Collaboration across the regions brings excellent results, Queenstown Lakes Mayor
I was asked by a journalist recently to explain why the Queenstown Lakes District Council was spending so much on marketing Queenstown to Kiwi travellers and not so much on marketing Wanaka.
I have to say this wound me up a bit. Firstly, tourism promotion is the mandate of our local regional tourism organisations — Lake Wanaka Tourism and Destination Queenstown.
It is up to the experts employed in those organisations to decide their individual levels of promotion and target markets. Secondly, and far more importantly, we are one district.
Now, more than ever before, is the time when we need to work together and show solidarity.
Wanaka and Queenstown, and indeed the Queenstown Lakes district with our regional neighbours in Central Otago, Clutha and Southland, are not competing destinations.
Rather they are complementary to each other and must collaborate to attract Kiwis from other parts of the country.
Each township has a unique offering with a unique community supporting it and recognising and embracing our commonality in these tough times is vitally important.
There have been several great examples of regional collaboration recently.
The Southern Institute of Technology recently ran Agricultural Expos in Queenstown and Te Anau to match those out of work in tourism with readily available agricultural jobs in Southland.
Similarly, I have had offers of construction sector work available in the Clutha district for builders made redundant in our own district.
For some time now, some of the best and brightest from across the South have met to discuss a sustainable and successful future for tourism in Milford Sound.
These kinds of collaboration bring excellent results and broaden our appeal both as a holiday destination and as a place to live.
Collectively, we are stronger. I strongly urge that we become one regional team within New Zealand’s team of 5 million.