Today HB Tourism leaders — chair George Hinton, general manager Hamish Saxton and marketing/creative advisor Kim Thorp — outlined to the Regional Council their plan to resuscitate our region’s visitor economy, which affects some 6,000 workers.

The plan is all about marketing — getting bodies to HB for what will be promoted as ‘Hawke’s Bay-cations’.

For various reasons, the plan targets Wellington exclusively as our best market for attracting visitors (perhaps foremost, because virtually all visiting/travel for any foreseeable future will be by car). As one speaker put it, our aim is to “own the Wellington market”, mainly using digital media, but other channels as well.

Obviously the marketing campaign can’t unfold until NZ reaches Level 1, at which point inter-regional travel will be permitted.

In the meantime, local hospo providers and attractions will be tasked to come up with creative promotional deals/packages to make irresistible offers to prospective Welly travellers.

From a creative standpoint, Hawke’s Bay will be positioned as offering experiences and convenient getaways –‘Hawke’s Bay-cations’ — that rival what travellers — in what already seems like another era — right normally have sought abroad. For example, Are you looking for a wine experience and can’t go the Barossa Valley? HB offers the same.

Seems like a smart marketing strategy, making the most of available resources and assets.

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