A Parting Word from Anne Pullar General Manager, Tourism Central Otago
Anne Pullar left her role as General Manager, Tourism Central Otago on Friday 26 August. During her 12 years in the role, Anne and the team have built Tourism Central Otago into a successful RTO that is well recognised nationally and internationally. Anne share’s her thoughts about how far Tourism Central Otago (TCO) has come.
“I have a real passion for Central Otago, the lifestyle, the people and the incredible experiences on offer here. To have been working with the TCO team for the past 12 years has been an absolute pleasure.
TCO has come a long way over the years and the team have worked incredibly hard to promote the region and let visitors know about this amazing place and the wonderful visitor experiences.
As a Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO), TCO has grown considerably. Back in 2004, there were 289 tourism operators in Central Otago and TCO had one full-time equivalent (FTE). Now, in 2016, there are 404 tourism operators and TCO has three FTE dedicated to promoting the region as a visitor destination.
In 2005, only 5 operators had trade ready product and now there are 41 operators with trade ready product. In 2007, TCO had contact with 27 US and North America wholesalers and through market visits, regular newsletters and offering staff training, international markets have grown exponentially. The travel trade database currently has 866 global recipients.
Media exposure for the region has also increased. When comparing year on year media results, the trend is continuing to show a growing number of media opportunities for Central Otago. In 2015/16 there were 43 publications that profiled Central Otago in their articles and TCO hosted and provided support to seven domestic and one international media.
TCO now has a consumer database of 6000 people who want to receive regular updates and information about Central Otago.
Charlie Ives, Executive Officer Regional Tourism Organisations New Zealand (RTONZ) says that TCO stands out as an organisation that punches above its weight, given the resources available, and the visitor competition in the market place. He believes that placing tourism in the context of economic development has been a central strategy which has paid off, allowing multiple sectors to leverage off one another.
It is important that you, as tourism operators, utilise the resources and opportunities available through TCO to help grow your business. It is through collaboration that the region as a visitor destination will continue to succeed.”