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Team Approach to Growing Tourism in Marlborough

19 October 2018

Visitor spend in Marlborough increased dramatically following the opening of SH1 in December 2017 resulting in a total of $387 million of new money into the local economy to year end March 2018, up 8% on the previous year and up 7% on 2016 pre-quake spend.

The Destination Marlborough Report on Annual Plan published this week revealed how the organisation contributed to that result, along with achieving or exceeding over 90% of the service levels set by the Trust for the year to June 2018.

With the dramatic impact of the earthquake on visitor access from Canterbury, Destination Marlborough’s core focus over the last 12 months was initially to attract visitors from areas where access was not affected, then to put additional effort into Canterbury to celebrate the reopening.

The Report details how the team undertook a series of targeted campaigns across Australia and New Zealand to influence visitation and partnered with Tourism New Zealand, Christchurch International Airport Ltd and Wellington Regional Development Agency to leverage Marlborough’s marketing investment attracting another $1.84 million of local and national industry partner support. Additional to this was the $16 million worth of global media coverage generated during the year in partnership with Tourism New Zealand. This work was recognised nationally with Destination Marlborough receiving the ‘Best Industry Collaborator’ Award from Regional Tourism New Zealand last month.

Business Events Marlborough, a business unit of Destination Marlborough, continued to lead regional promotion of Marlborough as Conference and Incentive destination resulting in conference bid wins during the year equating to 1200 delegates, 3320 bed nights and estimated to be worth $1,722,000 in economic value to the region.

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The cruise sector is going from strength to strength. Visitors arriving into Marlborough by cruise ship spent $18 million during the 2017/18 cruise season, up 80% on the previous year. Marlborough’s growth was one of the highest in the country, four times that of the national average. Destination Marlborough continues to drive and lead the cruise sector through operations and excursion management at Picton i-SITE on cruise days and through hosting key shore excursion executives and decision makers, and Captains and crew while in Port. 43 portside visits are scheduled for the coming season bringing an additional 10,000 more passengers than last season.

Destination Marlborough Chairman Nigel Gould reflected on the year saying that along with the strong performance by a very competent team led by GM Jacqui Lloyd, he is heartened by the engagement by the local industry. “Throughout the year Marlborough operators have invested in product, vessels and refurbishment and together with Destination Marlborough are collaborating more effectively as ‘Team Marlborough’ reflecting a positive and buoyant industry. ”

Destination Marlborough is a not-for-profit Trust established by Marlborough District Council to market Marlborough as a visitor destination. The organisation also operates the Picton, Blenheim and Havelock i-SITE Visitor Information Centres and Business Events Marlborough on behalf of the region.


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