It gives me great pleasure to invite you all to join the Board and Management team of the i-SITE network to the 2017 Annual Conference, at the Chateau Tongariro Hotel, Mount Ruapehu.
This year’s conference theme “Engaging in Excellence” aims to leverage our new 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 over 3.5 million annual arrivals and contribute a staggering 14.5 billion dollars to the New Zealand’s economy.
While many of us are seeing more visitors pass through our doors it is getting more difficult to entice them to book and spend with us. Gains in our brand awareness as well as productivity are helping, as is our consistently high rating from our customers but is it enough? Are we valued enough by our customers as well as our stakeholders – both funders and tourism operators?
Our i-SITEs play a key role in helping improve the visitor experience as well as demonstrate value to our communities. We have three new focus areas - technology transformation, training and knowledge management, and commercial leadership - how do we use these to make a difference?
I hope you are all able to join your colleagues in Ruapehu District for this year’s conference. I know you will take away some valuable resources, experiences and fond memories.
Chair, i-SITE New Zealand