Te Puke and the surrounding area are heavily featured in a new marketing campaign for
the coastal Bay of Plenty.
The new website features places to visit, things to see, where to eat and stay and other visitor attractions that include Kiwifruit Country, Equine Sporting Claybirds, Christmas Magic Makers, The Daily Cafe, Anann Pineapple Pub, Te Puke Hotel and Jellicoe St Bar and Eatery.
The campaign aims to attract domestic tourists, promote the wide range of experiences on offer and show that "we are more than just beaches''.
Kiwifruit Country at Paengaroa offers visitors a kiwifruit orchard experience and tastings of kiwifruit-related products.
Amanda Fleming, who owns Kiwifruit Country with husband Gavin, says anything that promotes the business to the domestic market is a good thing.
''Any exposure is good exposure as far as we're concerned,'' she says.
''Our core business is international tourists because they love kiwifruit and Zespri do all their marketing internationally and spend the marketing dollars overseas, hence international people are fascinated by kiwifruit and they make a beeline for us when they come to New Zealand.''
Amanda says with no tourists from overseas, the business has changed its focus to make it more interesting for New Zealanders.
''We are trying to figure out ways we can attract domestic travellers to us, that's our challenge at the moment, and we look at any marketing or any exposure as helpful.''
Developed by Tourism Bay of Plenty, the campaign entices New Zealanders to discover the significant cultural stories and diverse landscapes of Te Moananui ā Toi, the coastal Bay of Plenty.
The Destination Management Organisation has released a series of videos and a marketing campaign that rolled out to key New Zealand markets last week, promoting the region as "Sure to Make You Smile".
"The coastal Bay of Plenty is more than just beautiful beaches. We have a rich tapestry of unique stories to share, breath-taking scenery, unlogged native forests, waterfalls, art, culture, marine life, and most importantly, a friendly 'good morning' and 'kia ora' that will bring a smile to those who travel here," says Tourism Bay of Plenty's head of destination marketing, Kath Low.
Tourism Bay of Plenty said this campaign is more than just a post-Covid-19 kickstart.
"We have been planning a campaign like this for a long time. With borders closed in a country of only five million people, competition for the tourism dollar is fierce. We've taken a long-term approach and created something that will stand the test of time and can be rolled out to international markets when the time is right," said Kath.
Kath said that engagement with mana whenua was a crucial element in telling the region's stories in the right way, with respect for the wāhi (area) and for its kaitiaki.
"We wanted to create something grounded in our unique whakapapa and DNA. What could have more longevity than sharing the first stories told about this special place? We engaged a cultural adviser to ensure we did justice to the significance of each location," says Kath.
"We've extensively researched what makes the coastal Bay of Plenty unique from the rest of Aotearoa and the world, and this campaign shines a light on what makes us, us."
In 2018, Tourism Bay of Plenty was the first organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand to undergo Place DNA research with global placemaking consultancy Destination Think!
Coastal Bay of Plenty communities informed the organisation that what made the region unique was not any single aspect on its own, but the combination of its oceans and beaches, horticultural provenance, Māori culture and natural landmarks.
The locally developed campaign is the first iteration of this research, made possible through funding from central government's Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme.
The funding was granted in July 2020 for domestic marketing activity as recognition of Tourism Bay of Plenty's destination management plan for the region. This plan – Te Hā Tāpoi | The Love of Tourism – was launched just before lockdown.
The campaign will run until December 2020 and recommence in April 2021.
Sure to Make You Smile will be showcased to New Zealanders through billboards, graphics on the back of buses and digital advertising.