Damon Harvey
Director, Attn! marketing pr

The biggest risk facing Hawke’s Bay success in capturing tourists is lack of cohesiveness between those that are involved in promoting the Bay.

Venture Hawke’s Bay needs to take a lead role, but other councils and tourism organisations need to be in the loop so that their own marketing tactics don’t conflict or mix our point of differences … they should complement each other.

An example recently are murmurings of other tourism websites. Would we not be better to have one great regional website supported by city websites? Why not invest that money into online marketing?

I’m also concerned that we are running the risk of losing the Hawke’s Bay Wine Country brand. It may be too narrow in focus (literally), but it tells a great story. We’ve also invested significantly in the brand and a change will impact on attracting people to the region. Just because it has an emphasis on wine, does not mean the brand can’t tell the great story of the Bay.

We also have an opportunity to really capitalize on the Rugby World Cup, as most of the people coming to NZ are high income earners ready and willing to spend. If we can create a unique experience for Hawke’s Bay and start marketing this offer to them now – while they’re drinking a beer at clubs like Saracens, Cardiff and Toulon – then not only will we lure them to the Bay, but they’ll head home and tell others to visit.

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