Regional Visitor Development Plan


The potential of the visitor sector in the Ruapehu area is impressive, and yet the contribution of the sector to the area’s economy is a fraction of what it could be. Ruapehu is clearly a destination with the natural ‘greater outdoors’ and nature-based resources, landscapes and assets sought by visitors. 

HenleyHutchings was tasked with exploring how to add dimension, support and variety to existing visitor sector offerings and how more of those offerings could be incrementally established. We were also asked to refine how the destination may be best communicated to the visitor sector market, that is, the essential reason behind Ruapehu being a destination and the reason why the area should be visited.

We worked with consultant Dave Bamford and branding agency MediaCom to contribute the comprehensive suite of skills required by the project. 

Project governance comprised of appointed executives from Government, national and local visitor sector leaders, iwi and local government.  We applied a process of active involvement of iwi, the community, local visitor sector operators and national visitor sector leaders in all parts of project. 

We developed:

  • Situational diagnostic report – a key piece of research including statistics, stakeholder interviews and compiled findings from other available sources in to one master document. 
  • Strategy and action plan – based on the information contained in this diagnostic report. 
  • ‘Destination proposition’ and a refreshed visual brand identity – for all tourism providers to use in order to present a united ‘voice’ to entice visitors to the region from the rest of New Zealand and around the world. 

We were given 100 days to complete the project. This target was achieved in a manner recognised for its focus, quality and proved by the bestowment of an award to HenleyHutchings at the 2017 EDNZ conference. We are currently working with Ruapehu District Council and consultant Claire McKnight to provide advice on institutional arrangements to support the action plan.