March 11, 2009
A busy Wellington resident Japanese born Kiwi who took a
short break with her partner in Pelorus Sound says the Sounds
are an attractive place in which to chill out. She says stimulus
and information for planning a long Marlborough weekend away
would attract affluent Wellingtonians. She considers that
weekend packages would also help appeal to other people with
her background. It is not a question of ethnicity, but of
matching people to special interest attractions, she says.
A Wellington taxi driver describes Blenheim as flat and boring.
But then he adds, passengers are attracted by the idea of
the Queen Charlotte walkway, and the wine trail. He says his
company could be approached to distribute cards and other
promotion about Marlborough attractions.
An Auckland professional couple made a rendezvous with Wellington
and Nelson family members to walk the Queen Charlotte track
– and then went by water taxi to relax in a Pelorus
homestay before catching a bus in Havelock to connect with
a scheduled flight home from Nelson.
Another Auckland business couple, planning a Sounds visit
in the spring, ask about float plane access.
Australians ask a local taxi driver why they cannot go on
tour in a seafood processing plant in Havelock.
A major Wellington transport service says it is time for
Marlborough to step up its promotion – and offers support
for good agreed projects.
Auckland and Wellington travel editors ask what fresh angles
there are for stories about Marlborough destinations.
Some of these questions are being met by events and trails,
through conference and tour packages.
Stepped up promotion can help head off recession challenges,
and is consistent with wider tourism development. Partnerships
to mobilize more marketing resources are desirable and possible.
Increased visitor spend can help lessen the blows on local
businesses and jobs.
Tourism interests now taking initiatives to create demand
for Marlborough’s autumn are turning their minds to
seasons further ahead. Short term initiatives could be taken
to help the Marlborough region attract lower North Island
visitors. Campaigns could be defined and launched swiftly
– including targeting visits during off peak times.
Help potential visitors plan how to get here. Brief them
on what they can do here. Offer them souvenirs that stimulate
visits from people they know. Visitors could be attracted
with promotions about tastes of wine, food, water, wilderness
and other appealing local experiences. They can be informed
about transport, accommodation and other services they will
need and want.
A set of initiatives targeting the lower North Island can
be focused on the transport services that cross Cook Strait.
Deepen existing and create new partnerships.
More promotional material on the InterIslander would help
reach over a million people who cross Cook Strait each year
– and could be focused on encouraging them to stop over,
instead of just passing through. More promotional materials
to Wellingtonians through mail boxes and other channels –
particularly those already successfully used by Marlborough
marketers - would be good for locals and the transport services
that cross the Strait. Users of hotels and rental cars, and
schools planning for camps later in the year, could be amongst
The case for Marlborough could be made more emphatically
to known and potential travelers with the cooperation of intermediaries,
such as regional tourism and development organisations, i-SITES,
tourism operators, media, postal and others interested. Returns
on investment can be anticipated from increased visitor spending
on Marlborough goods and services.
The extra initiatives should take into account existing cooperation
around events and trails and can be supported by publishing
in a range of media.
The targeted tourism development would complement, and as
far as they agreed, involve public and private sector interests
with existing or in-development anti recessionary targeted
Effective promotion, and the potential growth in Marlborough’s
share of domestic tourism, is a practical way to support the
goals of the Prime Minister’s Jobs Summit, help ward
off the spiral of despondency and rebuild confidence.