Call for a ‘yarn’ about Hurunui tourism

Local farmer Scotty Bamford stars in a video asking for people to ‘"have a yarn" about tourism....
Local farmer Scotty Bamford stars in a video asking for people to ‘"have a yarn" about tourism. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Visit Hurunui is inviting the community to "have a yarn" about the district’s future using a down-to-earth video as a tool in its campaign.

Scotty Bamford stands on the edge of a cliff on his Hurunui Hills farm in the video, trying to engage with a mob of sheep below about tourism potential in the district.

For obvious reasons, none of his flock respond.

The comedy is part of Visit Hurunui’s new initiative, Let’s have a Yarn, which is calling on the public to guide the future of tourism in the region.

Visit Hurunui has launched the initiative to help guide the creation of the region’s destination management plan (DMP).

Through the campaign, the community are being encouraged to submit feedback online or join one of the various in-person sessions being held in the community.

The feedback will provide Visit Hurunui with ideas and inspiration to better meet the needs of both visitors and residents.

Visit Hurunui marketing manager Shane Adcock said the DMP was essential to creating a future for tourism, which benefited everyone.

"Visitor numbers to New Zealand were growing at an unprecedented rate prior to the pandemic.

"As a country we were facing some real challenges because of this.

"In Hurunui, we were just starting to feel the impact of that growth, so we now have a chance to plan ahead and ensure that tourism can grow alongside our communities," Mr Adcock said.

"The DMP is about bringing everyone together to find out what we can be doing better to create an epic visitor experience that benefits our communities in every sense, while taking us into this new era of tourism."

In the Let’s have a Yarn videos, Scotty interviews local talent at three identifiable locations, including the Hurunui rugby grounds, a playcentre group and his own farm called Hurunui Hills, to highlight the need for the public to get their voice out there.

In one video Scotty is hollering to his sheep, asking them what their dreams are for development, while in another, he stands alone in the middle of the Hurunui Rugby Club grounds interviewing a rugby tackle pad to awkward silence.

Hanmer Springs playcentre members, Eliza, Hazel and Myra are perhaps the real stars of the show.

What do you love about Hanmer Springs and the Hurunui region? Scotty asks Myra.

"The moon," answers the three year-old.

Mr Adcock said the short videos drew on humour to break up an otherwise fairly serious subject.

"We really want our communities across Hurunui to have a yarn with us in person, but if they can’t make one of the drop-in sessions, they can spin their own online.

"We’ve made this really accessible because we do want this to be a DMP reflective of our communities," says Shane.

For more information about the Visit Hurunui DMP and community sessions go to visithurunui.co.nz/yarn

robyn.bristow@alliedpress.co.nz

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