Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions

What is Tourism 2025?

Tourism 2025 is the New Zealand tourism industry's growth framework. It has been created by industry, for industry, to grow its size, value and profitability over the next decade. Its development is being led by Tourism Industry Aotearoa.


When was Tourism 2025 launched?

The Tourism 2025 growth framework was launched in March 2014. Tourism 2025 - Two Years On was launched in May 2016.

What's the goal?

The Tourism 2025 aspirational goal is to grow total annual tourism industry revenue to $41 billion by 2025. First and foremost, it’s about value. We want to grow volume but we want to grow value faster. 

The $41 billion goal was calculated by combining a number of factors, including New Zealand tourism's performance in the five years preceding 2014 (0.8% growth in value), industry forecasts (NZIER and Covec), known targets like the government’s Building Export Markets and Auckland International Airport Ltd’s Ambition 2020. At the time Tourism 2025 was launched, to achieve the $41 billion goal required 6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). This was an ambitious goal, but we had achieved this growth rate before in the early 2000s.

What is a growth framework?   

It is a high-level strategic document that aims to give the tourism industry in New Zealand an informed sense of direction.  It: 

  • details the current international situation and outlook 
  • identifies the triggers for economic growth 
  • identifies opportunities which have the potential to generate economic growth 
  • suggests aspirational goals 
  • outlines how our industry should go about bringing this framework to life It is not a detailed strategic plan but rather a shared vision and a common framework

Why do we need a framework?

Despite tourism's importance to New Zealand, when Tourism 2025 was developed, there was no overarching strategic framework within which the industry operated. The lack of a framework meant some major decisions by public and private sector leaders were being made in relative isolation.

While plenty of excellent work had been delivered by the industry, New Zealand was dropping off the pace after more than five years of near zero growth. We couldn't afford to do nothing as other countries, many of them our competitors, had developed their own frameworks and strategies to aggressively attract visitors.  We needed to act fast, decisively and cohesively before we are left behind.        

Who is it for?

Tourism 2025 is for all operators in the tourism industry, from the largest corporate player to small, owner operated businesses. It is also for private and public sector organisations whose work impacts on our industry, for example, local government

How was Tourism 2025 developed? 

A National Tourism Plan (NTP) was conceived at the TIA Summit in October 2012. In Phase 1 of the project, a wide range of stakeholders, both within and beyond the industry, were consulted to ensure the project had a solid foundation. At an early stage, these stakeholders endorsed two key pillars for the Plan, namely economic growth and quality of the visitor experience. In Phase 2, a small project team developed a ‘straw-man’ growth framework (based on five strategic themes). In Phase 3, the framework was tested through detailed investigations and analytical work. A high level outline of Tourism 2025 – Growing Value Together/Whakatipu Uara Ngatahi was launched at the 2013 TIA Summit in Wellington on 1 October 2013. Work continued after that date to develop the detailed framework. Key stakeholders were consulted and their feedback incorporated into Tourism 2025. The completed framework was being released on 24 March 2014.

See the timeline.

Who was consulted? 

TIA and the project team engaged directly with hundreds of public and private sector leaders, business owners and influencers from within and close to the industry to seek their individual and collective views and help with Tourism 2025’s development.  See the Record of Stakeholder Engagement for a full list of the people and organisations we engaged with. 


What is Tourism 2025 - Two Years On?

In 2016, with the industry enjoying record-breaking success, TIA led the review of Tourism 2025 and identified new priority actions.

Two years on, and the industry's performance has exceeded all expectations. We are well ahead of the growth rate needed to reach the $41 billion goal by 2025.

However, growth brings new challenges that needed to be factored into Tourism 2025.

Tourism 2025 - Two Years On reaffirms the growth framework and its five themes. It also reinforces that continuing efforts are needed to grow shoulder and off-peak travel and regional dispersal. It also gives increased attention to capacity and infrastructure development to ensure New Zealand has the facilities needed for sustainable tourism growth.

It identifies around 30 priority areas for advencement for the next two years for both the government and the private sector. 


What are Tourism 2025's five strategic themes? 

The five strategic themes are, in no particular order: 

  • Grow sustainable air connectivity 
  • Target for value 
  • Drive value through outstanding visitor experience 
  • Productivity for profit 
  • Prioritise insight to drive and track progress


Why were these themes identified as important?  

  • Air connectivity – around 95% of international visitors arrive by air so we cannot grow without it.
  • Targeting – as the global landscape changes and our visitor mix evolves, we need to identify and pursue the opportunities that will deliver the greatest economic benefit. 
  • Visitor experience – our changing visitor mix brings changing visitor expectations. By continuously striving to improve our visitors’ experience, we will see visitors staying longer, travelling more widely and spending more.
  • Productivity – by improving tourism productivity, we will improve returns from existing investments and attract new capital investment.
  • Insights – good insights are critical to drive strategic and operational decision-making for tourism businesses.    

What about domestic tourism? 

While domestic tourism does not generate export earnings, domestic tourism is the bread and butter for many of our tourism businesses, without which many would not exist to service our international visitors. Domestic tourism is a vital part of the solution to improve both seasonality and regional dispersal. In 2016, TIA with support from industry partners is leading an Activating Domestic Tourism project to maximise the value the industry gets out of domestic travellers.

Do other countries have growth frameworks?  

Many of New Zealand’s market competitors have national tourism plans in place. Tourism 2025 differs from almost all the plans we looked at in that it is industry led, not government led. With that buy-in from the private sector, it has a real chance of success.   

Why was NZ’s last plan not successful?  

The New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2015 (NZTS2015) was developed in 2007-08. While there were good initiatives in this strategy, a number of factors combined to mean it wasn’t entirely successful.  A co-ownership model between the then Ministry of Tourism, Tourism New Zealand and the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) meant there was no clear ownership of the implementation plan. The NZTS2015 also attempted to be “all things to all people” when it would have been more successful if it had a sharper focus on economic growth.  Perhaps the best take-out from the 2007-08 process is that ownership of a project of this nature sits best with the private sector so it can drive the plan irrespective of changes in the political cycle.

How will we keep the Tourism 2025 momentum going?

See the Tourism 2025 blog for many examples of the framework in action.

TIA champions the industry's commitment to the framework, putting it at the heart of our 2015-18 Strategic Plan. Since the release of Tourism 2025 in March 2014, we have published regular progress reports and information highlighting key milestones and initiatives.