Regenerative Tourism by 2030: Destination Queenstown, Lake Wānaka Tourism & QLDC

dq logo2    QLDC logo   Lake Wanaka Tourism logo

The Government has developed a New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Tourism Strategy (Strategy) which has the goal of ensuring tourism growth is productive, sustainable and inclusive. This is to help grow New Zealand for all, improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders and to protect and restore our natural environment, ultimately enriching our country through sustainable tourism growth.


Government funding

As part of this Strategy, the Government provided Destination Queenstown (DQ) and Lake Wānaka Tourism with Strategic Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) funding to undertake a project that:

  • Advances the goals of the Strategy and creates a more productive, sustainable and inclusive tourism sector;
  • Retains RTO investment from Local Government;
  • Adopts a destination management approach in line with MBIE’s Destination Management Guidelines which includes working with industry, communities and stakeholders to plan for the future, supporting industry capability and product development opportunities; and
  • Undertakes domestic marketing activity that complements Tourism New Zealand’s domestic marketing.



We need to take a holistic and integrated approach in developing this regenerative tourism plan with three interdependent components:

  1. Resource Management: The destination's strategy, policy and regulatory frameworks, Te Tiriti o Waitangi, organisational structures and the investments that support the destination.
  2. Visitor Experience: The destination's experience offering, including activities, attractions, supporting infrastructure, services and amenities.
  3. Marketing and Promotion: The destination's marketing and promotional activity, creating demand and enabling the destination to be competitive, productive and sustainable.
  4. DQ, Lake Wānaka Tourism and QLDC have also added a fourth planning pre-requisite - Community Experience: The host community’s experience, including attracting visitors who share and understand our values and respect our people and place; ensuring the protection and enhancement of our cultural and natural heritage; and safe-guarding ongoing high-quality access for locals and Kiwis.



Collaboration across the multiple stakeholders that make up the ecosystem of our destination is essential, as well as inclusive engagement with iwi. Where appropriate, respectfully incorporating an understanding of our destination’s unique Māori culture and protocols (tikanga) is also important. This process can also provide opportunities for product development which will enhance the visitor experience and the destination’s identity and brand expression. 

Data, research and insights are also needed to inform decision making and measure success. This includes understanding our visitors well, how our destination delivers on visitor needs and expectations, as well as measuring how our community feels about visitors and the tourism sector. 

We need to consider quantitative and qualitative data and insights about who our visitors are, why they visit our destination and the value they add to our economy and community, considering current and future trends, and setting a baseline for measuring progress and performance.

A range of sources are being considered to help inform the Queenstown Lakes destination management plan, including:

  • RTO Strategic Review process including input from sessions including Board, members, community, iwi, DOC, and local business and community group leaders
  • Relevant QLDC strategies and all statutory plans including the QLDC 2021-2031 Ten Year Plan and Draft Queenstown Lakes Spatial Plan
  • MBIE Destination Management Guidelines
  • Tourism Futures Task Force Interim Report
  • Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Report
  • Climate Commissioner’s Report
  • NZ Aotearoa Tourism Strategy and presentations and direction from Central Government (including the Tourism Minister and Prime Minister)
  • QLDC Quality of Life survey
  • TIA Mood of the Nation survey
  • Queenstown Visitor Experience Survey and perception research
  • Tourism Sentiment Index