Building a Ten Year Strategic Framework for Tourism Growth in Hawke’s Bay – “Let’s Grab our Share” of the projected national tourism growth

Hawke’s Bay like many of New Zealand’s regions needs to significantly improve its economic growth performance.  The ever increasing dominance of Auckland and the Christchurch rebuild are casting an economic shadow over regional New Zealand which is of increasing concern to both local and central government. Fortunately, we as a region have underused assets and opportunities which could be used to make a massive contribution toward reversing this trend.  To do this we simply need to back our tourism industry and fund a major lift in the promotion of our region.

The Opportunity

Enormous economic gains can be made if the region is prepared to invest in tourism. National visitor expenditure targets are planned for 5% growth per annum and, if Hawke’s Bay follows this projected growth plan, it will result in tourism contributing $1billion per annum by 2025 into and throughout the region. Current tourism expenditure year end March 2016 conservatively estimates visitor expenditure $540m per annum 6.3% ahead of the previous year.


Hawke’s Bay Tourism has been operating successfully as the official Regional Tourism Organisation since July 2011. To build on progress that’s been made to date and given the tourism assets and strong brand proposition the region has, we firmly believe the region has greater tourism potential than it is currently realizing. There is still scope for decreasing fragmentation of message, enabling greater coordination of resources and operating in a way that enables us to communicate much more effectively outside the region.

The Tourism 2025 National Framework aims to grow tourism revenue from $24b to $41b by 2025. For Hawke’s Bay to “grab its share” of the expected visitor expenditure the country will receive, we have developed a Ten Year Strategic Framework for Tourism Growth in conjunction with Napier City Council, Hastings District Council, the Central Hawke’s Bay District Council and Promotions Board and Wairoa District Council. This plan has been endorsed by all of these stakeholders.

How are we planning to achieve this level of growth?

The Ten Year Strategic Framework for Tourism Growth in Hawke’s Bay is based on a solid funding base for the promotion of Hawke’s Bay. Great examples of this working successfully – Positively Wellington Tourism – in 1995 Wellington had approximately $1m to market itself and, through strong Council and industry support and action, this promotional sum has grown to over $5.5m in 2014. As a result, visitation to Wellington has increased from 1.4m guest nights year end 1997 to 2.75m guest nights year end 2013.

The Proposal

Four seasonal campaigns to promote the appeal of Hawke’s Bay throughout the year

We believe a seasonal strategy will deliver a strong positive economic result for the region. It will boost Hawke’s Bay’s national profile significantly through a complementary promotion of our tourism assets thereby increasing visitor arrivals and spend in the region. This will increase city and district collaboration, alignment of marketing effort, and it will free up existing funding and increase Hawke’s Bay Tourism’s marketing resources. A well-funded media schedule will be developed to support four seasonal campaigns across the year, therefore amplifying all of our key tourism messages. It will deliver Hawke’s Bay messaging into multiple media channels and include television advertising, outdoor exposure, magazine placements, online video, social and digital components.

How does this work?

  • Every aspect of Hawke’s Bay gets its place in the sun over the year
  • There will be a seasonal story and theme for each season/area
  • A seasonal message plays to the region’s natural strengths
  • Individual identities can be maintained, strengthened and be complementary
  • Each season will have a significant event which will anchor the season

Benefits of a seasonal approach will allow tourism operators to easily get involved, existing community events will have a stronger position, media will be engaged four times a year, planning will be streamlined and importantly it allows us to leverage our primary produce assets e.g. new release wines, fruit, lamb, apples etc. Wouldn’t it be incredible to see our export story told along the orchards and vineyards that line the Hawke’s Bay Trails?

So who will do what?

It is Hawke’s Bay Tourism’s job to “catch” the visitor and it is the job of i-SITES, local tourism operators, business associations, and councils to satisfy them by enriching the visitor experience while in Hawke’s Bay, this includes maximising the value from each visitor in terms of spend. Hawke’s Bay Tourism’s efforts will be outside the region and i-SITES, local tourism operators, business associations, and councils will concentrate on the experience within the region.


Tourism in Hawke’s Bay contributes 6.5% in GDP per annum and employs just under 5,000 people. Serious employment opportunities will exist for our young people as the entire sector evolves and grows as a result of increased visitor expenditure. The social benefits of a prosperous tourism industry are proven.

We have developed a plan and have the commitment from our key stakeholders within the region. The plan is attuned to the dynamics of tourism and also gives a voice to all the key players in the industry who can easily participate.

The Hawke’s Bay Regional Council have committed additional funding to Hawke’s Bay Tourism for the next three years. This will set us on a path to achieve the growth we believe is possible for the economic well-being of Hawke’s Bay.