Waikato tourist hotspot
A major board meeting by Tourism New Zealand endorsed 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,’’ 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.