Mak­ing the beach a val­ued desti­na­tion

Waihi Leader - - News -

Desti­na­tion, desti­na­tion, desti­na­tion.

Teresa Qual­trough be­lieves Waihi Beach has it and is mak­ing it her mis­sion to spread the word.

She was re­cently ap­pointed Waihi Beach Events and Promotions com­mu­nity co-or­di­na­tor and comes to the job with do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in mar­ket­ing and events pro­mo­tion.

But it all be­gan at the beach, where Teresa spent most of her hol­i­days as a young­ster, grow­ing up in Athen­ree and at­tend­ing Katikati Col­lege.

Af­ter 11 years over­seas work­ing in a range of mar­ket­ing and pub­lic re­la­tions po­si­tions in New York, Mel­bourne and Lon­don, Teresa, her hus­band Philip and their two chil­dren Pia, 3 and Fin­ley, 5, re­turned to New Zealand — and to Waihi Beach.

Some peo­ple will re­call the Tum­ble­weed food truck at the Beach and Athen­ree last year — that was Teresa’s first ven­ture on re­turn­ing to live lo­cally.

Teresa took over the reins at Waihi Beach Events and Promotions in April this year and is now in the thick of plan­ning for the peak sum­mer months.

But she is equally as fo­cused on the win­ter sea­son and ‘shoul­der’ sea­son so that there is a year-round cal­en­dar of events to at­tract vis­i­tors to the beach. It’s a big work­load and there’s much to or­gan­ise.

So, when Western Bay of Plenty District Coun­cil increased fund­ing for the Events and Promotions group, Teresa and the Waihi Beach Events & Promotions Com­mit­tee put the money to­ward em­ploy­ing a part-timer — Kirsty West— to lend a hand.

Kirsty and Teresa split the work, with Kirsty fo­cus­ing on events and so­cial me­dia and Teresa on pub­lic re­la­tions, com­mu­ni­ca­tions and com­mu­nity re­la­tion­ships.

Longer term, Teresa is hope­ful that Kirsty’s role will be­come a per­ma­nent po­si­tion as she is prov­ing in­valu­able and is en­abling Teresa to plan events and give them a “to­tally new twist” over the sum­mer sea­son.

“My vi­sion for this role is to raise the pro­file of Waihi Beach as a desti­na­tion town all year round, to bring more vis­i­tors here and to in­crease their length of stay.

“I am look­ing at the gaps and try­ing to fig­ure out a draw­card for win­ter — par­tic­u­larly for the 20 to 40-year-old age group. And I am par­tic­u­larly in­ter­ested in win­ter and the off-sea­son be­cause if we can have our lo­cal econ­omy hum­ming all year round that would be fan­tas­tic for ev­ery­one.

“The rea­son I took on this job is be­cause I want to have an in­flu­ence and make a dif­fer­ence for my com­mu­nity.”

PHOTO/SUP­PLIED

Waihi Beach Events and Promotions com­mu­nity co-or­di­na­tor Teresa Qual­trough.

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