With Hawke's Bay facing its busiest summer on record, tourism organisations are making efforts to ensure overcrowding does not dampen the public perception of the industry.
Regional Tourism New Zealand (RTNZ) is cautioning the tourism sector not to become complacent in its management of tourism growth even though more New Zealanders agree international tourism is good for New Zealand.
The latest Mood of the Nation research shows 95 per cent of New Zealanders agree international tourism is good. RTNZ executive officer Charlie Ives said that was a good result but the sector must not become complacent.
"Regional Tourism Organisations [RTOs] exist because regions see benefit in attracting visitors to them. For many years regional tourism promotion was all about growing visitor numbers and it's understandable that some communities might have felt overwhelmed by visitors at times.
"That's why RTOs are increasingly working in the destination management space to ensure their regions not only benefit from international visitors but locals continue to enjoy their communities and do not feel disadvantaged by tourism.
"While the public's current perception of tourism is good, increased visitor numbers could make it harder to maintain that level of acceptance.
"In other words, we need to put the numbers into perspective and make sure New Zealanders know that the sector is as invested in looking after New Zealand as they are."
Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said the regional tourism organisation was a member of RTNZ and supported the national body's statement.
"This summer season for visitors is likely to be the largest on record in Hawke's Bay.
"To put things in perspective - Hawke's Bay does not have the pressure points that some regions of New Zealand have, although we do have sites that are very popular and will be crowded over summer.
"HBT are making a concerted effort to get people to all parts of the region this summer and so we have launched a Summer Roadtrips piece of work. While it does have some favourite spots listed we are trying to push people out further and into places they might not normally consider – CHB beaches and up the Mohaka River as an example."
The summer would top off an impressive year in Hawke's Bay.
"We have had a good year, spend is at $646 million year end October - up 4.4 per cent on the previous year.
"Our website is performing better than ever with over 400,000 visitors per annum and we won the New Zealand Tourism Award for Industry Alignment related to the website.
"We also won and hosted the TECNZ Conference in August which saw over 300 of New Zealand's most important tourism professionals here. This was a really important event for us to showcase Hawke's Bay tourism product to key tourism buyers – many buyers had not visited for over 10 years.
"HBT has also hosted a raft of influential international media in the last six months that includes National Geographic Traveler, GQ Magazine, Men's Journal, Singapore Tatler, Good Food Australia, and Forbes Magazine.
"Its also heartening to see so many of our local tourism businesses tackling key sustainability targets. To date over 65 businesses have achieved Qualmark Enviro status – 14 gold, 40 silver and 14 bronze.
"The return of international cricket to McLean Park and the sold-out Mission Concert lead a packed calendar of events that also includes a strong line-up of concerts at Church Road and Black Barn vineyards, the Summer Cycling Carnival and of course the Napier Art Deco Festival, to name a few.
"We're expecting Hawke's Bay to be seriously busy this summer. The events line-up is so packed that we're even seeing drawcard events spilling out from traditional weekend slots into weekdays as well."