Repositioning Qualmark to meet industry challenges

With this summer promising another record breaking season for tourism, it’s important we focus on how we can maintain our attractiveness to international travellers.

Most overseas visitors come to New Zealand for our amazing landscapes and environment and we have to ensure that the unforgettable experience they have is something we can protect long into the future.

As the industry expands so will the impact it has more broadly on the environment and society, and the industry has a role to play in helping to protect our reputation and building the support of local communities.

The number of international visitors has doubled since Qualmark was established in 1993, consumer expectations have changed and there is growing international competition with the emergence of powerful new marketing channels like TripAdvisor and online travel agents. There are also new health and safety requirements that we cannot ignore.

We want Qualmark to continue to provide value to business and ensure that visitors remain highly satisfied with their experiences in New Zealand.

This is what we want to achieve:

  • That not only do international visitors remain highly satisfied and advocate for New Zealand but their expectations of New Zealand are exceeded as a result of the industry’ s visible commitment to safety, sustainability and quality.

  • That the New Zealand tourism industry is  taking an active role in securing the long term viability of the industry by operating sustainably – socially, economically, environmentally and culturally. 

  • That Qualmark is recognised as a valuable industry partner by tourism businesses and therefore achieving greater participation from the NZ tourism industry. 

We are investigating what this might look like and how a repositioned Qualmark could play a role in keeping the industry abreast of changes and trends, and ultimately help to offset some of the mounting pressures facing tourism operators and the industry. This includes considering greater emphasis on sustainability and health and safety. Over the next couple of weeks we will carry out market research to test these ideas.

Ensuring the industry has an appropriate voice and remains informed throughout the project will be key to the success of this work.  Initially this will be achieved through the establishment of project governance board, comprising two TNZ board members, Richard Leggat and John Thorburn and two industry representatives, THL’s Grant Webster and Chris Sedgwick from Accor. An industry advisory group will also be formed to enable two way conversations throughout key phases of the work. Qualmark will continue as normal throughout this work and the Tourism Business Advisors (Assessors) will continue to play a key role, providing guidance and support.  

 Air New Zealand took the lead on sustainability last year with an ambitious goal of becoming one of the world’s most sustainable airlines. Our plans for Qualmark are a further demonstration of how we can contribute to raising the bar on sustainability across the industry so we can continue to offer unforgettable experiences. 

Kevin Bowler

Chief Executive