Tourism conference aims to grow market

NEW DISCOVER: The Gisborne Herald has printed 255,000 copies of this year’s Discover Tairawhiti Gisborne feature, which are now on their way to newspapers around the North Island for distribution in upcoming issues. It will appear in The Gisborne Herald on October 13.

THE region’s tourism organisation hopes a new conference for local tourism operators will become an annual event, aimed at boosting Tairawhiti’s share of the booming New Zealand tourism market.

“Our aim is to support our operators, and to grow the visitor appeal of their experiences while creating a business model that is commercially sustainable,” said Activate Tairawhiti’s new tourism general manager Adam Hughes.

As part of that effort the Gisborne i-Site team have organised the region’s first tourism conference designed specifically for local operators.

Mr Hughes said 60 delegates had already registered through the i-Site (info@gisbornenz.com) for the two-day event, which would start on October 12, and the team was in the process of finalising a programme of operator-based workshops.

“We expect this will be an annual conference,” he said.

“It’s all about listening to our operators. It’s also about connecting them with their market so that they can make informed decisions and so that, collectively, we can lift our game and secure a greater share of New Zealand’s tourism market.”

There were about 40 places left for the free conference, which would involve presentations from leading tourism operators, hands-on workshops and a talk from rower Rob Hamill.

Meeting stakeholders

Less than a month into his new role as tourism general manager, Mr Hughes said his immediate priorities had been meeting with key stakeholders in the region, getting to grips with the opportunities and challenges ahead of the coming season, and strengthening the region’s connection to the market.

One of his first decisions was to extend promotion of local operators through “a new and improved” “Discover” publication.

“Visitors are starting to think about their summer holidays and we want to give them reasons to make Tairawhiti Gisborne their destination of choice.

“Discover Tairawhiti Gisborne will be outstanding this year.

“It targets our domestic market and is designed to position the area as a vibrant, interesting and beautiful place to visit.

“Over 250,000 copies will be distributed throughout the North Island in one of the most extensive campaigns we have ever embarked upon.”

As well as focusing on a range of top-quality activities and experiences, Discover featured key regional events, including Labour Weekend of Wine, Wings & Wheels, the Poverty Bay Blues & Roots on 35 Festival, NZ Surf Championships and the Sunsplash Summerfest.

“The i-Site is also well-placed to support wine and food activities over Labour Weekend, with a high-quality programme scheduled by local wineries and Air New Zealand support secured.

“The opportunity we have is to work with our operators to support the development of that product range so we can attract more visitors to stay longer and spend more.”

The upcoming cruise ship season was another area of focus and planning was well under way.

Mr Hughes also attended the recent three-day i-Site NZ Conference in the Central Plateau, which was dedicated to matching visitors with quality experiences and helping them see and do more.

“At a national level, footfall is up but revenues are down. So, with the support of ECT (Eastland Community Trust) and Activate Tairawhiti, we are working on how we can better invest in the Gisborne i-Site to support the success of our operators.”

THE region’s tourism organisation hopes a new conference for local tourism operators will become an annual event, aimed at boosting Tairawhiti’s share of the booming New Zealand tourism market.

“Our aim is to support our operators, and to grow the visitor appeal of their experiences while creating a business model that is commercially sustainable,” said Activate Tairawhiti’s new tourism general manager Adam Hughes.

As part of that effort the Gisborne i-Site team have organised the region’s first tourism conference designed specifically for local operators.

Mr Hughes said 60 delegates had already registered through the i-Site (info@gisbornenz.com) for the two-day event, which would start on October 12, and the team was in the process of finalising a programme of operator-based workshops.

“We expect this will be an annual conference,” he said.

“It’s all about listening to our operators. It’s also about connecting them with their market so that they can make informed decisions and so that, collectively, we can lift our game and secure a greater share of New Zealand’s tourism market.”

There were about 40 places left for the free conference, which would involve presentations from leading tourism operators, hands-on workshops and a talk from rower Rob Hamill.

Meeting stakeholders

Less than a month into his new role as tourism general manager, Mr Hughes said his immediate priorities had been meeting with key stakeholders in the region, getting to grips with the opportunities and challenges ahead of the coming season, and strengthening the region’s connection to the market.

One of his first decisions was to extend promotion of local operators through “a new and improved” “Discover” publication.

“Visitors are starting to think about their summer holidays and we want to give them reasons to make Tairawhiti Gisborne their destination of choice.

“Discover Tairawhiti Gisborne will be outstanding this year.

“It targets our domestic market and is designed to position the area as a vibrant, interesting and beautiful place to visit.

“Over 250,000 copies will be distributed throughout the North Island in one of the most extensive campaigns we have ever embarked upon.”

As well as focusing on a range of top-quality activities and experiences, Discover featured key regional events, including Labour Weekend of Wine, Wings & Wheels, the Poverty Bay Blues & Roots on 35 Festival, NZ Surf Championships and the Sunsplash Summerfest.

“The i-Site is also well-placed to support wine and food activities over Labour Weekend, with a high-quality programme scheduled by local wineries and Air New Zealand support secured.

“The opportunity we have is to work with our operators to support the development of that product range so we can attract more visitors to stay longer and spend more.”

The upcoming cruise ship season was another area of focus and planning was well under way.

Mr Hughes also attended the recent three-day i-Site NZ Conference in the Central Plateau, which was dedicated to matching visitors with quality experiences and helping them see and do more.

“At a national level, footfall is up but revenues are down. So, with the support of ECT (Eastland Community Trust) and Activate Tairawhiti, we are working on how we can better invest in the Gisborne i-Site to support the success of our operators.”

Tourism spendig up

GISBORNE’S tourism industry is continuing an upwards trend.

The latest Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) show the tourism spend for Gisborne is estimated to be $138 million for the year to August 2017, up three per cent compared with the previous year.

MBIE manager of sector trends Mark Gordon said this was made up of $30 million spent by international visitors (up 12 per cent compared with the year to August 2016) and $108 million by domestic tourists (up one per cent).

“When it comes to the monthly expenditure, tourism spend in Gisborne for the month of August 2017 is down two per cent compared with the month of August 2016,” Mr Gordon said.

MBIE developed the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates in consultation with tourism industry representatives to create a better measurement of the value of tourism by region.

“Visitor spending information for the regions helps inform investment and planning in the tourism industry by providing insight into where both domestic and international tourists are spending their money,” Mr Gordon said.

The figures are based on card transaction data and can be can broken down by year, key areas within regions, country of origin, and tourism product groupings such as accommodation, transport and retail sales.

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