Just days after hosting its own regional tourism awards night, Hawke's Bay Tourism has picked up a sought-after national award for itself.
The regional tourism organisation beat strong competition from Tourism West Coast and AccorHotels to win the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment Industry Alignment Award, at the 2018 New Zealand Tourism Awards in Christchurch.
The Industry Alignment award recognises organisations that have aligned or partnered to successfully maximise their tourism industry impact and results. This could include a marketing campaign, product development or initiative to achieve Tourism 2025 goals of addressing seasonality, encouraging regional dispersal or improving visitor satisfaction.
Hawke's Bay Tourism general manager Annie Dundas said the organisation had successfully aligned local councils and multiple business associations and 300-plus tourism operators to create www.hawkesbaynz.com – a one-stop-shop visitor website to promote Hawke's Bay.
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"The mission to achieve this presented a major sacrifice for many stakeholders when they were asked to turn off their digital footprint in favour of the new regionally inclusive website.
"The award-winning result is a collaborative digital platform that delivers a superior visitor experience, allowing potential and current visitors to research the region through operator listings, as well as the engaging local stories told through editorial content.
"We've headed in a different direction with our new visitor website. It's driven by content written by people who are experts in their field of write for a living, and it's paying off," Dundas said.
"This platform is about inspiring visitors to discover every part of Hawke's Bay on a deeper level, unlocking local secrets and hidden gems, according to people who live here, and those who know their stuff."
The judges recognised Hawke's Bay Tourism demonstrated outstanding leadership to align the various players, overcome duplication and achieve excellent results with a ground-breaking initiative they hope will inspire others.
Dundas was in Christchurch to accept the award and said Hawke's Bay Tourism was ecstatic to receive the honour.
"Winning this award is an enormous accolade for Hawke's Bay Tourism and I am proud of our team and those involved across the region who have helped to make this project happen."