One More Day
There's so much more to do here - so stayROBIN RAYMOND
A plan to encourage visitors to stay one more day in Marlborough has led to the creation of a new tourism group.
Organiser Peter Makin said the idea grew out of The Local Loop which he helped set up with other tourism providers to offer maps and guides to destinations around Marlborough.
The One More Day group wanted to give people a reason to stay longer in Blenheim by offering information about six activity operators based in the town, Mr Makin said.
While Picton and Kaikoura had built up their own brands within Marlborough, Blenheim was "a town without a brand", he said.
Even many Blenheim people did not think there was much to do here, he said.
"What we're trying to do is build up the pride so people will learn about these things. People can say ‘have you tried this?' and it gives them a reason to stay ‘one more day'."
The group is made up of Driftwood Eco Tours, Molesworth Tour Company, The Marlborough Aero Club, Wine Tours by Bike, Na Clachan Cottage and Wine Tours and the River Queen. It has its own website onemoreday.co.nz and will also put flyers in hotels and motels, he said.
The group were holding a launch party with wine and food at Riverside Park opposite the Blenheim amphitheatre from 5pm to 7pm tonight, and welcomed people to drop by to learn more about the group and their companies.
They were also hoping to have a flypast from the aero club, Mr Makin said.
Destination Marlborough manager Tracy Johnston said it was good to see businesses banding together with initiatives to help Marlborough compete in a tight tourism market.
A survey of how long guests stayed in commercial properties, which covered about a third of visitors, suggested people stayed on average between 1.6 and 1.8 nights in Marlborough, she said.
"That's not a bad average. I think we will find it's the same as other regions or better, but if we can be convincing people there's more to do in the region, they will stay longer."
There was often a big variation in how long people stayed depending on where they were from, she said.
While Chinese travellers tended to stay in New Zealand three or four days, travellers from Australia, Europe and the United States of America tended to stay between three and four weeks.
- The Marlborough Express