New advisory board to help strengthen local tourism on the Kāpiti Coast
A new tourism advisory board has been assembled to focus on increasing tourism activity and visitor numbers to the Kāpiti District, marking an important step in the work to boost the local tourism sector.
The independent Economic Development Kotahitanga Board established the Kāpiti Coast Tourism Advisory Board to lead the implementation of tourism projects highlighted in the district’s Destination Management Plan.
Chair of the Economic Development Kotahitanga Board Neil Mackay says the Board will report to them and work with key partners including Kāpiti Coast District Council, Iwi and WellingtonNZ to ensure effective implementation.
“The Destination Management Plan will see the district seize opportunities and strengthen our visitor economy,” Mr Mackay says.
“Appointing a Board of tourism professionals to deliver this plan is the right approach and gives it every chance of success. They’re well positioned to create important partnerships with local and national tourism stakeholders and to work closely with fellow Kāpiti businesses to make sure they’re included in the implementation of this plan.”
The Advisory Board includes tourism professionals, operators and business leaders. The Chair of the Advisory Board is George Hickton, a highly respected and experienced leader of regional and national tourism operations and former CEO of Tourism NZ.
Other members of the Advisory Board include Chris Barber, Director at Koakoa; John Barrett, Chairperson at Raukawa Whanau Ora Ltd; Libby Hakaraia, Managing Director at Māoriland Charitable Trust; Scott Houston, Hi-tech entrepreneur and futurist; and Patricia Stuart, Chairperson at Ngā Manu Trust.
George Hickton says the Board has had its first meeting and is ready to get to work.
“Every member of this Board is committed to helping develop our visitor economy. We’ll be doing this in a way that takes full advantage of the positive changes occurring in our region.
“With the upcoming improvements to transport links connecting people to the Kāpiti Coast, and the development of new facilities, we have a unique opportunity to create an attractive and enduring Kāpiti Coast destination identity which is appealing to visitors and benefits the whole community.”
The Destination Management Plan was adopted by the Kāpiti Coast District Council in September 2021 and includes various actions to increase the number of visitors to the Kāpiti Coast, their length of stay and their ability to spend more while here.
Business and Jobs portfolio holder Councillor Angela Buswell says the Advisory Board is an important step and key to the successful implementation of the Destination Management Plan.
“The process of developing the plan was a collaborative one so it’s great to see this joined-up approach continue,” Cr Buswell says.
“This is an exciting time for the Kāpiti Coast as we look to develop our destination story, build awareness and grow quality visitor experiences.
“Council is grateful to this group of knowledgeable, experienced and connected locals for stepping up to support this mahi and help our district reach its destination potential.”