Opportunities on the way for tourism operators and the region

EDITORIAL

With a new marketing campaign for the region set to get under way in less than two months, now is a good time for the district’s tourism operators and others to be thinking about how to make the most of increased interest in our place — and how to create further opportunities in the future.

Eastland Community Trust has committed more than $1 million over three years to the campaign, which will use the tagline “Tairawhiti-Gisborne, the first light”. While that funding is small compared to what other regions spend on tourism marketing, it is unheard of for this district and should significantly raise our profile. Air New Zealand will also back the campaign through its extensive marketing channels.

Tourism has been a key growth area for New Zealand’s economy in recent years, surging ahead at about 6 percent annual growth. Our region has not shared in this, growing at just 1.5 percent.

As the recently-published Destination Development Plan (DDP) for Tourism Eastland states, the region’s tourism is “characterised by high seasonality with a significant level of visitation over the 3-4 month summer period, and a particularly quiet low season resulting in undue reliance on the summer season to generate sufficient returns”.

This is something Air New Zealand wants to help address, as its newly-increased seating capacity is constant over the year. Expect to see a marketing focus on some key events outside the district’s main tourism summer season in future, probably including suitable tour packages.

The DDP points out that the region has few medium and larger-scale tourism ventures, “creating a heavier reliance on small and micro businesses which, at times, are under-capitalised and unable to operate all year round”. It also says a lot of operators are looking to sell at the moment, especially accommodation providers.

Tourism-related businesses in the region should have increased confidence that their sector has strong regional support and good potential for future growth. We can all do our bit too by continuing to go out of our way to help visitors to the region.

With a new marketing campaign for the region set to get under way in less than two months, now is a good time for the district’s tourism operators and others to be thinking about how to make the most of increased interest in our place — and how to create further opportunities in the future.

Eastland Community Trust has committed more than $1 million over three years to the campaign, which will use the tagline “Tairawhiti-Gisborne, the first light”. While that funding is small compared to what other regions spend on tourism marketing, it is unheard of for this district and should significantly raise our profile. Air New Zealand will also back the campaign through its extensive marketing channels.

Tourism has been a key growth area for New Zealand’s economy in recent years, surging ahead at about 6 percent annual growth. Our region has not shared in this, growing at just 1.5 percent.

As the recently-published Destination Development Plan (DDP) for Tourism Eastland states, the region’s tourism is “characterised by high seasonality with a significant level of visitation over the 3-4 month summer period, and a particularly quiet low season resulting in undue reliance on the summer season to generate sufficient returns”.

This is something Air New Zealand wants to help address, as its newly-increased seating capacity is constant over the year. Expect to see a marketing focus on some key events outside the district’s main tourism summer season in future, probably including suitable tour packages.

The DDP points out that the region has few medium and larger-scale tourism ventures, “creating a heavier reliance on small and micro businesses which, at times, are under-capitalised and unable to operate all year round”. It also says a lot of operators are looking to sell at the moment, especially accommodation providers.

Tourism-related businesses in the region should have increased confidence that their sector has strong regional support and good potential for future growth. We can all do our bit too by continuing to go out of our way to help visitors to the region.

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