Mayoral candidates talk tourism over breakfast
Central Otago’s three mayoral candidates talked tourism over toast at a business breakfast meeting in Cromwell.
Businesswoman Sarah Bond raised concern at the forum of the council’s coverage of tourism in its Long Term Plan, asking their view of tourism.
Lawyer Tim Cadogan said the region needed to work together as a group to bring tourists through.
‘‘In my view we are dipping out in some really big areas of tourism...We have to work better with the Chinese tour operators. Forty nine per cent of Chinese landing in New Zealand have never heard of Central Otago...Working together is a goldmine.’’
Incumbent mayor Tony Lepper said the council spent around $1.4 million on tourism and the Long Term Plan was targeted on those limited resources.
‘‘We punch miles above our weight. We could spend more ratepayers’ money and probably do a bigger job, whether we could do a better job, I’m not sure.’’
Martin McPherson agreed with Lepper the council punched above its weight for what it spends on tourism. However, Central Otago should be promoted more as a lifestyle destination.
❚ The next ‘Meet the Election Candidates’ meeting in Cromwell is on Monday, September 19, 7pm, at the Golden Gate Lodge Conference Centre.
Jim Wayne Porteous started at Cromwell Primary on July 29.