Developed by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited in 2023 as an interim funding solution to attract leisure travellers and business events to the Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland region, the Destination Partnership Programme (DPP) has expanded in its second year to enable a wider range of tourism sector businesses to join. 

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Director Destination Annie Dundas says the DPP, which generated $1.9 million in industry support for the year ended 30 June 2024, has enabled her team to deliver activity critical to driving strategic outcomes for Auckland’s visitor economy.

Dundas says the DPP has enabled Tātaki Auckland Unlimited to promote Auckland in its key visitor markets of Australia and North America, attract business events to Auckland, undertake domestic marketing to get kiwis to Auckland, develop partnerships with other regional tourism organisations such as Rotorua and Queenstown, and liaise closely with industry on a refreshed destination management plan for Tāmaki Makaurau, Destination AKL 2035. Promoting Auckland as a vibrant region has enabled Auckland’s global conference ranking to improve from 173 to 84.

Starting 1 July 2024 Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s Destination Partnership Programme will now offer seven partnership levels. The two new partnership levels are Love AKL, for small and emerging tourism businesses, and those businesses indirectly benefiting from tourism and events, such as retail and restaurants, and Destination Services Partner, for tourism marketing and support providers, including web design and accounting suppliers.  

“By joining forces with the industry, we can continue to position Auckland as a destination of choice for leisure travellers and business events in an incredibly competitive environment globally,” says Dundas.

“The first year of the programme was supported by more than 140 businesses from across the visitor economy sector – including local tourism operators, accommodation providers, business event service providers and venues. Platinum Partners in year one included Accor Hotel Group, Cordis Auckland, Hospitality Services Ltd, SkyCity Group and Auckland Airport.

“The programme funds a robust itinerary of consumer and trade marketing activity as well as the attraction of business events to the Auckland region. 

“Activity includes consumer marketing campaigns in domestic and Australia markets; PR agency support in the Australian market; trade and media familiarisation opportunities; networking and showcase events; sales activity and representation at key trade events including Australia and North America roadshows, TRENZ, AIME and MEETINGS. Notably, 72 business events have been secured that will deliver a forecasted 161,000 visitor nights for Auckland between 2024-2026. 

“All DPP funds generated go towards activity that directly benefits the region and are not used for Tātaki Auckland Unlimited overhead costs, nor to attract or invest in major events.”

Notwithstanding the success of the DPP, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Chief Executive Nick Hill supported Mayor Wayne Brown’s call for a funding solution involving central government, local government and tourism and accommodation sector partners.

“In tough times like these, it’s a partnership approach between central and local government and industry that is going to win the day for Auckland as a visitor destination.”

Registrations for year two of the Destination Partnership Programme are open now. Businesses can view further information or register here

Background on the Destination Partnership Programme can be found here.