Planning for Southland’s continued tourism growth is a main priority in the development of the Southland Murihiku Destination Strategy.
The strategy will provide a blueprint for Southland’s destination management, assist in ensuring visitors have a quality experience, and provide a framework to achieving the goal of $1 billion dollars in tourism revenue, in Southland by 2025. It will also align with social, cultural and environmental considerations to ensure the benefits of tourism are shared across the whole region.
As it's important that this strategy truly reflects the needs and opportunities of the Southland tourism sector. To achieve this, and ensure the project objectives are reached, a Strategic Advisory group was established including representatives from the Southland tourism sector, Department of Conservation, iwi, Council, Air NZ, Tourism NZ, Great South, neighbouring RTOs and local community groups. The group has worked alongside Stafford Strategy, an independent consultant, to develop the Strategy.
Work to date has involved significant consultation and collaboration and has resulted in the following vision being identified:
The Southland Destination 2029 vision is for Southland to be recognised as a distinct visitor destination (and a place to live, work and invest) guided by strong sustainability principles and values
Underpinning this vision are the below five guiding principles. These principles were identified by the Strategic Advisory Group at the commencement of this project and have been updated to align with the New Zealand-Aotearoa Government Strategy
|Together||It is essential there is a regional, coordinated, collaborative and inclusive approach reflecting our unique situation and ensuring the benefits of tourism are shared throughout|
|Diversity||Diversity is a strength and our uniqueness should be highlighted and celebrated, but clearly defined|
|Manaakitanga||We want to welcome visitors and share our region and its unique stories while at the same time we understand that as good hosts we need to make sure visitor needs are addressed as well as our own|
|More than money||We understand that visitors can bring and take away a lot, which is measured by more than money|
|Kaitiakitanga||As guardians of our special place, we have a responsibility to protect our land, sea, air, living creatures, traditions and communities - for future Southland communities|
Work is currently underway to finalise the strategy and the implementation plan that is associated with it, it is anticipated that the strategy will be available in early October. Great South will continue to champion strategy and work with representatives of the tourism sector and Southland community to achieve the identified goals and vision for the Southland region.