Tātaki Auckland Unlimited partners with destination industry

A new Destination Partnership Programme, which sees Tātaki Auckland Unlimited join forces with Auckland’s destination industry to promote the region as a compelling place to visit for business and leisure, has received membership applications to the value of $1.75 million from more than 100 visitor economy businesses across the region.

The Destination Partnership Programme is designed as an interim solution, to fund tourism marketing and business event attraction activities in key markets for a minimum of two years, while a sustainable long-term national funding solution is developed and implemented. Businesses can voluntarily contribute, depending on their level of interaction with the visitor economy.

Nick Hill, Chief Executive of Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, the region’s economic and cultural agency, says the Destination Partnership Programme is off to a fantastic start, and is an example of how the organisation is exploring different revenue streams and partnerships to continue its important work for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

“Over the past few years Tātaki Auckland Unlimited, like any other business, has felt the brunt of the changing economic environment. In September 2022, we launched the Visit Auckland Partnership Programme, collaborating with industry to address the funding shortfall left by the suspension of the Accommodation Provider Targeted Rate. We’re now building on that short-term programme’s success through the launch of the Destination Partnership Programme, which sees us continuing to take a collective approach to ensure Auckland remains competitive in attracting business and leisure visitors,” says Nick Hill.

The programme offers five membership levels that businesses can choose from, ranging from free memberships through to premium memberships for major contributors. Funds raised will be directed towards visitor marketing, tourism trade activity in offshore markets and business event attraction activities for Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland.

Nick Hill says the programme is designed to be equitable, with the wide variety of sectors that benefit from Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s destination work represented.

“From adventure activities to accommodation, from business events to bars and restaurants, Tāmaki Makaurau is an alluring destination for visitors. This new programme will see us working with a wide variety of partners across the visitor economy sector – including local tourism operators, accommodation providers, retailers, business event service providers and venues – to grow our region as the destination of choice. There is still time for businesses to join the new programme and be part of planned activity, with media and trade famils underway and consumer marketing campaigns in development.”

Scott Tasker, Chief Customer Officer at Auckland Airport says joining the Destination Partnership Programme provides an opportunity to help ensure the important work continues to keep Auckland in the hearts and minds of travellers from key markets.

“Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland has something to offer every kind of visitor – whether they’re a business traveller keen to connect with clients over a great restaurant meal or an overseas visitor wanting to experience an adrenaline-filled adventure in stunning natural surrounds. But we need to invest to ensure we’re on the radar of people when they’re making choices about their next business conference, their next catch up with friends and whānau, or their next great adventure. We are really pleased to be partnering with Tātaki Auckland Unlimited to keep Auckland front and centre of these decisions,” says Scott Tasker.

James Doolan, Strategic Director of Hotel Council Aotearoa says the industry body that represents New Zealand's hotel sector is encouraging its members to join the programme.

“The Destination Partnership Programme is a great initiative by Tātaki Auckland Unlimited and a progressive response to its funding needs. Destination marketing and event attraction helps support a wide range of accommodation, attractions, bars, restaurants and stadiums. It is a highly competitive business internationally, with vibrant and exciting cities investing in marketing to attract international tourists and major events. Hotel Council Aotearoa is encouraging members and all tourism-connected businesses to support the Destination Partnership Programme and help Auckland compete for the tourism dollar on the world stage,” says James Doolan.

Nick Hill says the Destination Partnership Programme has close ties with Discover Auckland, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s new online platform to showcase all Auckland has to offer — from food to fun adventures, from day trips to shopping excursions, from annual events to what’s new — and simplify trip planning to the region.

“The Destination Partnership Programme goes hand-in-hand with Discover Auckland and this new and dynamic platform will provide great value to programme members. By joining the Destination Partnership Programme, businesses will gain access to Discover Auckland, connecting them with a diverse audience of visitors keen to discover our region,” says Nick Hill.

Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s previous collaboration with the destination industry has seen it deliver successful Australia and USA roadshows and the Auckland is Calling Australia campaign.

Destination Partnership Programme activity commenced on 1 July.