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Northland Launches New Tourism Strategy

Northland Launches New Tourism Strategy

At a function in Whangarei today attended by the Minister of Tourism Mark Burton, Mike Simm, chairman of Enterprise Northland launched the new

“Northland Tourism Strategy 2003 to 2008 and Beyond” “Forward Together – Kokiri Ngatahi”

to key industry operators and local government officials.

“It is quite simply the best regional tourism strategy in New Zealand – its 100 plus recommendations provide a framework to guide the development of Northland tourism, to allocate responsibilities, to identify issues, to develop action plans and to chart a positive, profitable and sustainable future for tourism in Northland” he said.

Building on the very successful 1996 tourism strategy which saw annual tourism earnings for Northland grow from $300 million in 1995 to $541*million (*comprised of $227m domestic, $129m domestic day tripper and $185m international expenditure) by December 2001, the strategy forecasts Northland Tourism growth to 2008 of:

Domestic 17% increase in domestic bed days to 5,255,000 17% increase in domestic visitors to 1,522,000 22% increase in domestic expenditure to $278 million International 48% increase in international bed days to 2,215,000 45% increase in international visitors to 485,000 70% increase in international expenditure to $316 million

Mr Simm said Northland’s recently announced Major Regional Initiative “Activate Northland” through the Regional Partnership Programme with Trade and Enterprise New Zealand which plans to help small business to accelerate the potential of tourism will deliver a further $53 million of tourism expenditure, 600 plus new jobs, and a GDP increment of $86 million, to the Northland economy by December 2008.

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These are exciting times for Northland tourism. While marketing of the Twin Coast Discovery Highway Touring route will be key to spread the benefits of tourism throughout the many communities of Northland, the strategy focuses on achieving sustainable growth, the formation of a sustainable tourism charter, more Maori involvement in tourism and product development and targeting and alignment with Tourism New Zealand’s key target audience the interactive traveler. These visitors travel regularly, seek authentic experiences, actively participate in the natural environment and are environmentally and culturally aware. Northland is superbly positioned to attract these visitors.

Northland now has a new best practice approach based on sustainability, yield, Maori participation, public private partnership and strong branding – Northland is the first region to fully consider and respond to the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010 and the first region to have a Major Regional Initiative based on Tourism.

Key recommendations from the strategy included:

upgrading of visitor facilities at key icon attractor sites establishment of a tourism development group with representatives from the regions, tourism operators and stakeholders to guide the strategy implementation increased focus on the vital role that local government plays in tourism increased emphasis on destination management and the monitoring of tourism impacts delivery of an integrated web marketing programme further development of a visitor information network strategy continued support from local government and industry for tourism marketing targeted marketing lead by the “Northland Naturally – First Region of New Zealand “ brand strategies to increase yield and address seasonality issues

“The new Northland tourism strategy we are here today to celebrate and launch is yet another example of Northland creating its own future, of leading and living the brand, Northland Naturally – First Region of New Zealand”.

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