White Island marketing project focus

The economic benefits of using White Island/Whakaari as a key promotional tool for Whakatane are to be assessed through a project incorporating the region's major tourism stakeholders.

The project, which initially involves the development of a destination marketing plan business case, was approved by the Whakatāne District Council's Policy Committee this week.

White Island. File photo.

Its first task will be to utilise the knowledge and experience of White Island tourism business operators, iwi, Tourism Bay of Plenty and Council staff to define destination management issues and options and complete an economic impact assessment.

That information will feed into a strategic business case and support the development of a destination management plan and actions, before the end of 2016.

Reporting to the Committee, Council Business Services Manager Roslyn Mortimer says the aim of the project is to identify the actions required to make Whakatāne a must-visit tourism destination.

'This approach seeks to emulate the positive economic and community outcomes which destinations like Kaikoura have achieved by using one iconic attraction to anchor their destination marketing.

'Tourism New Zealand and Tourism BOP are both promoting White Island/Whakaari heavily in key overseas markets and that is showing through strongly in our international visitor numbers and spending. This project seeks to build on those marketing initiatives and create a comprehensive process to coordinate all aspects of the visitor experience.”

Roslyn says the project aligns well with the strategies currently being implemented by Tourism NZ, Tourism BOP and national industry body, Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

'It will also contribute to achieving the goals of the Regional Growth Strategy and the Grow Whakatāne Action Plan, as well as responding to the feedback from our annual community perception surveys, which have consistently shown that the community wants to see more done to promote tourism and attract businesses.

'While White Island would be the key focus of a destination marketing plan, its scope would be much wider. The aim is to ensure that once visitors are in Whakatāne, we give them lots of reasons to stay longer, and come back again and again.

"We have unique stories to tell and destination marketing would encourage the development of a suite of top class attractions which will turn day trips into multiple-night stays.”

The report identifies more than 20 attractions in the cultural/heritage, eco-tourism, marine, walking/cycling and events sectors which are capable of contributing to a comprehensive destination experience.

Commenting on the project, the Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa (and former Whakatāne resident) Chris Roberts says he supports the focus on White Island/Whakaari as the ‘pull factor' for visitors.

'In industry-speak, we call this having a distinct visitor proposition. White Island is a unique, world-class attraction. It can be used as the anchor for promoting the district, pulling visitors in who will then discover the other delights of the area.”


In simple speak...

Posted on 22-08-2016 19:35 | By Rolly

We realise that we have a wonderful attraction in White Island. Despite our heavy promotion of this attraction thus far, we have all come to realise that it will actually be beneficial to focus on marketing White Island as part of an overall destination experience for visitors to Whakatane. With our new and improved collaborative approach, we have decided to now talk about how we should go about doing the job we should have been doing for more than a decade. Well done council staff and Tourism Bay of Plenty youre on to it!

white is

Posted on 23-08-2016 11:52 | By dumbkof2

perhaps if the tour operaters lowered the price more people would go


Posted on 23-08-2016 12:49 | By Capt_Kaveman

council has no part in business this is $ down the drain, lower prices means more people movement hence why i have never been there

In realistic terms - - -

Posted on 23-08-2016 12:55 | By AndyCap

Its almost impossible to lower prices and develop new tourism products and attractions when you have so many council barriers and hoops to jump through. Then theres the insatiable TBOP wanting their slice of the cake at every step of the tourism marketing process, including a 15% commission kickback. Prices will only go up, and attractions and tourism product offerings will decline, as they have steadily done over past years. In BOP, what happened to the harbour jet boats, the Mash helicopter experience, the Spring Loaded mud bugs, the flight simulator attraction at Tauranga airport, the Kaituna river jet boat rides, Kiwi360 kiwifruit and others - all gone for one reason or another. What brand new tourist attractions have been developed to take their place? Nothing! This is just more useless talk from those concerned to justify their existance. Good luck Whakatane, hope you succeed in getting things done.

Whakatane should go it alone!

Posted on 23-08-2016 14:04 | By Jayleen Wood

TBOP focus on the Tauranga cruise ship market as their mainstay. Organisations like this are online and street side tourism information and sales marketing businesses nothing more! When it comes to growing tourism, visitors want attractions to see and things to do. Build, develop and expand your offerings - and they will come it really is that simple! The Whakatane council should streamline the process and make it easy for tourism business investors to develop new attractions and additional tourism services in Whakatane. It is up to council to work directly with private enterprise, not against it, or in competition with it, or via another organisation in order to achieve these goals. Provide incentives and a welcoming and unified tourism shop window. The word will get out and Whakatanes tourism will grow from strength to strength.


Posted on 23-08-2016 16:13 | By Tamati TK

Definitely so, in Tauranga we had heaps more tourist attractions years ago! What happened to the talked about new water fun park ,- new wake board ski park and the new kiwifruit tours and moMunt zip line? These tourism people love to hear themselves talk the talk, but have no positive outcomes on furthering the development any new attractions for tourists. It will be the same with Whakatane.

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