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Technology boost for tourism

marketing workshop

Breaking down technical barriers was the driver behind a marketing workshop held for local tourism operators recently.

Managing social media, online promotion and technology had been identified as trouble spots by local tourism operators and suppliers.

In response a marketing workshop was arranged utilising knowledge from Hawke’s Bay Tourism and aimed at upskilling locals.

The free workshop was operated as a trial and proved so successful it is planned to run more sessions if there is enough demand.

The one-day workshop included a visit from six Hawke’s Bay Tourism staff who presented on functions of the regional group in the morning with one-on-one technical support in the afternoon.

Hawke’s Bay Tourism Chief Executive Hamish Saxton said he and his team were inspired by the visit.

“Wairoa is an absolute hidden gem; and while that’s part of its charm, it isn’t always helpful from a tourism perspective.

“The workshop was about connecting with the wonderful tourism operators in the Wairoa District. It was about partnership and ensuring Hawke’s Bay Tourism is helping businesses achieve their own individual aspirations while also promoting the district as a whole.

“Wairoa offers something truly special; an authenticity that can be hard to find in bigger places but is available in bucketloads across this stunning landscape.”

Wairoa District Council interim chief executive Kitea Tipuna said feedback from the operators who took part was that they received a real boost from the workshop and felt empowered by their knowledge and understanding of a new range of technology tools.

“In this post-COVID-19 recovery phase we are seeing some unprecedented tourism stats flowing out of our district.

“For the 12 months to July the Wairoa District had the highest year-on-year growth for domestic visitor spend out of all 67 territorial authorities.

“That momentum continued in the 12 months to August, with Wairoa one of only eight territorial authorities that had a positive domestic growth rate for that period.

Mr Tipuna congratulated i-Site manager Rubyanne Edwards on taking the initiative and the success of the workshop.

Any operators interested in attending a marketing workshop next year should register their interest by emailing


Local tourism operators were empowered by knowledge at a recent Wairoa i-Site/Hawkes Bay Tourism marketing workshop. Pictured from left, back, Hawkes Bay Tourism marketing manager Ben Hutton, Hawkes Bay Tourism Travel Trade Sales and Marketing Manager Heather Matthews, Lorna Whaanga of Sanctuary Lodge Mahanga, Hawkes Bay Tourism chief executive Hamish Saxton, Hawkes Bay Tourism Consumer Marketing Megan Best, Central Hawkes Bay co-ordinator Felicity Carr. Front, David King local tourism operator, Louise Schick of Reomoana Mahanga, Wairoa i-Site manager Rubyanne Edwards, Hawke’s Bay Tourism Media and public relations manager, Jessica Wiggans and Fran Profitt of Lake Road Lavender Farm.

12 November 2020

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