Attracting more people to the Howick area to enjoy the local sites, shop and do business is at the heart of a plan developed by Howick Tourism.
Howick Local Board recently confirmed a funding agreement with the organisation to progress aspects of the plan that was adopted in 2016.
The plan is a key initiative for the board towards achieving the outcome highlighted in its local board plan for a prosperous local economy.
“I am delighted to see this work finally getting underway as it’s something the Howick area really needs and is vital to drive economic development in the area,” says Howick Local Board’s tourism work programme lead, Jim Donald.
“There is so much to offer here, such as the great local beaches, Stockade Hill, the award-winning Howick Historical Village and stunning walkways – such as the Rotary Walkway and Mangemangeroa.
He says there is also a great café culture and some unique business and shopping options.
Howick Tourism chairperson Charmaine Chapman agrees the area has a lot to offer and is excited about being at the forefront showcasing that to a wider audience.
“Locals are proud of their seaside communities and rich colonial history, but we need to be attracting people from other parts of Auckland so that means lifting its profile and making information easy to find.
“Our first steps are to develop a visitor strategy and get a tourism coordinator on board to help lead tourism development in the area.”
It will also be looking at implementing a range of tactics over the next 12 months, including a website featuring information about the area and neighbouring communities – such as Whitford, Beachlands and Maraetai and creating a tourism identity, visitor guide and a promotional video.
Identifying opportunities to create ‘visitor routes’ linking iconic attractions, walk and cycle ways and experiences, are another idea.
Howick Local Board chair David Collings says the local board has been wanting to develop a tourism plan for the area for some time but progress has been delayed.
“I know it has been frustrating for the local tourism sector so we are happy to see things progressing. From the board’s perspective, we feel it’s a good investment to get a group that understands the industry to refine and implement the plan. I look forward to seeing how it progresses.”
Earlier this year Howick Local Board agreed to fund $50,000 from its local development initiatives budget towards the costs of appointing a part time coordinator ($20,000) and towards research, marketing and establishment costs ($30,000).