Wayne Thompson is a NZ Herald reporter.

New Auckland tourism campaign launched

Campaign with cut-price deals to get Kiwis to love and embrace their biggest city.

Posters saying "AKL The Show Never Stops" are going up around the city.
Posters saying "AKL The Show Never Stops" are going up around the city.

A campaign to get New Zealanders to embrace their biggest city as a place worth visiting starts today under the slogan "The Show Never Stops".

Developed as a joint effort by the Auckland Council economic and events agency, Ateed, and privately funded city cheerleader Heart of the City, the campaign kicks off with a "Discover the best of Auckland" theme.

In this pride-raising exercise, Aucklanders will be offered 50 to 85 per cent off a choice of 25 deals on activities across the region during November.

Activities range from boat trips to Rangitoto to entry into iconic Auckland attractions.

"We hope the campaign pulls on the heartstrings to get New Zealanders to love and embrace their biggest city," said Rachael Carroll, general manager of destination and marketing at Ateed.

"We need 1.4 million advocates telling people across the country how fantastic a city it is."

Posters saying "AKL The Show Never Stops" are going up around the city.

"The whole of Auckland is a show - and that show can be anything ... from a show at the Civic Theatre to kayaking on the harbour."

Next year, the second phase of the campaign will target residents of Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty, as well as the "fly-in" market in Wellington and Christchurch.

Mrs Carroll said the domestic visitor market was worth $1.3 billion a year to the Auckland economy and the 10-year visitor plan aimed to raise the value to $2 billion a year by 2012.

Ateed had a $1 million budget this financial year for the campaign and its private sector partners a similar sum.

Heart of the City chief executive Alex Swney said its previous "Big Little City" promotion had achieved a 78.5 per cent increase in spending over five years and its website had over one million hits.

Brown pushes his vision

Auckland Mayor Len Brown told a business gathering yesterday that he intended to "try harder and do better" in his attempts to make the city the most liveable in the world.

He said the report card he released yesterday - a snapshot of four areas: strong communities, transport, environment and the economy - was an important tool in helping deliver what Aucklanders were wanting.

But what was more important was what was actually being delivered.

He denied the report card was a gimmick - it was a "warts and all" assessment of the direction the city was heading in and "where we needed to up our game".

While the Housing Accord with the Government was important, getting it to deliver for Aucklanders was where his focus now was, Mr Brown said.

"We have announced the first tranche of special housing areas, and are in the process of putting the finishing touches on the next lot. The accord is not yet delivering to the extent I want it to in terms of affordable housing, but I am pushing this as hard as I can with the Government."

He believed Aucklanders had entrusted him with the mayoralty because he had a plan on transport.

Mr Brown said Auckland's economy was a "good story to tell".

GDP was up, as was employment and guest visitor nights but that had to be balanced against exports, which were down.

- NZ Herald

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