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Regional Tourism Growth

01 August 2016, 12am

PRESS RELEASE

Tourism Bay of Plenty CEO launches
annual plan for regional tourism growth


August, 2016:
A regional rebrand, greater community engagement and hands-on support for tourism operators are just some of the major strategies outlined by Tourism Bay of Plenty (TBOP) in their 2016/17 annual plan.

The plan, which has been agreed upon by the Tauranga City Council (TCC) /Western Bay of Plenty District Council (WBOPDC) Joint Governance, will set the tone for the organisation for the next 12 months.

This is the first plan released under the guidance of CEO Kristin Dunne, who says it provides a starting point for overcoming current issues and pushing the region forward into the global arena.

“We have met with industry, stakeholders, travel trade, key partners and visitors, and this plan is the result of those conversations, identifying the key issues and opportunities raised.

“At the same time, we are also working with the TBOP Board of Trustees on a ‘beyond business as usual’ plan – this builds a runway of where we want to be as an industry and how we need to manage the destination to achieve that goal.”

Part of developing the annual plan involved consultation with national organisations Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and Air New Zealand and asking the critical question: “How can we do better?”

“While national tourism figures, relating to international visitors, are at record levels, the Bay is not getting its fair share of the growth,” says Kristin.

“We are taking on board advice from TNZ and Air NZ, addressing areas that are potentially holding us back from our full potential as a vibrant, attractive destination.”

The plan outlines a number of strategic developments to strengthen the region’s tourism offerings, including a brand refresh for the region, redevelopment of the cruise welcoming facility at the Port of Tauranga, and feasibility studies into building new Visitor Information Centres (VIC) in Mount Maunganui and Tauranga.

There is also a greater focus on gaining local support with the roll-out of a Resident Host Strategy, designed to empower locals with the knowledge of what’s available in their own backyard, and an Industry Growth Programme for mentoring and building businesses to become export-ready.

Kristin says these strategic projects are working from the ground up towards a bigger picture – to get to the core of what makes our region a top destination to visit and stay.

“It’s about ensuring we are all working together to a common goal of increasing the vibrancy of the region as a visitor destination, ensuring our guests are welcomed on arrival, have a great experience while they are here and then return again or recommend us to others. We will only achieve this if our locals are ‘visitor champions’, who want to share their love of the Bay with the world.”

TBOP’s focus is on supporting the unique culture of each city or town within the Bay, and finding a way to encompass all of these ‘identities’ under one umbrella, while also allowing these areas to maintain their key points of difference.

“We’ve said there is ‘plenty for everyone’ here, but now it’s about understanding what the single-minded reason to visit is. We believe that answer will come from our residents because they are our heart and soul,” says Kristin.

The TBOP Annual Plan also outlines the importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with key organisations, councils, iwi, tourism operators and residents, in order to work together towards a shared vision of growing the region to a billion-dollar industry by 2030.

Kristin encourages local businesses or organisations who currently, or wish to, help make our visitors’ experiences something special to get in touch with TBOP.

“It’s our role to be Destination Managers, to engage with visitors, industry and community alike and ensure we deliver a vibrant customer experience that everyone is proud of.

“We hold regular forums, send electronic updates and can help connect businesses with visitors – but we can only do this successfully if we know you are there and what you do”.

“So if you haven’t met with us, or haven’t seen us in a while, now is a really positive time to re-engage. We make it our job to advocate for the tourism industry in the Bay of Plenty.”

Tauranga City Council Mayor Stuart Crosby says there is a strong working relationship between TCC, WBOPDC and TBOP, which will only continue to develop under new leadership in both TBOP’s offices and the TBOP Board of Trustees.

“The new leadership has incorporated the committee’s key expectations, showing its commitment to the relationship built with the two councils and to contribute to a vibrant, attractive and welcoming city for international and domestic visitors alike.”

Please see attached the Tourism Bay of Plenty Annual Plan 2016/2017 to read in full.

--ENDS--

For interview and photo opportunities, please contact:

Laura Weaser
Account Manager
Blink Public Relations
Mob: 027 477 0327

Email: laura@blinkpr.co.nz

Created: 02 February 2017

Last updated: 07 February 2017