A new campaign rolled out by tourism provider Destination Hauraki Coromandel offers economic optimism for beleaguered operators just in time for summer, and promotes a science-backed theory that the region is “good for the soul”.
The Coromandel, an area reliant on tourism, had a catastrophic start to 2023 with the effects of several weather events that crippled infrastructure.
An October report revealed visitor numbers and card-spending plummeted in the first half of 2023, with electronic card spending decreasing by $60 million, with total regional spending down 25 per cent in the January-June period, usually the busiest time in the region, when compared with 2021-22.
However, Thames-Coromandel District Mayor Len Salt said the region is still a fabulous destination and is still easily accessible via the coastal route of State Highway 25 which hugs the Pacific Coast and offers a scenic view of the region.
State Highway 25A’s new bridge to reconnect the peninsula’s eastern seaboard is due to open to traffic in the days leading up to Christmas, after the project’s completion date was brought forward from an original target date of April.
“There is still a perception that we’re not accessible, but we are open and looking forward to hosting holidaymakers,” Salt said.
“With 400 kilometres of beautiful coastline, the Coromandel is the perfect prescription for a bit of self-care, relaxation and stress relief. We’re really hoping – and needing – a busy summer and are taking bookings well into 2024. We rely on tourism so it’s vital that Kiwis support our district.”
Destination Hauraki Coromandel has thought outside the box for ways to encourage Kiwis to include the Coromandel on their itinerary this summer, launching a world-first campaign-backed by science.
With its endless golden beaches, rugged hills and green valleys, the Coromandel has always claimed to be good for your soul – but now that claim has been scientifically proven.
The Coromandel Cure research trial, conducted by leading consumer researcher, Dr Karen V. Fernandez PhD, monitored several physical and psychological health measures of participants including heart rate, happiness, sleep and stress levels while in the Coromandel for a 48-hour period.
The results confirmed that even just a short getaway to the region resulted in a significant reduction in stress and anxiety levels* (33 per cent decrease), while participants also reported feeling twice as relaxed (101 per cent increase) and more rested (41 per cent increase) after their trip.
Fernandez says the data showed an improvement in stress and anxiety levels, across physical and psychological metrics, and increased feelings of happiness and wellness.
“Results found that participants’ self-reported stress levels dropped by a staggering 56 per cent, supported by their physical stress indicators dropping 27 per cent after the trip. The data also showed an overwhelming improvement of feelings of happiness [up 67 per cent] and a 65 per cent increase in wellness, showing that even a brief two-night stay to the Coromandel offers a welcome antidote to the ills of the busy life of a city-dweller.”
According to Becca Goldsworthy, who took part in the study, these side effects were accurate.
“This was the best medical test I’ve ever had. Instead of a study where you’re popping pills or sat in a room for observation, I got to experience the Coromandel and enjoy a much-needed break. I didn’t actually realise how much I needed it until I saw my results – I’d had an 28 per cent reduction in stress which just goes to show how good for you the Coromandel really is.”
Destination Hauraki Coromandel marketing manager Megan Nunn said it’s believed to be the first time a destination has used psychological and physical data in this way.
“We always like to do things a bit differently here and while we as locals have experienced the Coromandel Cure, it’s great to be able to have data to back it up. We’re used to seeing pharmaceutical companies use research to prove the efficacy of their medicines, so we’re pleased to use those methods to prove a holiday in the Coromandel has positive effect on your body and mind.
“There’s nothing quite like te Coromandel to clear out the cobwebs and soothe the soul – we are looking forward to having a successful summer and welcoming everyone back to where Kiwis holiday.”
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