Benefits seen for Taieri area

Sue Bidrose.
Sue Bidrose.
Mosgiel, Middlemarch and the wider Taieri area will benefit from a new marketing approach by the Dunedin City Council, chief executive Sue Bidrose says.

The establishment of an in-house marketing agency at the council, replacing Tourism Dunedin, would offer ''more bang for buck'', she said.

The agency would use existing council staff, such as those in human resources and finance, and run alongside the council's economic development unit.

That meant more of the money allocated to marketing the city and surrounding areas could be spent on ''actual marketing'' rather than on duplicating administrative efforts, Dr Bidrose said.

''We are hoping that by bringing it in-house there will be some efficiencies and it will free up some money to use for actual marketing.''

At present, the council's economic development unit did some marketing,

there was money allocated to Dunedin branding, Tourism Dunedin got funding for visitor industry marketing, and other agencies in the city marketed education opportunities.

The council-controlled i-Site was also involved in marketing Dunedin and the wider area.

Dr Bidrose said the council wanted to bring those factions together, for a more unified and seamless promotion of the district and what it had to offer.

''The aim is they should all be telling the same message and getting more bang for buck.''

About $1.2 million from rates was allocated to tourism marketing, and a further $100,000 for Dunedin branding each year, she said.

Dr Bidrose said the wider community including Mosgiel, Middlemarch and the Taieri would benefit from the new marketing method.

''There will be some Otago-wide benefits to better marketing.''

She said council staff would work closely with local tourism operators and representatives to ensure the level of visitor industry marketing would not diminish in the absence of Tourism Dunedin.

Consultation between the council and all involved in marketing would take place before a final agency model was implemented by the start of July.

Some tourism operators have expressed concern about the scrapping of Tourism Dunedin and possible conflicts of interest in the council's marketing of its own assets.

Dr Bidrose said the performance of the agency would be reviewed after 18 months, with a view to assessing whether, in the longer term, it should become a council-owned company.

rosie.manins@odt.co.nz

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