Council backs new tourism body
The Matamata-Piako District Council has partnered with other councils in the region to fund Hamilton and Waikato Tourism, an organisation which has recently launched after a two-year trial.
The council has invested $100,000 into the organisation, which hopes to showcase some of the Wai- kato’s best tourist attractions, including Hobbiton.
MatamataPiako Mayor Hugh Vercoe said this would be a great place for attractions like Hobbiton to advertise.
‘‘This organisation will be used to try and bring people over here from places like Australia and then it is up to the businesses to advertise their attractions with us so that tourists come to visit them,’’ he said.
Previously businesses used Tourism Waikato as an advertising avenue but in 2006 funding was cut which meant it could no longer operate. Mr Vercoe said a number of Hamilton Airport shareholders joined forces to trial something new.
‘‘ We looked into the benefits of promoting the Waikato as a holiday destination and decided that we wanted to continue this on a long term basis,’’ he said.
Hamilton and Waikato Tourism will cost about $ 1.3 million each year to run and will be funded by seven councils in the region, local government and industry investment.