Thursday, April 25, 2024

Plans underway to put Howick on the map

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Howick Tourism’s Charmaine Chapman says locals are proud of their seaside communities and rich colonial history, but the region needs to be attracting people from other parts of Auckland. Photo Auckland Council.

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.

Earlier this year, the Local Board agreed to fund $50,000 from its local development initiatives budget towards the costs of Howick Tourism.

Howick Local Board’s tourism work programme lead, Jim Donald, said he is delighted to see work finally getting underway.

“It’s something the Howick area really needs and is vital to drive economic development in the area,” he said.

“There is so much to offer here, such as the great local beaches, Stockade Hill, the award-winning Howick Historical Village and stunning walkways like the Rotary Walkway and Mangemangeroa.

He said 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.

Charmaine said while attracting visitors is the focus of their work, local residents will play a vital role in the success of Howick’s tourism future.

“This work is not just about pretty pictures, marketing or promotion – it’s also about enhancing the visitor experience so we want to raise awareness among local residents as well, so they can be better informed hosts.”

She said strong collaboration with the tourism industry, public sector and the community will be vital to success.

Howick Local Board chair David Collings said 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.”

  • Howick Tourism AGM

Tourist groups and operators interested in finding out more or that want to become a member, are welcome attend Howick Tourism’s annual general meeting on October

What:  Howick Tourism AGM
When:  5pm, Monday 2 October
When:  Howick Historical Village

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