Legacy of the Royal Albatross Centre

The Royal Albatross Centre is a key strategic asset for Otago. The facility with its heritage of 53 years building iconic status as a landmark attraction with associated legacy of capability and Intellectual property performs manifold important roles:

1:  An iconic world-unique tourism attraction that plays a critical role in the regional tourism economy with the centre hosting around 160,000 visitors annually of which 80% are international
2: An employer, talent nurturer and expertise builder with 76 direct employees at peak season and a significant employment effect on other businesses which include the Royal Albatross Centre in their tours.
3: An economic enabler central to the $170-$200 million Dunedin ecotourism industry. One of New Zealand’s pioneer ecotourism enterprises since 1967, promoting Dunedin as the Wildlife Capital of New Zealand.
4: A centre of excellence for conservation, ecotourism and education with free access to educational displays and subsiding over 1000 students annually to education programmes helping create the next generation of conservation champions.
5: The main revenue generator to support the work of Otago Peninsula Trust, New Zealand’s first private charitable conservation trust since 1967 with an annual turnover of approximately $4.5 million
6. A conservation partner to DOC enabling care for albatross through financial and human resource support resulting in increased colony sustainability and record fledgling numbers.
7: A leader of sustainable ecotourism promoting and facilitating improved environmental processes including, visitor information, plastic free initiatives, a Wildlife Care Code and managed wildlife access.
8: A generous charity providing an umbrella for fledgling organisations, involved in volunteer boards, hosting community events, donating over $20,000 of product annually for fundraising initiatives.
9: A important storyteller with a commitment to sharing Dunedin’s environmental, historical and cultural stories with locals and visitors. Kaitiaki of 53 years of albatross and local expertise IP archives and institutional knowledge
10. A key partner to Tourism New Zealand supplying stories, hosting and free product valued at nearly $20k annually to enable $17.7 million EAV since 2015, resulting in  New Zealand’s recognition as a wildlife viewing destination.

The Royal Albatross Centre…

is an iconic tourism attraction that brings enormous international profile to Aotearoa and to the city of Ōtepoti. It is as a year-round tourism attraction central to Otago’s visitor economy.  Visitors to the Albatross Colony create derived demand for a wide range of local businesses and services in the wider economy. It is also a source of year-round employment, both direct and indirect with Otago Peninsula Trust employing over 40 people at peak season and carrying over15 employees through the low season. Ecotourism is worth between $170-$200 million annually to the $766 million Dunedin visitor economy, which employed 10% of the workforce (March 2020 MRTEs). Dunedin is famous as the Wildlife Capital of New Zealand, with the Royal Albatross Colony as the unique selling point and a bucket-list destination of many international visitors.

Beyond this, the Royal Albatross Centre is a vibrant hub of cultural, conservation and education activities. The protection and conservation of local marine wildlife species, the leadership and vision of the local rūnunga, the engagement of communities, educational activites involving many local/regional schools are also expressed in different ways through this facility. Visits from international study programmes and fields trips from the University of Otago are some of the much wider outreach and conservation advocacy activities that are performed by the Royal Albatross Centre.