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Last modified: 29 Jul 2020 10:21am

Maori man in centre facing camera speaking to group sitting with their back to the camera

Working together to maximise the potential of Selwyn was a theme as some of the district’s main tourism operators gathered recently in West Melton.

The Council’s second annual tourism summit was held at the West Melton Community and Recreation Centre, offering a chance to network and listen to expert speakers.

The summit featured presentations and workshops led by Lincoln University senior lecturer in Tourism Jo Fountain, Anton Wilke from Christchurch NZ and Stu Waddel, director of Canterbury tour company Chill. It also profiled local producers, showcasing what is available in the region for operators to tap into.

Council Community Relations manager Denise Kidd says it was great to hear positive feedback from many of the businesses that attended. The summit was a great opportunity to look at fresh ways to boost tourism in Selwyn.

“Every speaker spoke about the importance of businesses finding ways they could work together to grow tourism opportunities in Selwyn and strengthen their own businesses.

“That’s something we really want to encourage and it was great to hear from some of the businesses on how much they appreciated the connections they were able to make.”

The Council team was busy with ideas from the summit to support tourism such as a calendar of events (for both locals and tourists) and a possible online platform that businesses can use to communicate with each other, along with opportunities to get a group together to plan how the sector can promote itself and the district at the national TRENZ tourism expo in Christchurch next year, she says.

Melton Estate owner Philip Caunter says he found it valuable to meet people he knew of and to hear from the speakers. He was particularly impressed with new Council branding ideas that were shared with the group ahead of being rolled out through the year.

“It was good to be involved. I think just doing it was the most important thing. But I was impressed Council invested so much people time. That was a signal to me that Council are serious about this – it was really positive.”