes his own hype, it keeps him in salary…but yikes, all the targets not met, so many our sleeping vole Cr Hudson had to pipe up!

    3.3.13 Tourism Dunedin —city councillors not convinced

  12. Hamish Saxton? Is he the guy who digs graves in cemeteries? Or should that be sexton? In fact, is there a difference?

  13. Phil Cole

    Anonymous….that remark from the Tourism Dunedin CEO to which you refer (when I read it in the ODT) was the final realisation to me that they have lost the plot completely…it seems that they are a branch of ‘Real Estate’, offering any available land in Dunedin ‘up-for-grabs’ to the highest bidder. If Tourism Dunedin is only a Marketing Agency and not interested in Local projects then the DCC should ‘sell’ them off to the highest bidder and reduce the DCC debt.

  14. ### ODT Online Thu, 16 May 2013
    Dunedin tourism ‘sitting comfortably’
    By Rosie Manins
    The Tourism Industry Association (TIA) presented occupancy data during its regional roadshow in Dunedin yesterday. Its seven member hotels in Dunedin collectively had 63% occupancy and an average room rate of $124.60 last year, which indicated the city’s tourism industry was stable and growing, TIA hotels sector manager Rachael Shadbolt said.
    Read more

  15. Hype O'Thermia

    Meanwhile, ODT front page, B&Bs are in real strife thanks to the downturn in visitors, and in some cases to the DCC’s moneygrab (placating motel owners) changing the rating to commercial irrespective of how many/few rooms were available or occupancy rate. The Lisburn House had to give up catering, and while I can see there is a reason to stamp out unfair competition where one group pay high rates and others low, for the same business, how about turning attention to the worst offenders first? University of Otago Accommodation, of which University of Otago Tertiary Education is a wholly owned subsidiary, could be a good place to start.

  16. Peter

    NZ is far too expensive for many visitors, partly due to the high exchange rate, but also the cost for accommodation is high. We are also an isolated country, costing more to get here in the first place.
    Saying that, we don’t want to be overrun by mass tourism either – despite the potential economic benefits. (Unless you have Chinese built, and run, hotels masquerading as apartments with the benefits going back to that corrupt country we call China.) Hard to find the right balance.

  17. So it’s OK for Tourism Dunedin to ACTIVELY promote the waterfront hotel, in the media, in person, more than once – but not to promote the local B&B industry. How do you spell professional hypocrisy ?

    ### ODT Online Sun, 19 May 2013
    Source – The Star
    B&Bs battle to stay open
    Dunedin bed­ and ­breakfast owners say their industry is in dire straits, with at least 35 B&Bs closing in the last five years.

    Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton acknowledged accommodation capacity had declined but said it was not Tourism Dunedin’s role to promote specific industry sectors. ‘‘We promote Dunedin for all the reasons that people want to come here,” he said. B&Bs, like all accommodation providers, could advertise free of charge on the Tourism Dunedin website and had the same opportunities to invest with the organisation, he said.

    Former B&B owner Angela Tidey said she knew of at least 35 establishments that had closed in the five years she had been in Dunedin. Her own business closed in 2012. She was worried part of the DCC Draft Annual Plan 2012­13 relating to ‘‘revisiting the quantum of the tourism/ economic development targeted rate” indicated the council would change B&B ratings from residential to commercial again.
    Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said, as far as he was aware, revisiting the targeted rate would have no impact on B&Bs as most were classified as residential properties and did not pay it. The issue of whether B&Bs paid commercial or residential rates had already been resolved, he said.
    Read more

  18. Hype O'Thermia

    Who’s Tourism Dunedin working for? Who pays, who hires, who set the terms and duties of the job? Are individuals currently employed in it making decisions based on current employers or, anticipating the “restructuring” that has become endemic for all but a favoured few, are they combining current duties with fostering future employment opportunities?

  19. Dave Cull says that as far as he was concerned “the issue of whether B&Bs paid commercial or residential rates had already been resolved”. Quite right. Firstly, the DCC moguls saw an opportunity to gouge a few small -part time- businesses by transferring them from the domestic role to commercial. This meant massive increases in rates for those establishments. Results; Businesses close up as nonviable, they revert back to domestic rates, the DCC gets no increase, just killed some small enterprises. How good is that Mr Saxton? As if he would know or even care. This is a typical example of what’s wrong with this city. No brains at the top.

  20. Tourism Dunedin thanked but disestablished
    Ch39 Video

  21. ### February 26, 2014 – 6:54pm
    Nightly interview: Hamish Saxton
    Tourism Dunedin last week presented its half-year report on the council-controlled organisation’s efforts. The report will be one of the last for the organisation, which is being disestablished later this year. Chief executive Hamish Saxton is here to run though the results and give us a feel for the health of the industry.

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