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Hawke’s Bay Prepares for More Cultured Visitors

Hawke’s Bay Tourism
Media Release
Thursday, February 10, 2005

Hawke’s Bay Prepares for More Cultured Visitors

Tourism forecasts for Hawke’s Bay point to a significant growth in visitors to the region over the next six years. Visitors to the region are predicted to spend 590,000 additional nights in 2010 compared to 2003. Much of this growth (430,000 visitor nights) is expected to be due to strong growth in international visitor numbers.

Hawke’s Bay Tourism is working to ensure that the region can handle this growth in a way that will see the region develop as a more distinctive and desirable destination. “We need to act now to provide visitors with even more outstanding experiences – particularly activities where visitors can enjoy our Hawke’s Bay culture,” says Hawke’s Bay Tourism GM, Hamish Lowry. “Tourism New Zealand is targeting “interactive travellers” that seek out new and authentic experiences that involve engagement and interaction with natural, social and cultural environments. Hawke’s Bay has the potential to provide interactive travellers with a wide variety of experiences from Maori, heritage and creative tourism through to food and wine experiences.”

Hawke’s Bay Tourism has put together a Cultural Tourism Accelerator Programme that will offer local tourism operators the chance to hear from leading New Zealand tourism agencies, learn from experienced tourism mentors, and even participate in a promotional event targeting business that bring international visitors to New Zealand. The programme has been developed as part of the Hawke’s Bay Cultural Tourism Development Plan which saw the region granted $100,000 by the Ministry of Tourism to develop its cultural tourism offering.

“Thanks to the support of the Ministry of Tourism we are able to offer local cultural, creative and culinary tourism businesses something relevant to their business today and as they grow to handle greater numbers of visitors in future” Mr Lowry said.

The Hawke’s Bay Cultural Tourism Accelerator Programme starts on 1 March 2005 and runs for three months. Craig Wilson of Quality Tourism Development will run the programme and will work with other tourism agencies such as Tourism New Zealand, The Ministry of Tourism and the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand in delivering the programme. Tourism operators interested in participating in this programme should contact Kerry Spence via kerry@hawkesbaynz.com

-ENDS-

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