I recently attended a farewell function for a very good friend of mine who has been in the travel industry for over 40 years. The passion that came through his speech, at points very emotionally, reminded me why I love this industry and why I too hope to be able to make a similar speech one day. It was a reflection on this friend that the venue was full and that all invitees turned up, many of whom themselves have been in the industry for a similar, event-filled period.

You can say a lot of things about travel and tourism, but without the passion of the people who are involved in it, who live and breathe it, and who rely on it for their income, this great country of ours would be much the poorer – both financially and spiritually.

So is the Government’s goal to increase the revenue that Travel and Tourism generates realistic? $41 billion by the year 2025 is a big target – especially when we are currently around the $21 billion mark.

Well, if the people that were at this recent function are anything to go by, we should do it at a canter. Will there be speed bumps along the  way? Undoubtedly – 11 years is a long way to forecast for any industry, but what will always prevail is the downright determination, innovation and bloody mindedness that makes New Zealand such a fantastic place to live and breathe.

Live long and prosper!

“Travel makes one modest…you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world” – (Gustave Flaubert 1821 – 1880)