Chief Executive, Mission Estate Winery
Hawke’s Bay is outstanding in every respect, but has no single unique tourism proposition, like Rotorua’s “Thermal Explorer Highway”.
The tourism sector therefore needs to develop sustainable tourism products and integrated promotional plans that deliver an exciting tourism offering. Product development needs to be executed in conjunction with service delivery criteria – that is, world class products with internationally accepted service levels. By effectively developing current and new tourism products we will create diverse activities, encourage longer stays with high levels of consumer satisfaction, but more importantly define the destination.
The destination and its offering can then be promoted both nationally and internationally at selected target markets. The destination or product offering can also be targeted at specific market segments – for example, food and wine, events and inbound operators.
Venture Hawke’s Bay needs to work very closely with the tourism sector to assist with new product development, but more importantly, to develop and target promotional activity to raise and maintain awareness. This is particularly difficult given the scope of the target markets and available budgets. In this regard, considerable effort has been placed on leveraging the activities of Tourism NZ inbound programs, and closer associations with the Inbound Tour Operators Council of New Zealand (ITOC), airlines, i-sites, the AA and other regional tourism organizations. But a lot more needs to be done.
In the longer term, we also need significantly improved infrastructure to enhance our product offering – jet-capable airport, broadband, roading and a port capable of handling larger vessels. It is only with time and consistent effort that our tourism sector will grow in size and stature to complement our already-established reputation for food, and more recently, our wine production.
Hawke’s Bay, the complete visitor experience – “everything under the sun”.