Paragliding from Bobs Peak cropped


Submission on Destination Queenstown Funding

April 8 2019 by Doug Champion

Submission on Destination Queenstown Funding

Destination Queenstown is asking the Council for an increase of funding to the tune of $900,000 per year, which would bring their total tax-payer funding to a huge $4.5 million per annum. It’s time we ask ourselves – is this request justified when money is desperately needed to update and repair the vital infrastructure of our town? In the years since DQ was created there has been a digital marketing revolution. Queenstown’s major tourism operators, accommodation providers and the airlines all have their own marketing departments and websites, along with social media and data gathering.

Queenstown is firmly on the world map and because of the world-wide meteoric rise in people travelling and the connectivity of the internet – tourism numbers will continue to grow without additional marketing. Every company with a tourist component and a website can easily access data through Google Analytics – they do not need DQ to do this for them. Online booking systems such as, Air BNB,, etc. are the first stop for people seeking accommodation. Locals and travellers using Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms are doing the marketing for Queenstown and very successfully.

In all my years as an accommodation provider, not one booking came through the DQ website. Destination Queenstown is riding on the coat-tails of a worldwide rise in tourism and the successful marketing of our own companies. Much of the work of DQ is a duplication of what is already being done. Remember, Queenstown is extremely important to New Zealand’s economy and that the Government and Tourism Board are also promoting NZ’S Crown Jewel. While I still think there is a place for DQ, their role needs to be seriously re-evaluated. Technology and the changes in marketing practises have overtaken them and there needs to be a review about their efficiency and approach.

The biggest issue however is that our infrastructure can’t cope with the numbers we have right now. We are over tourism and we have water quality issues and transport issues. The community has already rejected a proposed airport expansion… do we want or need more tourists just now? If DQ was re-structured and put ‘in house’ with Council, we’d save on their expensive CBD rent and they could work closer with our community, perhaps combined with the Events and Economic Strategy Departments. DQ has done a great job in the past, however, times have changed dramatically since their inception. DQ needs to be paused while the QLDC addresses water, sewage, footpaths, public transport and other necessities for our community.

Doug Champion
Ex DQ Board Member, motelier and Commercial Ratepayer.

Have your say on DQ’s funding proposal.
Submissions to the Council close 12th April.

- Doug Champion
Please note that care must be taken with the wording of comments. Where possible, avoid negative references to specific businesses or individuals. The Lakes Weekly Bulletin reserves the right to edit or withhold comments. Comments may be reproduced in the printed edition of LWB.

Post your comment



    Well said marks for getting it right.....

    Posted 08/04/2019 7:55pm (5 months ago)

  • Over&Out

    Rather than waste Ratepayer funds on a non bonding referendum on a bed tax ,why not have a binding one, on if the ratepayers want to or not follow the Mayors and councilors growth at all costs solution to the many malays that Queenstown residents currently face. This is mainly due to the incompetence of successive councils including this one , they simply will not face the fact, that you first provide for infrastructure before development. Yet they continue ,despite their weak kneed protestations to the contrary while continuing to push for development of their new council building the intensive development of the Lake-view and High School sites,approve multiple CBD Hotel and Apartment developments with inadequate on site parking .This uninhibited growth will put further strain on the CBD roading networks and overall infrastructure , which will further exasperate the problems we face rather than solve them.

    Posted 10/04/2019 10:20am (5 months ago)

  • David

    All I can say is "what Doug said!"

    Posted 13/04/2019 7:40pm (5 months ago)