Tourism break­ing out

Kaikoura Star - - FRONT PAGE -

al­though it would keep the KITI name for le­gal and ad­min­is­tra­tive rea­sons. Des­ti­na­tion Kaik­oura was eas­ier to un­der­stand and would bring the area in line with other re­gions such as Des­ti­na­tion Marl­bor­ough.

Mr Ormsby said RTONZ mem­ber­ship would help Des­ti­na­tion Kaik­oura have a greater voice in do­mes­tic and in­bound tourism.

‘‘ We’re a small re­gion, but Kaik­oura punches well above its weight when it comes to tourism at­trac­tions and ac­tiv­i­ties,’’ he said. ‘‘The prod­uct we’ve got is in­cred­i­ble, world class.’’

While some may fear the move could com­pro­mise Kaik­oura’s close re­la­tion­ship with Christchurch and Can­ter­bury Tourism ( CCT), who un­til last week was the RTO for Kaik­oura, Mr Ormsby says this will not be the case. He has spo­ken with those in­volved and said the re­la­tion­ship will con­tinue to grow with other districts, in­clud­ing both Can­ter­bury and Hu­runui. It was not about break­ing away but rather about strength­en­ing the brand, he said. While CCT had sup­ported Kaik­oura well in the past, the new sta­tus meant Kaik­oura would be able to push the re­gion it­self, rather than re­ly­ing on oth­ers.

In terms of sta­tis­tics, be­ing a sep­a­rate RTO would have count­less ben­e­fits as fig­ures would now be able to be drawn out for Kaik­oura, rather than be­ing part of Can­ter­bury, which would add real value for oper­a­tors.

Kaik­oura was sig­nif­i­cantly dif­fer­ent in a lot of re­spects and this was worth high­light­ing, for ex­am­ple the youth and back­packer mar­kets, he said.

‘‘ The UK vis­i­tors and Euro­peans are also re­ally big for us. The Euro­peans re­ally are aware of EarthCheck so that just takes us up an­other notch.’’

The next big mar­ket to con­cen­trate on would be the Chi­nese, he said, who had al­ready started to visit Kaik­oura in in­creas­ing num­bers this year.

Mr Ormsby said the Kaik­oura District Coun­cil had been con­sulted on the move and both they and the KITI board, along with the Tourism Ad­vi­sory Group, saw the mer­its of be­com­ing an RTO.

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