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Manukau Aims To Market Itself

7 February 2005

Manukau Aims To Market Itself As The Region's Cultural Tourism Destination

Manukau City Council signalled its commitment to the city's tourism industry with two reports tabled at its first Economic Development Committee Meeting of the year on February 2.

Council announced its intention to work in partnership with Tourism Auckland and local tourism operators for the strategic development of tourism in Manukau. In tandem with this it also gave the thumbs up to the establishment of a Tourism Advisory Forum.

Council has for a number of years sought to help its smaller tourism operators by providing business advice and support through Enterprising Manukau.

Vicki Allen Council's tourism spokesperson says, "The unprecedented growth in tourism worldwide and its corresponding economic benefits has exciting implications for Manukau. The Auckland International Airport - the single largest tourism business in the region - is located in Manukau; yet, with all the benefits this offers, we have yet to maximise Manukau's full potential as a tourism destination.

"With the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre on track to open in April Manukau is reaching a critical mass of tourism related product, sufficient to make it imperative that tourism businesses are well supported by professional, well organised marketing and promotional activities.

"The partnership with Tourism Auckland will provide the best opportunity for Manukau tourism operators to attract both domestic and international visitors to the city.

"The forum will complement this partnership by providing industry input into the development and delivery of tourism in Manukau. We have selected members from the tourism industry who can adopt a strategic vision and work closely with local operators to increase their business."

Mrs Allen emphasizes, "As part of the wider Auckland region Manukau needs to differentiate itself from the other cities and identify its point of difference, which is as the region's cultural destination; ideally targeting the international interactive traveller - those who seek out educational experiences and the opportunity to engage with different cultures and host communities.

"Manukau has a unique selling point in its cultural diversity with 165 different ethnicities; identified by tourism New Zealand as the maindraw card for international visitors. "Priority must go to our city's unique projects such as the Gateway Heritage Trail incorporating the Otuataua Stonefields and Mangere Mountain; and premier cultural events such as the ASB Cultural Festival. The interactive traveller likes to choose food, wine and community experiences such as the Clevedon A & P show. There is ample opportunity for this type of tourism product to be further developed and showcased.

"We need to attract customers to our area through the key scenic or cultural attractions, or premier events; however other smaller attractions can be the most memorable, such as a craft shop in Whitford, a vineyard in Clevedon, or a superior dining experience at a city's café. But they need to know where to find them.

"Tourism operators need to provide the necessary information to encourage travellers to our city, with as much detail to help them make decisions well in advance so they choose us above others.

"These are just some of the areas we need to work at in order to raise Manukau's profile as an exciting tourism destination.

"Through the work of the Tourism Advisory Forum and the closer association created by Council's partnership with Tourism Auckland and local tour operators, we intend to position ourselves to capitalise on the immense opportunities to secure a greater market share in this valuable industry." says Mrs Allen.


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