Kim Thorp
Marketing & Advertising Executive
Instrumental in developing the Hawke’s Bay Wine Country brand

What I would do …

1. Define the roles:

Define and agree on the separate roles of the separate entities, both private and public, with the responsibility of marketing Hawke’s Bay. Ensure the whole is as seamless as possible and that each has a clear understanding of what their responsibility is – and perhaps just as importantly – what it is not.

2. Define the audience:

I think some tough calls need to be made on who we talk to and how. Again, the decision on who we don’t spend money on attracting is just as important as who we do. I would suggest for example that the small budget available should ‘cross no waters’. In other words, perhaps we focus exclusively on people currently in the north Island or planning to be here – be they New Zealand citizens or international travelers. The audience obviously needs further definition, but at least that strategy would ring fence where to find them.

3. Define the message:

This should filter down through points one and two. The further away – physically or emotionally – a potential visitor is from making a decision to visit Hawke’s Bay, the more consistent the messaging should be. As they get closer to booking and deciding specifically what to do, they should get increased awareness of the diversity. To start with the diversity is to start with confusion. Through all the layers, ideally there would still be consistency. And with an increasingly sophisticated and discerning travel market, we should do all we can to avoid looking cheap, childish, amateurish – or average.

If I were allowed a 4th, I would say …

4. Spend time not spending money:

We need a strategy to make Hawke’s Bay much more newsworthy and much more sexy and exciting as a destination. This should be done through a combination of new events that have the potential to attract global attention, and a vibrant PR strategy to make it easier to attract the attention of international travel writers, magazines, blogs and programmes. While our budget perhaps should not cross any waters, our story certainly should.

As a final thought, I also would not move to the subsequent step until the preceding one  had been completely resolved, agreed and locked in for at least the medium term. This should help avoid both wheel spinning and reinventing it.

Join the Conversation


  1. I definitely think that the idea of marketing Hawkes Bay as a whole is the way to go. There's no one destination detail that carries as much mythic weight as the collective 'Hawkes Bay'…the weather , the wine , the space , the produce…Haumoana…Everything else is something to do when you've done all that.

    it's 'Hawkes Bay' that the rest of the Country (and tomorrow the world) refers to us as.

  2. In all the comment on how to market HB ECO tourist are all but missed.

    A list of destinations one could visit from a base in HB provintial towns and fragmentation becomes obvious. Try this example for a 2 day excursion with point start Napier.

    Day 1 morning

    The NCC Botanical Gardens

    The NCC Kiwi breeding facility Westshore

    Stop White Pine Bush for morning tea and time to walk round it

    On to Guthrie Smiths at Tutira for lunch and over night stay

    Day 1 afternoon

    Conducted tour of HBRC eco projects around lake.

    Dinner then a talk on Guthrie Smith and Tutira.

    Day 2 morning

    Farm breakfast then on to fenced lake Opowahi

    eco poject and met there by project staff.

    morning tea at DOC unfenced Bell Bird Bush sanctuary and DOC staff talk with time to walk some of the tracks.

    Return to Holts International forest tree collection at Waikahou for lunch.

    Day 2 afternoon

    Conducted foot tour round the tree plantation

    Afternoon tea then return to Napier via the

    back route awsome panoramic climb from Holts

    to the main higway junctin at the top of the devils elbow at the junction of Aropaonui and Waipatiki beach road turnoffs

    I took homestay clients when at Bay View on half or full day trips incorporating varients of that stated with Balls Clearing, the Mohaka hot pools and Pukititri Museum as options.

    Eco tourism is an undeveloped side of HB that caters for aware tourists that could be developed in numerous forms across HB from the North to the South with integrated Authority and private enterprise input including in the food and wine served on the eco tours.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.