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New Zealand is preparing to put its regional foot forward

Smaller pockets of the country are in line for a serious profile push to help travellers explore more of the country.

New Zealand's regions, such as Bay of Plenty, are eager to grow their profile.

The unique attractions of New Zealand’s various regional pockets will be amplified in a variety of new campaigns to be rolled out over the next two years, designed to help travellers venture out from its major cities to discover more of the country.

New Zealand’s Central Government will provide NZ$5 million (AUD$4.6m) over the next two years to fund the creation of a national destination management team tasked with helping various regions across the country with implementing their own destination marketing plans.

This team will assist with bringing campaigns to life across desired channels, whether local or international, as well as helping regional destinations to work more collaboratively with Tourism New Zealand at a national level.

Tologa Bay, near Gisborne.

Campaigns will also be boosted by an additional $11.5m (AUD$10.7m) in funding provided by the government’s $47m COVID-19 relief package for Regional Tourism Organisations.

As greater numbers of travellers head back to New Zealand, the new marketing push is aimed at helping travellers discover what’s outside of the major cities as well as making sure each region is equipped to handle larger crowds and manage broader expectations and any negative impacts.

These ambitions must also be carefully managed against the expectations of the local community, with every region large and small having different needs and perspectives.

There's so much to see outside of New Zealand's major cities.

New Zealand Tourism Minister Peeni Henare said he wants people visiting the regions, having a great experience and spending money to boost local economies and create jobs, while minimising the impact bigger crowds have.

“Through destination planning, regions aim to develop a well-managed, sustainable visitor destination that can adapt and change, depending on the region’s needs or opportunities from a social, economic, cultural and environmental point of view,” Minister Henare said.

“The additional funding from the international visitor levy will put a team in place that is responsible for progressing destination management activity nationally, working closely with tourism organisations and business, government, and communities across Aotearoa to improve the visitor experience.”

More information on New Zealand’s regional destination management plans can be found here.

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 6 July 2023

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