Tau­marunui left out in the cold of ski­field mar­ket­ing plan

Waikato Times - - News - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Tau­marunui has been left out of a ‘’Three Sk­i­fields, Five Towns’’ Aus­tralian mar­ket­ing strat­egy, de­spite $50,000 fund­ing from the Ruapehu District Coun­cil.

Coun­cil­lors have ques­tioned the value of the joint Taupo¯ District Coun­cil, Ruapehu and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts win­ter mar­ket col­lab­o­ra­tion. It is con­tribut­ing $50,000 a year to­wards the $250,000 cam­paign.

The coun­cil was up­dated on the col­lab­o­ra­tion at a meet­ing last week.

Tau­marunui ward coun­cil­lor Karen Ngatai ques­tioned what the ben­e­fits to ratepay­ers were, in light of the fact that Tau­marunui was left out.

‘‘We are closer to the moun­tain than Taupo¯ yet we’re not men­tioned. When you have a cam­paign that says, ‘Stay Taupo¯ ’, and ‘Ski Ruapehu’, then you sell it from Taupo¯ how do our ratepay­ers ben­e­fit?

‘‘Tau­marunui is the big­gest con­trib­u­tor of ratepayer money and we’re left out.’’

RAL gen­eral man­ager for sales and mar­ket­ing Michelle Caldwell said Taupo¯ has the ‘‘pull’’ to get tourists to click on the web­site.

‘‘It gets them in, gets them look­ing and they start plan­ning. There’ll be a Na­tional Park and Ohakune story that sits un­der­neath the Taupo¯ story but, for us, it’s the hook but it’s not the only mes­sage we send out.’’

Tau­marunui ward coun­cil­lor Kim Wheeler asked to see what mea­sures were in place to see the growth in each area.

‘‘We need to see some facts on what’s go­ing on here’’.

Des­ti­na­tion Great Lake Taupo¯ gen­eral man­ager Damien Coutts said they can present spend data from Aus­tralia each month for the Ruapehu district. The ‘‘Three Sk­i­fields, Five Towns’’ slo­gan has been used to pro­mote win­ter ski­ing to the Aus­tralian mar­ket. Those five towns are Taupo¯, Tu­rangi, Whaka­papa Vil­lage, Na­tional Park and Ohakune.

Mayor Don Cameron said un­less Tau­marunui had a ho­tel, the town needed to look at other ways to bring vis­i­tors to town.

Caldwell said there wasn’t enough ac­com­mo­da­tion in the district to cater for the growth and an in­ter­na­tional five-star ho­tel was needed.

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