How Northland as a visitor destination is marketed is about to change with Northland Inc’s launch today of the first three new road-based journeys called ‘Byways’ - a development expected to bring an extra $20m to Northland’s economy through visitor expenditure from 2020.
Northland Inc chief executive officer David Wilson said ‘Northland Journeys – the Byways’ is a cornerstone project within the Northland Economic Action Plan, and aims to help revitalise the Twin Coast Discovery Highway - a 16-year old touring route that connects Auckland with Northland’s east and west coast highways.
“Best practice and experience from marketing other journeys such as cycle trails and train journeys in New Zealand shows that Northland could benefit from promoting distinctive sub-regions and expanding the touring route from one highway into a set of distinctive byways, encouraging visitors to experience more of what Northland has to offer.”
They (the byways) will effectively revolutionalise the way Northland is promoted to our visitors.David Wilson — Chief Executive Officer, Northland Inc.
The byways project, which is funded by Northland Regional Council, is a culmination of engagement with local tourism businesses, communities and promotions groups with a focus on building authentic and interesting visitor experiences, said Mr Wilson.
“Tourism is one of Northland Inc’s priority sectors and the byways are a key to improving the return for Northland from tourism. They will effectively revolutionalise the way Northland is promoted to our visitors. We know that tourists are now more interested in deeper engagement with the destination and its hosts and all it has to offer. Byways give us the opportunity to deliver on that promise. ”
Mr Wilson said maps have been designed to conceptualise the new byway journeys, and that the byways will also have a presence in visitor publications as well as digital touchpoints including tourism websites and a newly developed mobile App.
Northland Inc will continue to work with local promotions groups and business associations to ensure information on places to visit is kept up to date and that marketing activities are well coordinated. New Zealand Transport Agency is also involved through their focus on regional and seasonal dispersal as well as roading resilience and safety.
Northland Inc will roll out at least another five byways this year with more to come.
The first set of three new byway maps are as follows, and are now available online at www.northlandjourneys.co.nz