BY JAMES WILKINSON
New Zealand’s peak bodies for the hotel and greater tourism industry have agreed to merge and form an organisation that is set to strengthen the country’s vital tourism sector.
At a Special General Meeting of New Zealand Hotel Council (NZHC) on Monday (Mar 26), members voted to merge with the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) and form a single tourism industry body.
Air New Zealand Deputy CEO and Chairman of TIA, Norm Thompson said forming one organisation would “strengthen tourism industry representation at the national level”.
“The integrated organisation will create unified, highly focused leadership for our industry,” he said. “A strong hotel sector is vital to a thriving visitor economy. Together we can deliver even better outcomes for our members.”
Under the merger, members of NZHC will be integrated into TIA, with a new hotel arm set to be created alongside the existing framework.
Currently, NZHC has 130 members hotels which employ 11,000 people and have annual revenues of more than NZD$866 million.
NZHC Independent Chair Jennie Langley said the Council’s existing Regional Chairs would “remain in place continue to represent the interests of the hotel members in their regions”. Members of NZHC would also continue to retain all benefits and membership services they currently receive.
She said “the tourism industry is diverse but needs to speak with one voice to government”.
“We can make positive changes for the tourism industry but only by working together can we shape our future. A collective approach is much stronger and more effective,” Langley said.
More mergers and partnerships could also be just around the corner with TIA confirming yesterday (Mar 27) that “discussions with a range of other tourism industry organisations are underway, with a view to finding further opportunities to integrate”.