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We’re capitalising on Air New Zealand’s proven market performance and expertise to kick-start a major whole-of-region marketing initiative that encompasses tourism growth, business attraction, retention and expansion, and economic development. The aim is to increase visitor numbers, attract business investment into the region, retain and boost the population, and create new jobs.

Steve Breen, Activate Tairawhiti CEO

Air NZ deal could help Tairawhiti fly high

18 July 2016, Andrew Ashton, The Gisborne Herald.

Joint marketing promotion with Air New Zealand could lift economy by more than $5 million.

THE region’s economic development agency says 64 new jobs could be created and Gisborne’s economy lifted by more than $5 million through a joint marketing promotion with Air New Zealand.

Activate Tairawhiti chief executive Steve Breen said the joint approach, aimed at increasing visitor numbers and attracting more people and businesses to move here permanently, was a first for the region and could be “genuinely transformative”.

  • $5.2m annual boost to economy
  • Potential for 64 new jobs
  • Attracting new businesses, talent to the region

“We’re capitalising on Air New Zealand’s proven market performance and expertise to kick-start a major whole-of-region marketing initiative that encompasses tourism growth, business attraction, retention and expansion, and economic development. The aim is to increase visitor numbers, attract business investment into the region, retain and boost the population, and create new jobs.”

A marketing strategy, independent consumer research and economic impact report has been completed.

Mr Breen said the economic impact report identified 64 jobs and $5.2m annually could be generated as a direct result of the campaign.

“The value of the campaign is, firstly, the direct economic growth possible through developing our tourism industry at a time when it’s the most rapidly expanding part of the national economy.

“And then there are the wider benefits in supporting existing employers to attract and retain their talent, attracting new businesses to the region, and providing a way of life that our residents can enjoy and experience all year round.”

Target market research

Mr Breen said that the findings of Tourism Eastland’s destination development plan, released last week, had also been incorporated into the target market research.

“The research confirms our region’s unique points of difference that make us stand out from the crowd.”

Air NZ announced in April that it would introduce a revised schedule for its two Gisborne services, delivering more than 40,000 additional seats annually, as well as a less complex and more consistent daily schedule for customers.

From late October the Auckland-Gisborne schedule would have up to five additional weekly Q300 aeroplane services, growing market capacity around 15 percent (year-on-year), while a revised schedule for Wellington-Gisborne services would be introduced from August 9 to reflect the transition from 19-seat Beech aircraft to 50-seat Q300s

Air NZ expected the combined changes would result in a year-on-year capacity increase of 70 percent. Mr Breen said Gisborne District Council, Gisborne Chamber of Commerce, The Gisborne Herald, Air New Zealand and central government were all directly supporting this initiative, with a wide group of stakeholders taking part.

A nationwide campaign to promote Gisborne and Tairawhiti to the visitor and business markets is to be rolled out over the next few months. Local people will be invited to take part and share their stories in conjunction with the proposed Tairawhiti /Gisborne website.

Air New Zealand regional affairs manager Ian Collier said the airline was delighted to support this collaborative initiative to grow visitor numbers to Gisborne.

“It’s hugely pleasing to see the progress that’s been made and to see stakeholders working together in partnership to drive awareness of Gisborne’s destination proposition, which will bring opportunities for regional growth.”

Tourism Eastland (TE) chief executive Stuart Perry said that the proposal to tie regional campaigns for the wider region with the new Air NZ initiative was a practical approach and TE saw the merit in all working closely together.

Mr Perry said Tourism Eastland was happy to bring its marketing expertise to the table and help lead the campaign that sees a collaborative approach with all parties.

“For our Gisborne team to work closely with the Air NZ professionals is an opportunity we must all grasp and while the key focus is on Gisborne/Tairawhiti, the whole of the Eastland region will benefit.

“The key target is to fill those larger aircraft flying into Gisborne and in the marketing process of doing so, we raise the awareness of this spectacular region and its assets.”

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