SunLive         

Tourism in the Coastal Bay of Plenty is a rapidly growing, dynamic industry with many opportunities.

And, while establishing a tourism business seems attractive, it can be daunting.

From mastering business plans, to the cruise sector to travel trade marketing, the reality is it’s hard work and a helping hand never goes amiss.

Which is why alongside unpacking the Bay of Plenty’s DNA we’ve created a ‘how to’ document, the Tourism Toolkit, that will be a guide for new and emerging tourism businesses in the Bay of Plenty.

Because how, why and where people travel is changing.

Today’s traveller is a ‘temporary local’ seeking emotional connections to the destinations they visit. These connections are based on the relationships they form, the authenticity of the experiences they have, and how those experiences cater to their passions and interests.

It requires us to tell an authentic regional story that engages and inspires visitors and instils pride in those who live here.

So, if you’re an emerging or potential tourism operator you must do your homework; be clear about what you want to achieve, keep your goals realistic, include a budget and pricing structure, and research your industry and speak with your potential customers to gauge demand. 

Only then will you have the foundation to successfully start, and promote, your business.

A website, social media (Facebook and Instagram), marketing material (brochures and flyers), videos and branded giveaways are the next step to enhance the tourism ‘customer journey’.

These elements, working seamlessly together, can inspire and engage with customers at different points of this journey and increase the chance they will move beyond dreaming about their trip and on to booking.

Ultimately, we all want to showcase the personality of our community, what makes our region great, and the unique attributes that differentiate us from the rest of New Zealand.

We are blessed with the opportunity to share our love of the Coastal Bay of Plenty with the world and welcome anyone who wishes to join us in telling our regional story to take a read here,

Kristin Dunne
Tourism Bay of Plenty