In 2018 TIA started working on a major project to better tell the 'Tourism Story' - by proactively creating positive tourism content for traditional and social media, and empowering industry members to act as advocates to positively influence the discourse on tourism, widening external support and contributing to maintenance of the industry's social licence.
Host community support vital
The ongoing support of host communities is a key element of the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment. Welcoming, supportive communities are a vital part of what New Zealand has to offer our visitors. Truly sustainable tourism businesses have to find ways to protect and enhance their social licence to operate within their local communities.
The 'Tourism Story' project will help ensure all communities across the country and in all sectors of business and government understand what the tourism industry is and the value it provides.
TIA can't influence public opinion by ourselves. The 'Tourism Story' needs to be told by individual tourism businesses, as well as regional and national organisations. It will be the cumulative impact of these individual efforts that will make a difference at the local and national levels.
The 'Tourism Story' project aims to find ways to support all sectors of the industry to tell their stories better, from the small town holiday park providing local employment opportunities and supporting local suppliers, to the big corporate donating thousands of dollars to environmental causes.
The Tourism Sustainability Commitment will be one way to uncover these stories of tourism businesses contributing to their local communities.
Through 2018 TIA hosted three workshops for tourism communicators in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, to discuss how the industry can better tell its story to New Zealanders. A wide range of ideas was discussed, resulting in strong industry-wide support for the project.
TIA ran a four-week editorial campaign in partnership with Stuff through November-December 2018 to tell positive stories about how tourism is benefiting New Zealanders and Aotearoa. Articles produced for the campaign demonstrated how tourism operators around the country are making positive contributions to their communities and/or New Zealand's environment.
Each article appeared in the Sunday Star-Times, various community newspapers and was promoted on the Stuff website:
- Murapara's magic rubs off on international visitors and locals features the special community spirit and hospitality of the township of Murapara and its Kohutapu Lodge
- Conservation and commercialism zip through the skies above Waiheke Island highlights the conservation work and employment opportunities offered by EcoZip Adventures
- It’s not just about the trout at Murchison’s award-winning Owen River Lodge promotes the benefits of attracting high value visitors to a regional location
- Invercargill legacy provides tourism boom showcases how the growth of Transport World in Invercargill is attracting visitors to get off the beaten track
The campaign was supported by the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust.