PRESS RELEASE: Ruapehu District Council
Ruapehu Mayor Don Cameron said that public reaction to Taupo using snow and skiing images to promote Taupo as a tourism destination was another example of why maintaining investment into Visit Ruapehu was so important.
“As our Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) Visit Ruapehu’s primary task is to promote the Ruapehu district to domestic and international visitors and get them to choose to visit and stay here.”
“The work Visit Ruapehu is doing in this regard is critical to ensuring that Ruapehu gets its fair share of any tourism expenditure in the region,” said Mayor Cameron.
“It is not surprising that Taupo would use iconic images from within Ruapehu district such as the Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks and the Whanganui River and the experiences they offer to promote themselves as they are the ‘jewels in the crown’ for central North Island tourism,” he said.
“Council believes however, that there should be an agreement between Visit Ruapehu and Destination Great Lake Taupo on how they are used that reflects their whakapapa.”
“We cannot, and would not want to, stop Taupo and other districts using Ruapehu based imagery to promote NZ tourism.”
“Our challenge is to leverage the opportunities this increased exposure brings in the way of increased visitor numbers.”
“Council believes that this actually provides a lot more upside potential than downside as any exposure of our core tourism attractions and experiences helps bring people into Ruapehu.”
“You cannot go skiing or walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing in Taupo; you have to come to Ruapehu to do it.”
“Once here people spend money with local businesses and we have the opportunity to highlight and promote everything else we have to offer.”
Mayor Cameron added it was also important to recognize that Visit Ruapehu was leading regional tourism development for the Ruapehu sub-region (Tongariro and Whanganui National Parks and Whanganui River) as part of the Accelerate25 economic action plan for Manawatu-Whanganui.
“Currently this involves the development of a ‘Ruapehu Regional Visitor Development Plan’ which will deliver a clear ‘Value Proposition and Brand Promise’ for the Ruapehu sub-region alongside a ‘Destination Development Plan’.”
“As the first of the government co-investment opportunities from Accelerate25 this work is fundamental to the plan for growing and supporting the Ruapehu tourism sector.”
“It will provide Ruapehu sub-region tourism operators, along with anyone needing to provide a regional context in the promotion of their business, with marketing material that will help stand them apart from anything Taupo or other districts are promoting.”
“People always want the real thing and when it comes to Ruapehu and Ruapehu experiences that is what we can offer,” said Mayor Cameron.