Full-steam tourism planning for Labour Day

Activate Tairawhiti is working with Gisborne Boardriders Club to put together packages to attract tourists to Gisborne for the NZ surfing championships in January. File picture

GISBORNE'S wineries are finalising plans for Labour Weekend festivities as Activate Tairawhiti, prepares to market a series of package holiday deals involving wine and train excursions, Rolls Royces and the 2018 national surfing championships.

Activate Tairawhiti took over from Tourism Eastland as the regional tourism organisation at the start of the month and chief executive Steve Breen said the past few weeks had been “pretty hectic” with the transition period, but number of things were already in play for the coming months, kicking off with a new lead event for Labour weekend.

“We are full steam ahead on the Chardonnay Express. That is one event we are very keen to support.

“If there are other events, we are happy to see how we can support them as well, but that’s going to be our lead event for Labour Weekend.

“We are working with Air New Zealand to develop a promotional package around the Chardonnay Express, that will then go out to market and be used to support the sale of tickets.”

Mr Breen said the event would involve meeting selected winemakers ahead of a high-end wine and food experience on board the Wa165 steam train.

“I think it’s a truly exciting regional event they have come up with.”

Wineries get to business

Gisborne Winegrowers business co-ordinator Bobby Clark said the annual Labour Day weekend of wine and food-themed events would return this year but there would be a change in the format. Individual wineries were organising their own events to run over the long weekend.

“We will still be working together as a region but the new format will include any winery that wishes to host an event that best suits them.”

Mr Breen said plans were under way to market other packages around more events. Those included a “Wings and Wheels” event in early November, involving the Rolls Royce and Bentley Car Club’s First Light rally from Auckland to Napier.

That would include a car parade and display in Gisborne and an exhibition by the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society.

Activate Tairawhiti was also working with Gisborne Boardriders Club to put together packages to attract people to Gisborne for the New Zealand surfing championships in January.

“They think there will be quite a few South Island-based surfers who will be interested in that kind of option.”

That could also include a car rental as part of the package deal.

Mr Breen said two packages based around cycle trails were being planned.

“Again, we are looking to develop two cycling packages where people can fly in, hire their bike and get transport to the ride, with food and accommodation included. That’s fly in, cycle, fly out, job done.”

A further four event packages were in the early stages of development.

“The idea here is, if we can bring to market opportunities where people can buy tickets to an event that includes the airfare, accommodation and whatever is practical in terms of supporting an event, then it makes it easier for people to make that buying decision.

“That’s the evolution of things. Rather than having a listing on a website for that event, we actually have a package. It just takes it to the next step.”

Mr Breen said candidates for the vacant tourism general manager and cultural tourism manager roles would be considered this week, with the aim to have both successful candidates in the positions as soon as possible.

“The focus now is on maintaining the service delivery contract at the iSite. That’s been the here and now focus, manning the iSite and running those services.”

GISBORNE'S wineries are finalising plans for Labour Weekend festivities as Activate Tairawhiti, prepares to market a series of package holiday deals involving wine and train excursions, Rolls Royces and the 2018 national surfing championships.

Activate Tairawhiti took over from Tourism Eastland as the regional tourism organisation at the start of the month and chief executive Steve Breen said the past few weeks had been “pretty hectic” with the transition period, but number of things were already in play for the coming months, kicking off with a new lead event for Labour weekend.

“We are full steam ahead on the Chardonnay Express. That is one event we are very keen to support.

“If there are other events, we are happy to see how we can support them as well, but that’s going to be our lead event for Labour Weekend.

“We are working with Air New Zealand to develop a promotional package around the Chardonnay Express, that will then go out to market and be used to support the sale of tickets.”

Mr Breen said the event would involve meeting selected winemakers ahead of a high-end wine and food experience on board the Wa165 steam train.

“I think it’s a truly exciting regional event they have come up with.”

Wineries get to business

Gisborne Winegrowers business co-ordinator Bobby Clark said the annual Labour Day weekend of wine and food-themed events would return this year but there would be a change in the format. Individual wineries were organising their own events to run over the long weekend.

“We will still be working together as a region but the new format will include any winery that wishes to host an event that best suits them.”

Mr Breen said plans were under way to market other packages around more events. Those included a “Wings and Wheels” event in early November, involving the Rolls Royce and Bentley Car Club’s First Light rally from Auckland to Napier.

That would include a car parade and display in Gisborne and an exhibition by the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society.

Activate Tairawhiti was also working with Gisborne Boardriders Club to put together packages to attract people to Gisborne for the New Zealand surfing championships in January.

“They think there will be quite a few South Island-based surfers who will be interested in that kind of option.”

That could also include a car rental as part of the package deal.

Mr Breen said two packages based around cycle trails were being planned.

“Again, we are looking to develop two cycling packages where people can fly in, hire their bike and get transport to the ride, with food and accommodation included. That’s fly in, cycle, fly out, job done.”

A further four event packages were in the early stages of development.

“The idea here is, if we can bring to market opportunities where people can buy tickets to an event that includes the airfare, accommodation and whatever is practical in terms of supporting an event, then it makes it easier for people to make that buying decision.

“That’s the evolution of things. Rather than having a listing on a website for that event, we actually have a package. It just takes it to the next step.”

Mr Breen said candidates for the vacant tourism general manager and cultural tourism manager roles would be considered this week, with the aim to have both successful candidates in the positions as soon as possible.

“The focus now is on maintaining the service delivery contract at the iSite. That’s been the here and now focus, manning the iSite and running those services.”

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