Monday, March 4, 2024
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New event offers skills to help tourism businesses talk to communities

Communications professionals will learn how to increase support for tourism through better storytelling at a new event coming to Auckland this March.

The full-day Discussing Tourism – Communications event, organised by Tourism Industry Aotearoa, is a unique opportunity for tourism communications professionals to share ideas, build capability and network among their peers.

The event will focus on how the tourism industry can build social licence by sharing its stories with New Zealand communities.

“Welcoming, supportive communities are a vital part of what New Zealand has to offer our visitors," says TIA communications manager Ann-Marie Johnson.

"With the rapid growth in tourism, we want to ensure that the industry protects and enhances its social licence to operate. An important way to achieve this is to share positive stories about how tourism is benefitting our communities and environment."

Part of the day will be dedicated to lessons from other sectors, including Federated Farmers and the seafood and dairy industries. Presentations on storytelling and emotional engagement will be supported by advice from media professionals on what kind of content they are looking for and how to make a successful pitch.

Media panellists will include Sunday Star-Times editor Tracy Watkins, Tourism Ticker publisher Paul Yandall and freelance journalist/Tourism Storyteller Sue Hoffart.

“The New Zealand news media landscape is changing rapidly," says Ann-Marie.

"Traditional media outlets are facing growing competition from social media and online channels – and with global health scares, natural disasters and destructive weather, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to capture journalists’ attention and place our positive tourism stories in front of New Zealanders."

Following recent challenges for the industry, a session on how to manage media during a crisis is sure to attract a high level of interest.

TIA hopes the day will spark a movement of positive tourism stories in the media, as well as providing tourism communicators with an opportunity to network and learn valuable skills.

The event was born out of TIA’s ‘Tourism Story’ project, which aims to create positive tourism content for traditional and social media, and to empower industry members to act as advocates to positively influence the public discourse on tourism.

Tourism communications professionals should register now as spaces are limited.

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