A word from Dylan Rushbrook, Tourism Central Otago general manager

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Don’t miss out on having your say

This week the Tourism Central Otago team is changing gear, pun intended.

We are still buzzing, but must put behind us the excitement of the Crankworx Summer Series opening weekend in Alexandra, and zone in on what our community wants for its tourism future.

But for those of us (myself included) left wanting more, the Crankworx Summer Series continues in Queenstown and Wanaka until December 12.

I can also confirm work is already under way to bring the event back next year.

Before I move on, I must acknowledge the support from the local community, especially in Alexandra.

Your support made the event an epic success, no other way to put it

And that feels like a nice lead-in to this week’s topic tourism future.

Hopefully you’ve seen the invitation to participate in an online survey to capture the future tourism vision for Central Otago from our communities.

If you haven’t seen the invitation please go to https://centralotagonz.com/destination-management and register.

Once the survey is live, you will receive a link to the survey.

Note the survey is only live for two weeks, so don’t delay.

This is your chance to help mould what the next 50 years looks like for Central, and how tourism can be a vehicle to get us there.

It is important we hear from as many voices as possible in the community. For those who may not have internet access at home, kiosks will be made available at CODC libraries across the district, and direct in-person surveys will also be carried out in the community.

This piece of research will inform CODC’s destination management planning, which in turn will inform councillors and central government of the type of visitor industry we all want for our future.

I have said it before, but I think it’s important to note once again.

We are not blind to the negatives tourism can cause within a host community.

Tourism left unmanaged can destroy small communities, while only a few people get rich.

However, it’s also important to note tourism can be a positive force. Managed and developed in the right way, tourism can lift pride, diversity, and social and physical wellbeing within host communities.

So, it is critical we hear from our host community what type of tourism future you want.