Cycle tourism specialist appointed for the Timber Trail

4 Nov 2016, 9:20 AM

Ruapehu and Waitomo District Councils have appointed cycle tourism specialist Daniel Carruthers as Marketing and Communications Manager for the Pureora Forest Timber Trail cycleway. Mr. Carruthers role will be to promote the Timber Trail as a unique tourism experience in the area with the aim to increase Timber Trail visitors from the current estimated 6,000 per summer season to 10,000 by 2020.

Mr. Carruthers has a Degree in Tourism from Otago University, a Ph.D. in Tourism Studies from Zhejiang University, and recently returned from six years in China where he worked in cycle tourism and business development roles with a focus on social media and digital marketing.

Ruapehu and Waitomo District Council’s see the importance of a coordinated and cooperative approach to promoting the Timber Trail to maximise opportunities that will benefit the whole region – a core objective of a three-year strategic marketing and action plan for the Timber Trail.

Ruapehu Economic Development Manager Warren Furner says this includes the creation of consistent branding and messaging for use by all commercial operators and other stakeholders in the promotion of the Timber Trail.

“Implementation of the action plan will see the development of new digital and social media platforms for promoting the Timber Trail, showcasing trade offerings and marketing of Timber Trail products and visitor services,” said Mr. Furner.

“In addition to the core marketing and communication activities Mr. Carruthers has responsibility for continuing to build strong relationships and mutually beneficial partnerships between Timber Trail stakeholders.”

Waitomo Economic Development Officer Rachael Laver emphasised the importance of strengthening the stakeholder community for the Timber Trail which includes an Advisory Group consisting of landowners, Iwi, Department of Conservation, Ruapehu and Waitomo District Councils.

“By working in collaboration with Hamilton & Waikato Tourism, Visit Ruapehu, tourism operators and the Timber Trail Advisory Group, we hope to ensure that the long-term management of the Timber Trail benefits everyone, and maintains the cultural and natural values of the environment,” said Ms. Laver.

The Timber Trail covers a vast area from Pureora in the Waitomo district to Ongarue in Ruapehu and presents significant prospects for further commercial and economic development for Taumarunui, Te Kuiti, and businesses in the surrounding areas.