Tourism is a rapidly growing economic sector for Tauranga. Visitor expenditure in the coastal Bay of Plenty averages $2.5m per day, with a total of $933m estimated visitor expenditure in 2016. Well-designed, iconic Visitor Information Centres give locals something
to be proud of, and generate increased visitor expenditure.
A 2015 review of visitor services found that the Willow Street i-SITE and the i-PORT were not fit for purpose, and that services to visitors are declining as a result. A fit-for-purpose Visitor Information Centre at the Mount, the centre of the city’s visitor economy, would help promote all the Bay of Plenty has to offer.
What we propose
We are proposing to build a new Visitor Information Centre to welcome visitors to our region, tell the stories of our local area and encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more in Tauranga. The new centre would service cruise ship passengers and all other visitors, replacing the i-PORT. The proposed location – Coronation Park – would make great use of the park and contribute to the vibrancy of Mount Maunganui.
We have developed a concept design for an iconic Visitor Information Centre in partnership with Tourism Bay of Plenty, iwi and hapu, and tourism operators. This concept reflects the cultural richness of our area, while ticking the functional requirements box. It provides a landmark building for the Mount, and incorporates significant cultural elements along with a multi-use space for both visitors and the community, including an exhibition space to be used for community events, business events, cultural activities, etc.
We are proposing to include $4m of funding in the budget, spread over two years, to deliver a new Visitor Information Centre at Coronation Park by summer 2018/19. This investment would be funded for 50% by general rates, and 50% via the targeted economic development rate on commercial properties. As the full cost to deliver an iconic building is estimated at $5m, Tourism BOP with Council support would need to investigate external funding options to deliver the building as per the concept design. The $4m would allow us to build the Centre based on a more basic design, should we not succeed in securing external funding. This basic design would provide increased services to visitors but would not deliver the same quality of experience and community pride as the iconic version.
Rates Impact: The average annual rates requirement for the proposed $4m investment in a new Visitor Information Centre is approximately $380,000 per annum, to cover interest and depreciation costs. The rates impact would be funded by contributions from the general rate (residential and commercial) and the economic development rate (commercial only). Based on funding of 50% from general rate, a property valued at $500,000 would pay an additional $2.90 per annum on their rates. A commercial property valued at $500,000 would pay an additional economic development rate of $16.20 per annum.
We have outlined two options for the location of the proposed Visitor Information Centre within Coronation Park, should the proposal be accepted: (A) on the corner of Nikau Crescent and Maunganui Road and (B) at 10 Salisbury Avenue. This decision will impact how the Centre functions, the local roading area and streetscape. Which do you think is the better location for a new Visitor Information Centre?
Let us know what you think
Have your say on the proposed investment in a new Visitor Information Centre, the design concept and the proposed location.
Make an online submission
View more detail on the proposal (4mb pdf)
Last Reviewed: 20/03/2017