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Mayor welcomes destination marketing report

Mayor welcomes destination marketing report

Mayor John Leggett has welcomed the recommendations of a destination marketing review prepared for the Council.

Council commissioned the review to ensure the region is receiving maximum value from the destination marketing that is taking place.

Mayor Leggett says the report is positive overall but gives some clear actions for Council to consider.
“The report’s author spoke to many people involved in tourism marketing here and outside the region. Feedback was passionate and constructive; everyone agrees that Marlborough is a great place to live and visit, with an abundance of activities and lifestyle options.”

“And everyone agrees we have two clear visitor brand offerings: ‘Wine Region’ and ‘Marlborough Sounds’, which both provide a great ‘playground’ for commercial providers and our visitors,” he said.

“It’s also clear from the report that one of the biggest opportunities we have is to improve collaboration between the Convention Centre, Clubs of Marlborough and the ASB Theatre, so they work more cohesively with Destination Marlborough to attract multi-day conferences here.”

“We need to work through the detail of what such a ‘venues review’ might look like, but there is definitely a significant opportunity there.”

The report notes that Marlborough has one of the best regional offerings for conference facilities in New Zealand.

Other recommendations include exploring low season joint ventures with Air New Zealand and the ferry companies, working directly with Airbnb to promote more local accommodation options, planning for the reopening of State Highway 1, and exploring whether Marlborough needs a further iconic event.

“Our domestic tourism numbers have reduced with the closure of State Highway 1 which has made access from Canterbury much more difficult. The cost of domestic flights and the Cook Strait ferry crossing are also seen by some as significant barriers.”

“The report finds that we are doing reasonably well, although with room for improvement, but we do have an excellent platform on which to build our future success as a visitor destination,” said Mr Leggett.

The report found that, generally, feedback about Destination Marlborough was positive. The report notes there is room to expand DM’s use of social media marketing and there are opportunities to better leverage its relationship with the Council. The report also says that day-to-day relationships with smaller tourism operators in Picton and the Sounds have not always been easy, and that resources may need to be found to help improve things.

The Mayor says the report clearly recommends that everyone needs to ‘get behind Marlborough’.

“Really successful regions have proud ambassadors and every Marlburian can be positive about our region to their friends, family members and contacts outside the region. We are all part of the solution. Tourism is a rapidly growing and important part of our future, providing a wide array of job opportunities for many of our people. Everyone has a role to play in spreading positive messages about just how good Marlborough is.”

Councillors supported a proposal to set terms of reference for a venues review, a review of the way Council delivers economic development, and a forum or summit for Marlborough’s tourism providers.
The full report is here: https://www.marlborough.govt.nz/your-council/marlborough-smart-and-connected/destination-marketing-review

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