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New tourism team at Northland Inc

Northland Inc has a dynamic new tourism team in place, working to promote the region to both domestic and international markets.

Tania Burt, who was appointed General Manager Destination in April, brings a wealth of experience to the team, including a previous stint as the Business Development Manager at the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

“Tourism is one of the best-performing sectors in Northland and provides opportunities for the economy to grow and communities to thrive. The work we do with iwi, government, industry and other key partners in product and destination development provides important benefits to the region,” she said.

“With significant investment in recent years, well-established businesses and exciting new developments, the variety of quality visitor experiences available is evident, and it is our priority to position Northland in full view of the tourism trade, media and visitors as the region of choice.”

Sarah Archer, Northland Inc’s new Trade Marketing Manager, was formerly the team’s Destination Marketing Assistant; she has also worked in regional promotion for Whangārei District Council and previously ran her own business in signage, branding and promotion.

“I’m thrilled to be appointed Trade Marketing Manager and excited to be part of the tourism economy,” she said. “My role incorporates promoting Northland domestically and internationally as a leisure destination for tourism, and also for conferences and incentives. I work with the industry’s trade and media in New Zealand and I also support local operators to become trade-ready by offering support and market advice.”

Lisa Cunningham, the newest member of the team, takes up the role of Destination Marketing Assistant. She has a background in high-end hospitality, working overseas on superyachts for five years before returning home to New Zealand, where she transitioned back to land-based life as the maître d’ at a luxury lodge in Northland.

“As part of the Destination team, I’m looking forward to putting my Northland roots to good use and promoting the region to our domestic and international partners. My prime role is to work with local businesses, operators and suppliers to coordinate trade and media familiarisation, as well as through online social channels in order to gain maximum exposure for the region.”

The growth in Northland’s popularity was recently underlined by Lonely Planet’s decision to rank the region among its top three destinations to visit in Asia Pacific in 2019. Tourism NZ has also placed Northland “front and centre” of international campaigns, showcasing what makes New Zealand such a unique and special destination.

In addition, the government has announced it will pump more than $1.6 million of tourism funding into the restoration, improvement and care of some of the region’s treasures. This includes a $1.14 million boost for restoring the Mauri of Matapouri Beach as well as a $539,000 upgrade of facilities at Whangārei’s Abbey Caves.

“Our work is to align with national industry objectives to improve regional visitor dispersal, decrease seasonality and increase visitor expenditure,” Ms Burt added. “It’s a pleasure to announce we now have a full destination team that provides an exciting mix of experience, skill and passion. I welcome Sarah and Lisa to their new roles and look forward to working together on behalf of the region to continue to grow Northland’s tourism sector.”

We asked the Northland Inc team: What makes Northland so special?

Tania Burt: “Northland is a stunning place with world-class potential and a heart of gold. The place, the people, the stories and experience unique to our region have something to offer everyone who is lucky enough to explore our backyard, including the locals among us.”

Sarah Archer: “What struck me when I first arrived here was the warmth of the people; it’s such a friendly, accommodating place. I love the sub-tropical climate, too, the kauri forests and the region’s beautiful and diverse coastlines. Northland has so much to offer.”

Lisa Cunningham: “It’s the ability to find hidden gems all over the region that makes it special for me. Even though I grew up here, I still find myself stumbling across secret beaches, beautiful lookouts, and discovering tidbits of interesting history. I also love the little foodie spots that pop up all over Northland, showcasing the tasty local produce and products.”

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