Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kelvin Davis - Giant Leap Backwards

Hasn't the world moved on from publicly funded "Don't Leave Home Until You've Seen the Country" domestic tourism campaigns? They may be fondly remembered, but they do not change consumer behavior and there is no evidence that they work

abour Party tourism spokesman, Kelvin "Little School" Davis is first cab off the rank with an earnest plea for further corporate welfare to boost the accommodation sector.

Following on from today's disappointing accommodation survey result announcement, Davis has burst forth with a press statement:

"The bad news that total guest nights have decreased is deeply worrying for those in the accommodation sector, says Labour’s Tourism spokesman Kelvin Davis.
“The good news though is that there is a solution right under our noses – that is to increase promotion of domestic tourism so that Kiwis holidaying at home can help those struggling in the accommodation sector.”
True to his hapless political party's mantra, Davis has a one-trick solution for the accommodation sector and that is to turn them into beneficiaries by subsidising them. 

Davis likes what AA Tourism are doing with their Great Kiwi Road Trips (we love the concept!), however we don't agree that public money should be gifted to a privately funded branding campaign:
“It would be good if the AA Tourism Great Kiwi Road Trips domestic tourism campaign, designed to encourage New Zealanders to holiday within the country, could be boosted further to help these sectors.”
The campaign has created 23 unique Kiwi road trips that encourage New Zealanders to holiday at home rather than abroad, said Kelvin Davis.
 But wait there's more:
...“Domestic tourism makes up just over half of New Zealand’s tourism spend, but is neglected when it comes to Government support. If holiday parks, backpackers and motels are to survive the recession, the Government must ensure domestic tourism is adequately funded.”
The hotel sector is not mentioned as they have apparently got their act together, however is it only the smaller, and supposedly struggling accommodation sectors that Davis wishes to help out? 

Davis will be treated like a folk-hero amongst those in the wider tourism industry that cling to centralised solutions, however we are happy to stand alone and reject Davis's welfare offer.

In order for an industry to survive it must have the desire, the hunger and the belief that they can be self-sufficient. Otherwise - why bother? The accommodation industry is full of bright and innovative folk that are passionate about their business. It would be a shame for public funding to dull that desire. 

We reckon that the injection of public money would only bloat the non-producers that are already prolific in the tourism industry - Haven't we already got enough government funded adjuncts, fringe hangers-on, associations and endless committees? 

The accommodation industry needs to take accountability by looking in the mirror and finding their own solutions by critiquing the acumen of their operators, service levels and quality of their product. Competition is tough, however most industries are competing on a world market and adapt accordingly. 

Davis has yet to understand that in order to create prosperity within a business sector the government should get out of the way!

We respectfully suggest that Davis would be better looking at other solutions to assist accommodation providers such as reducing bureaucracy, lowering tax, privatising ACC and freeing up labour laws - that would be a good start...

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