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Onehunga and Manukau Harbour "shadows of their true selves"

Onehunga and the Manukau Harbour are shadows of their true selves say tourism researchers

Business owners and community organisations around the Manukau Harbour can find out how to improve their online visibility at a presentation by tourism researchers on 30 April.

The Manukau Harbour Restoration Society (MHRS) has commissioned AUT University’s New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI) to conduct research into the recreation and tourism potential of the Manukau Harbour, which is supported and funded by the nine Local Boards of Auckland Council that make up the Manukau Harbour Forum.

Researchers have finished the first phase of the project, reviewing the online presence of tourism and recreational activities located near the harbour. Their audit identified gaps in the information that can be found online about businesses and experiences on offer, and the way that related web content is linked. That means online searches give an incomplete picture of the offerings around the harbour in centres like Onehunga and people using the web to look for information struggle to take a useful ‘digital journey’ through what the harbour and surrounding centres have to offer.

Fortunately, there are some simple ‘fixes’ that will make a difference to the online experience, says NZTRI researcher Carolyn Deuchar, who will share tips on how businesses and communities can boost their online visibility, and therefore become easier to find.

The Onehunga presentation is the third of three community-based presentations around the harbour where researchers have been encouraging communities to understand the research, get value from its early findings, and contribute to the body of information the researchers will analyse.

The second phase of the research comprises online surveys for Manukau Harbour locals and visitors about what the harbour means to them. The survey (address below) is open until September to allow for the collection of low season data and researchers are keen to gather as many responses as possible from those who live around the harbour and from people who have recently visited the area.

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