With a major trumpet flourish, the Napier City Council announced back on October 1 that it was committing an additional $100,000 to bring tourists to Napier and thus help the city’s struggling hospitality industry. (Here’s the press release.)
Now it looks like the only urgency for this “commitment” was getting the announcement out during the final run-up to Election Day.
Today, nearly two months later, the Napier Council’s Tourism & Economic Development Committee met. The question was asked … what’s happening with the $100,000.
Answer: “We’re just starting to plan that.”
For a Council that can’t resist throwing rocks at Venture Hawke’s Bay (today, according to Mayor Arnott, it was VHB’s fault that French tour operators have booked French rugby fans into Rotorua instead of Napier), the Napier Councillors seem to be living in a glass house.
You can bet your tourist dollar that BayBuzz will be eagerly watching to see the pay-off from NCC’s additional $100,000 election pandering tourism investment.
It’s supposed to bring domestic and Australian tourists to Napier during the shoulder season following this summer. Napier moteliers … probably best to board up for now, take the summer off, and keep your sheets fresh for the big shoulder push!
Perhaps Napier Council’s tourism experts might better spend their energy trying to figure out why Art Deco guided walks have fallen off precipitously since their peak in 2007 (judging from a bar chart given the Council, about 23,000 then) to 15,454 in 2010. Could this be what one calls a “red flag” regarding the lustre of Art Deco? Or does it simply reflect overall lower tourism numbers (which, of course, global recession aside, would make it VHB’s fault)?