It’s the end of an era for Coromandel Town’s Information Centre. Ever since moving to the current site nine years ago, Sandra Wilson has been running the centre. In that time, Sandra has overseen the development of the “Boom, Bust & Beyond” heritage walking tours, led the development of the new coromandeltown.nz website, and coordinated a digital marketing campaign to attract domestic tourists after the Covid-19 lockdowns.
After all this time, however, Sandra has relocated out of the area. Stepping into the breach is a new team - Sue Ngamane, Lynne Fenwick and Carolyn MacKenzie. Bringing a wealth of experience with regard to both the Coromandel Peninsula and i-SITE management, the trio are ushering in a new era of growth for the information centre, just in time for the influx of international tourists expected from the end of July.
As visitor numbers rise again, it’s critical that the Coromandel Town Information Centre is fully staffed and ready to introduce visitors to all the wonders and attractions of the area. Their work helps local businesses and attractions reach a far greater audience than they could hope to have achieved on their own. The centre can coordinate an entire visit by creating an itinerary and selling all the tickets someone will need while they are on the Coromandel.
Far from being simply a tourist or visitor amenity, the information centre is the heart of the Coromandel town community. There’s literally no end to the types of enquiries that the centre handles daily. Aside from tourism and travel information, the team are often called on to assist digitally-challenged residents trying to access online services such as banking and their Kiwisaver accounts, as well as supporting local events and amenities, and Thames-Coromandel District Council services. The centre has even rolled out an SMS messaging system to provide access to local information.
Just keeping the information centre running has long been a key achievement. Only partially supported by council funding, the centre relies on grants and runs events such as an annual art exhibition to fund all of its services and activities. Businesses from around the Peninsula are encouraged to place a business card-sized advertisement on the coromandel town.nz business directory for just $55 plus GST per year. This not only makes it easy for customers to find each business, but it also helps support the work of the centre.
Pictured is Lynne Fenwick, one of the trio responsible for the management of the Coromandel Town Information Centre.