2019 11 04 Tourism Award

Industry Connections Award

Development West Coast's tourism team has won the Industry Connections Award at the 2019 New Zealand Tourism Awards.

DWC picked up the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment Industry Connections Award at the gala dinner held at Christchurch’s Horncastle Arena, attended by more than 430 industry leaders and supporters.

The award was recognition for the ‘Come through for the West Coast’ campaign, which was run following the reopening of the Waiho Bridge.

The loss of the Waiho Bridge in March during an extreme weather event created a major disruption to the tourism sector with the economic impact felt Coast-wide. The financial loss was estimated at $50.4 million.

After the bridge was rebuilt, DWC ran a $47,000 campaign to attract visitors back to the Coast in the lead up to the Easter Holidays.

DWC’s regional tourism manager Jim Little says the campaign successfully recreated visitor demand by bringing together eight regional promotions groups, the Department of Conservation, KiwiRail, Christchurch Airport and 229 tourism businesses from Karamea in the north to Haast in the south.

“It also fostered valuable ongoing connections between all those involved.”

Data from Paymark shows the West Coast had New Zealand’s biggest percentage increase in spending following the reopening of the Waiho Bridge, rising from $7.8m for the week ending 22 April in 2018 to $10m in 2019.

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