The Waitaki community and businesses are invited to join Tourism Waitaki in a campaign to draw national and domestic visitors into the region post COVID-19.
Tourism Waitaki shared the campaign with the Waitaki District Council and tourism groups today.
"We have produced a range of free digital assets to be distributed throughout the district to families, businesses, even local community associations to add their personal touch using individual images that are special to them," general manager Margaret Munro says.
"This can include business images and logos, and we want them shared around New Zealand to their family, friends or customer connections."
The campaign, titled 'We are missing you' will be rolled out in three stages, with the first commencing this week. The messaging will be changed with each stage.
"We know from estimated spend data in the Waitaki District that the domestic spend (68 per cent) far outweighed that of international (32 per cent), so this campaign is aimed at bringing those domestic visitors back," she said.
Tourism Waitaki, like many in the tourism industry, has found itself with a challenging future ahead and fully understands the impact on the sector.
It has lost 80 per cent of its operational revenue, historically drawn from operating its own tourism attractions and is now left with no customers for an unknown length of time.
"The future poses a complex challenge for our organisation," says Margaret.
"We have been assessing the focus and needs of the business, ranging from supporting the tourism businesses in the district who are also facing issues, and ensuring attractions such as the penguin colony are in a position to restart when visitors return."
Waitaki Mayor, Gary Kircher was very supportive of Tourism Waitaki’s campaign.
"With around 75 per cent of our previous visitor market consisting of New Zealanders, we have a strong base on which to grow domestic tourism. Many of these Kiwis coming to Waitaki are friends and families of locals, so getting our locals to be even more vocal about the wonderful attributes of our district makes good sense!" he says.
"This campaign I am sure will stimulate the regeneration of visitors to the Waitaki, once it’s safe to travel."
Mayor Kircher says Council understood the difficult times that lay ahead for Waitaki’s tourism sector.
"We anticipate there will be a flow of regional and national visitors but we don’t know when that might start, and that makes it very difficult for many of our small and medium businesses to plan for their futures." he says.
"We accept the return of any international visitors will be well in the future but every single Waitakian can play a part in the recovery. Let’s get out there and fly the flag for our many amazing communities and diverse scenery, from the hills and back country of Palmerston and the Ahuriri, to the coastal attractions of Moeraki, Kakanui and Shag Point – we have so much to share with other Kiwis!"