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Artwork by student Charlie Faulks, for Te Ha Trust.

Bi-cultural heritage is a main driver to attract tourists here

12 October 2016, Rehette Stoltz, The Gisborne Herald

The feedback I have received during my election campaign about us promoting ourselves to the rest of the world as Tairawhiti Gisborne were overwhelmingly supportive. 

Residents are excited that Activate Tairawhiti has done targeted market research to quiz possible visitors and also that they were privy to Air New Zealand databases to test what would make tourists want to come here.

We have so much on offer — sun, beaches, fabulous food and wine — but one thing that every research respondent agreed makes us unique is our wonderful bi-cultural heritage. This is one of our main attractions and it will be a main driver to attract tourists to our beautiful part of the world.

In order to recognise and embrace this unique value, it was identified that we need to have Tairawhiti as well as Gisborne in our marketing strategy. That is who we are. Our town is called Gisborne and our region is Tairawhiti. Nothing new there. We are not changing any names.

What we are doing is promoting our region to possible visitors. We do not need to sell our region to ourselves — we love it and that is why we live here.

Activate Tairawhiti, with generous support from Eastland Community Trust, is working hard behind the scenes to get the campaign ready — it is slowly taking shape and local creatives are working alongside Roger MacDonnell and his team to create a campaign that will appeal to possible visitors. It is a three-year project with a lot of potential.

There is a lot of support and excitement in our community about the possibilities of this campaign. If you are unsure about the campaign, why not give it the benefit of the doubt and let’s see if it sells our great region to possible visitors.

Rehette Stoltz

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