River is the heart of tourism

Event strat­egy to fo­cus on more visitors

Waikato News - - Front Page - Gary Far­row

Hamil­ton & Waikato Tourism is en­ter­ing 2017 with what chief executive Ja­son Daw­son has called its “game-chang­ing projects”.

Daw­son said the Waikato is the fifth largest tourism re­gion in New Zealand, at­tract­ing well over $1 bil­lion in vis­i­tor ex­pen­di­ture an­nu­ally.

As part of its 10-year growth plan, which be­gan in 2014, Hamil­ton & Waikato Tourism seeks to in­crease vis­i­tor con­tri­bu­tions via the re­gion to $1.35 bil­lion by 2025.

“The Waikato River is at the heart of the of the 10-year plan to boost tourism and vis­i­tor num­bers to the Waikato,” said Daw­son.

“The Waikato River is our unique sell­ing propo­si­tion which no other re­gion in the coun­try can lay claim to.”

He em­pha­sised part of the com­pany’s Tourism Op­por­tu­ni­ties Plan was to re­flect the “mighty Waikato River” cours­ing through the other tourism game chang­ers, in­clud­ing Maori tourism.

“Waikato-Tainui, Te Puni Kokiri, Tainui Waka Tourism, lo­cal coun­cils, the tourism in­dus­try and a num­ber of other stake­hold­ers will be work­ing together around a plan and on some of the new op­por­tu­ni­ties and prod­ucts be­ing de­vel­oped,” said Daw­son.

“Maori tourism presents an op­por­tu­nity for the re­gion to tell its cul­tural story, with a po­ten­tial fo­cus on the Kin­gi­tanga, the Waikato River and our nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment. De­vel­op­ing authen­tic, cul­tural lo­cal ex­pe­ri­ences is what the do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional trav­eller is seek­ing.”

The or­gan­i­sa­tion will also place a sig­nif­i­cant em­pha­sis on the Hamil­ton city wa­ter­front, help­ing to im­ple­ment plans to re­vi­talise the Waikato River to cre­ate a vi­brant vis­i­tor hub in Hamil­ton.

“We fully sup­port Hamil­ton’s plans to turn the city around to face the Waikato River and de­velop a range of ways to en­gage with this sig­nif­i­cant wa­ter­way,” said Daw­son

In sync with this, the

The Waikato River is our unique sell­ing propo­si­tion which no other re­gion in the coun­try can lay claim to.

or­gan­i­sa­tion aims to de­velop a Re­gional Events Strat­egy that will fur­ther en­cour­age events such as Bal­loons Over Waikato to be­come es­tab­lished in the re­gion.

Daw­son said the first step in de­vel­op­ing the events strat­egy will be an au­dit on cur­rent and emerg­ing events across the re­gion.

De­vel­op­ment of the events strat­egy will be un­der­taken in con­junc­tion with lo­cal coun­cils, iwi, busi­ness, in­dus­try and com­mu­nity groups.

Photo / file

Hamil­ton & Waikato Tourism recog­nises that the Waikato River is one of the re­gion’s unique sell­ing points.

Photo / Supplied

Hamil­ton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Ja­son Daw­son.

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