Tourism Central Otago's newly established Tourism Advisory Board met for the first time in Central Otago last week. Appointed in December 2018, the Board wanted to prioritise a meeting early in the new year to set the work programme and get started on delivering a high level of tourism outcomes to Central Otago. The Board met at Highlands in Cromwell on Monday, setting the scene for a fast-paced start to 2019.
Board Chair, Sue Sullivan, said the Board had hit the ground running.
"Now that we have met and been briefed by CODC's Chief Executive Sanchia Jacobs and the Tourism Central Otago team, our first priority is to confirm a set of key performance indicators that align with the Tourism Strategy. We have confirmed the meeting schedule for the year and the Board intends to move our meetings around Central Otago. By doing this we will ensure that operators have the opportunity to meet with the Board and that we, as a Board, gain more in-depth knowledge and familiarity with the tourism offerings here and the needs of the industry.
The great work that has been done pulling together the new Tourism Strategy, and the visitor research that supports that, have given the Board a perfect launch pad to take tourism forward with the support of the wider community and Council. The clear goal is to remain aligned with the values of the Central Otago regional identity 'A World of Difference', to grow tourism with a focus of value over volume, and reduce the seasonality of tourism in Central Otago. These are all goals that align with the Tourism Strategy and that the Board supports in full."
CODC Chief Executive, Sanchia Jacobs briefed the Board on Council's current tourism activity and those areas where the team would like to up its game. "I am particularly keen to work with the Board on finding those quick wins that deliver immediate benefit to Central Otago while we concurrently work on those slower burn strategic initiatives that will have the most impact," she said.
"I am impressed with the calibre of members of the Board and have complete confidence in their ability to help us take tourism in Central Otago to a new level."