Waikato upcoming tourist hotspot
A major board meeting by Tourism New Zealand was held in Hamilton last week, endorsing the Waikato’s relevance as a growing tourism destination.
The organisation’s board and parts of its core leadership team also toured some of the region’s primary tourist attractions.
‘‘It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase our region to the Tourism New Zealand board, and share some of the opportunities and challenges we face as an emerging visitor destination,’’ Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson said.
‘‘We were able to showcase our region’s iconic Waitomo Glowworm Caves which has been a visitor attraction for 129 years, as well as one of our ‘younger and developing’ destinations, Hamilton Gardens.’’
Dawson said leisure and business tourism was contributing $1.511b to the regional economy annually.
That ranks the Waikato the fifth most lucrative region in the country for tourism, behind Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Stephen England-Hall said the aspects of the Waikato the board and leadership team experienced were impressive.
‘‘Hamilton & Waikato is a good fit for Tourism New Zealand’s regional dispersal strategy which focuses on encouraging visitors to explore outside the main tourism destinations and during the shoulder seasons,’’ he said.
The organisation plans to help regions’ tourist revenue to increase by $1b per annum from 2023 to promote sustainable and beneficial growth for the economy of the country.
‘‘Information is the key to informing smart investment in tourism infrastructure and product development decisions and we are really excited to play more of a role in this,’’ EnglandHall said.
‘‘The information will also be used to inform campaign work, marketing and storytelling workshops for industry to ensure visitors include Hamilton & Waikato into their holidays.
‘‘Tourism New Zealand want to help the Hamilton & Waikato region grow by $1 billion per annum by developing, implementing and promoting strategies that are regionallyfocussed and align with gateways like Auckland which connect the region to the world.’’
Hamilton Mayor King and Waitomo Mayor Brian Hanna, and major Hamilton and Waikato tourism stakeholders, attended a dinner at the conclusion of Tourism New Zealand’s visit.
Jason Dawson, chief executive of Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, was pleased to host Tourism New Zealand’s visit to Hamilton. Stephen England-Hall