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Queenstown unveils plans to become tech hotspot

New Zealand’s most popular tourist town, Queenstown has revealed plans to nurture its growing tech industry and become the next hotspot for the sector.

Hoping to grow the local tech industry, the Queenstown Lakes District has unveiled its newly established technology development agency, Technology Queenstown.

The agency has released an analysis that estimated the tech sector in Queenstown could generate $1 billion in annual GDP or 10 to 20 percent of the local economy by 2043.

The analysis also found Queenstown’s tech industry has the potential to boost employment rates and the district’s tech space can grow to around $650 million to $1.3 billion.

Queenstown Lakes District Council’s Mayor, Glyn Lewers says supporting the tech industry in the city will be key in achieving their “long-term goals”.

Read more: New report looks deeper into Auckland’s globally-focused tech industry

In order to reach this potential, the agency was established by experienced tech leader Roger Sharp and also includes other members from the local council, University of Otago, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Queenstown Resort College.

The not-for-profit is hoping to “drive diversification to the local economy” by developing the technology industry.

“Technology is a high-value, low-impact industry that fits comfortably alongside Destination Queenstown’s ambitious strategy to achieve a carbon-zero tourism environment over the next few years,” says Sharp.

“The pandemic shone a light on the region’s heavy reliance on the tourism and hospitality sectors and the pressing need to build other industries alongside tourism, so the region is better prepared for the future.”

Queenstown’s tech industry is budding and CEO of the Queenstown Resort College, Charlie Phillips, says it’s about time “top businesses recognise our talent pool and see the benefits of establishing a presence here”.

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