Co-ordinator to market Mackenzie tourism

The Mackenzie Basin
The Mackenzie Basin

Christchurch and Canterbury Tourism (CCT) is putting extra work into promoting the Mackenzie district with an appointment of a new marketing co-ordinator.

CCT industry partnerships manager Caroline Blanchfield said it had appointed Annabel Bray in the new position.

Ms Bray, who works with Air Safaris in Tekapo, begins the new role at the end of this month.

"I'm really excited; I already assist with a lot of Air Safaris national marketing, so I'm familiar with most tourism operators in the region," she said. "It's going to be a challenge, but the region has so much to offer. Our goal is to get more people to stay not just one night, but two or even three."

Ms Bray said the challenge was to get the separate communities of the district - particularly those in Tekapo, Twizel, Fairlie and Aoraki-Mt Cook - working together.

"I was born in Albury, so I would like to think I have strong ties to the region. I've got quite a strong background in tourism: my husband and I used to run the horse-trekking operation in Tekapo, and we managed a resort."

CCT took over the role of promotion after the Mackenzie district council canned its tourism trust this year, but left about the same annual funding for tourism and development (about $250,000).

Ms Bray's role would include representing the region at key travel trade events, developing websites, and involving the district in marketing campaigns.

Ms Blanchfield said the district council had put together a working party to develop plans for tourism promotion after September 2013.

"There are a number of great stories to tell about the Mackenzie region, our job is to make sure those stories get heard."

CCT has put together a database of all the tourism operators in the district, and it would host a number of workshops next month. A new visitor's guide was also due to published.

"The response from the operators, particularly the larger ones, has been positive; many of the larger operators were already partners with CCT," Ms Blanchard said.

"But we've left the community to work out what it wants for tourism, and look forward to the working group's findings."

The Timaru Herald