In our lifetime?
I’ve been fairly restrained in commenting on the recent woes of Venture Hawke’s Bay (VHB), mostly because we so badly need this organization to work. But Thursday’s media release from our economic development and tourism agency might have pushed me over the edge … reassuring cheerleading by HB Today for Team HB in action in Shanghai notwithstanding.
The Regional Council release gushed that a consulting team has just been contracted to produce a regional events strategy for Hawke’s Bay. Sounds good, yes?
I was part of a group of “stakeholders” and “experts” assembled back in February by HB Wine Country Tourism to generate ideas and a plan of action for invigorating the Bay’s tourism performance.
As I recall, the top recommendation of this group was to put together a regional events strategy. And even then, we were reassured by VHB that this was already a priority in their shop … indeed groundwork was already underway.
I would have expected the grand unveiling of this strategy to have occurred by now.
But instead, today’s non-news release simply announces that the consultants have finally been hired … an “extensive consultation process” will begin August 25th … and the strategy will be completed by the end of September.
Incredible! What’s been going on? Given the track record at this point, the only reason this strategy might be tabled in our lifetime is because VHB will run out of consulting money. What happened in the six months since February?
Are we now to believe that it will take only one month (including “extensive consultation”) to put together the grand strategy upon which so many high and hopeful expectations are resting? Says VHB’s Michael Wan: “The outcome will be a robust strategy that we hope will have regional buy-in and appeal, particularly for those making planning or investment decisions around events.”
It had better be one helluva strategy!
P.S. And you wonder why I’m standing for Regional Council?! See my ten-point plan for better marketing the Bay on my new campaign website … www.tombelford.co.nz