Thursday, 03 December 2020

WHITIANGA WEATHER

$700,000 in funding to support Coromandel tourism sector

An additional $700,000 is to be ploughed into the Coromandel’s tourism sector as the industry continues to navigate its way through uncertain times.

The money has been granted to Destination Coromandel from the Government’s COVID-19 Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP), and will support a newly developed investment plan that will be rolled out alongside the organisation’s existing marketing and promotion activities which are funded by Thames-Coromandel and Hauraki District Councils.

Destination Coromandel general manager, Hadley Dryden, said the funds will be used to bring in specialist support to assist tourism stakeholders, iwi/Māori and local communities to respond to the current environment and to plan for the future. “As a marketing organisation, we previously haven’t had the resources within our team to deliver an ambitious programme,” he said.

The funding received was for activities across three approved categories - destination management and planning, industry capacity building/product development and domestic marketing.

“It is much more than supporting a return to the way things were pre-COVID-19,” Mr Dryden said. “We will be able to scope several exciting regional projects that have the potential to make a real impact on our communities, both economically through the visitor industry and socially. The Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, Ridges MTB Park and Gold Heritage Product Development in conjunction with the Hauraki Rail Trail Trust are three key projects on the list.”

Ridges Mountain Bike Park is located just outside Whangamata and features a variety of tracks suitable for all ages and abilities. Pukorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre is owned and operated by the Pūkorokoro Miranda Naturalists’ Trust and has a strong focus on promoting awareness of the Miranda coast and its flora and fauna, while the Hauraki Rail Trail navigates some of the region’s most prominent historical and current mining communities from Thames, through Waikino and on to Waihi. What specific work or initiatives will be funded for these projects has yet to be confirmed by Destination Coromandel.

Some of the $700,000 will also be allocated to targeted domestic marketing and access to data to help support decision making and monitor results. “A summer campaign, the first ever undertaken by Destination Coromandel, is now essential to make sure our visitor industry partners have the best possible high season, to reward their resilience and belief through some very tough times,” Mr Dryden said.

Destination Coromandel is also reminding local industry operators to take advantage of the Tourism Transitions Programme which offers support to the tourism industry to recover from the impact of COVID-19, with the focus on business continuity to secure long-term sustainability. “This programme is free of charge and will provide information such as how to transition for the domestic market, preparing for trans-Tasman tourism and moving in and out of hibernation,” Mr Dryden said. “The programme has already been accessed by a number of businesses on the Coromandel and is still available for anyone that needs help with continuity planning. Get in touch with us if you would like more information.”

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