Welcome to our new column in which we look forward to bringing you updates on our activities and the local tourism sector. Tourism is now New Zealand’s primary generator of overseas funds and Matakana Coast Tourism (MCT) has been established to coordinate our regional efforts to take advantage of the significant growth in tourism in the years to come.
I was appointed last year as MCT’s full-time Regional Tourism Coordinator to promote our beautiful region and manage the Warkworth i-SITE Visitor Information Centre. Our i-SITE based team, which now includes myself, Daphne, Asher and Bubbles, has been busy reconnecting with our members and the wider community whilst promoting the region at major travel, trade and consumer events.
Last year we showcased the region at consumer shows in Auckland and the Waikato, which provided valuable insights on where our future domestic marketing efforts should be focused. This year we have attended Convene (conference trade show) and TRENZ (NZ’s largest international travel trade show). These are important trade events to promote the Matakana Coast Wine Country region and our members, who wish to gain a higher profile at such events to both start and build upon relationships with key travel industry contacts. Coming up, we will again be showcasing the region on May 24 at a Regional Expo in Auckland, organised by Auckland Tourism Events & Economic Development (ATEED).
Communication is a key aspect of what we do. We aim to make sure our communications programme connects with our local residents, the wider travelling public and travel industry. We now use a Facebook page and regularly feature the region through our consumer and trade newsletters. These have proved to be a good reference for our members and visitors.
Along with talking with people face-to-face, providing an online platform for visitors has been a high priority. Our website – matakanacoast.co.nz – is continuously being updated to help users plan their visits. It now provides visitors with the option to book accommodation using Bookit and their transport needs with InterCity to and from the region and around the country. Another new exciting web site feature is having our 2016 Matakana Coast Visitor Guide available for download.
The Matakana Coast continues to be very popular with domestic and international visitors. We have a had a very successful extended summer where February was especially busy with the Auckland region reaching capacity on a regular basis, as did the rest of NZ. The team and I pride ourselves on helping tourists arrange their visit, as well as book their next stops around the country.
A key part of re-establishing the Warkworth i-SITE as a community managed facility has been connecting back with our local residents. Our experienced team at the i-SITE can assist you, your family or friends with booking travel to the region and throughout New Zealand. So if you’re planning your next trip away let us do all the running around for you. It doesn’t cost you any more, in fact we might even save you money! Pop in for a chat – you might even pick up a nice gift from our ever growing local art/ gift-ware range.