It gives me great pleasure to invite you all to join the Board and Management team of the i-SITE network to the 2018 Annual Conference, in Greymouth Māwhera. It will be my first i-SITE conference and I’m looking forward to meeting you all and learning more about the network.
This year’s conference theme “Future Focus” aims to further leverage our existing four-year strategic plan to meet our vision where our customers rate us as the best official visitor information and booking network in the world.
Each year, the conference is a chance to reflect on the successes and challenges of the year gone, and collectively discuss our approach for the year ahead.
We are continuing to experience strong growth in tourism, particularly from our international markets. This past year we saw international tourism reach almost 3.8 million annual arrivals and contribute a staggering 14.5 billion dollars to the New Zealand’s economy.
But how does this translate to the i-SITE network? While some of us are seeing more visitors pass through our doors it is getting more difficult to entice them to book and spend with us. How can we better leverage our brand and reach out digitally to our customers? And how do we keep our owners and stakeholders fully engaged and committed to the services we deliver?
Our i-SITEs play a key role in helping improve the visitor experience as well as demonstrate value to our communities. This year the conference will place even more emphasis on our three Focus areas of technology transformation, training and knowledge management, and commercial leadership. Our conference workshops have been designed by members of these groups to make them even more relevant for all of us.
I hope you are all able to join your colleagues on the West Coast for this year’s conference. I know you will take away some valuable resources, experiences and fond memories.
Chair, i-SITE New Zealand
General Manager NZ & Government Relations, Tourism New Zealand