Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 21 July 2011 Contents LOCAL NEWS
Page 8 | 21 July, 2011
Geoff Barnes has never been shy
of bragging about home but now
he's getting paid to do it.
Well, maybe it's not quite as
simple as that, but as Destination
Fiordland's new marketing
coordinator he's certainly looking
forward to sharing his love of the
place he grew up with as many
people in the world as possible.
The son of Cliff and Irene
Barnes, Mr Barnes grew up in
Manapouri, attending Manapouri
District High School in the old
NZED village along with Te Anau
Primary and Fiordland College.
On leaving school he trained as
a telecommunications technical
for the Post Office, a job he held
for about seven years before
From there he said he "fell into"
the tourism industry - first as an
assistant lodge manager and later
guide on the Milford Track.
In about 1999 he moved to
Nelson, taking a duty manager's
role with the Tahuna Beach
Holiday Park, the largest holiday
park in the southern hemisphere
which caters for around 3000
people at the height of the
summer season. From there it was
a finance role with the Department
of Conservation which led to a
one-year contract as supervisor at
the DOC visitor centre in Nelson.
With that job drawing to a close
and a desire to move closer to
home, Mr Barnes said he couldn't
believe it when the Destination
Fiordland job opened up.
"I thought that's too good to turn
However, now with his feet firmly
under the desk he's under no
illusion about the enormity of the
job in what has been one of the
most difficult periods tourism has
faced in recent times.
"It's tough times, obviously, so
I guess it's just trying to get the
best bang for the dollars."
Destination Fiordland is solely
funded by member subscriptions
and smaller operators in particular
tended to look very critically at
their marketing dollar when things
were tight. Part of his role was
to encourage them to keep that
presence up -- "keep pushing".
"Hang in with us and provide that
crucial funding," he said.
Through his previous roles in
Nelson, Mr Barnes said he often
spoke to international visitors
who were planning to visit Milford
Sound but who knew little or
nothing about Te Anau. There
was a strong perception among
visitors that the only way to access
Milford was from Queenstown
and certainly anyone visiting
Queenstown would be left with
that impression, he said. However,
that made for a "huge day" and
he often heard of visitors who
had said they hadn't realised Te
Anau had so much to offer and
would have stayed had they not
committed to that return bus trip.
Mr Barnes said a key challenge
in his new role was to boost
education and awareness around
Te Anau and what it had to offer.
That meant enticing visitors,
particularly New Zealand and
Australian travellers, to make
extended stays in Fiordland --
multiple night stays.
"We've got to get creative about
what the town's got to offer and
when it's on offer," Mr Barnes
The move in recent years towards
more events was a good step in
this direction, he said.
The Destination Fiordland
marketing coordinator's role
involves quite a bit of travel and
work with inbound tour operators.
However, Mr Barnes said he was
also looking forward to deeper
alliances closer to home with local
tourism operators and agencies
such as the Department of
Conservation as everyone worked
together to get the industry
through the tough times and back
to its prime.
"We've got to get a lot smarter and
creative," he said. "I'd like to think
that things can only get better."
Home sweet home
Destination Fiordland's new marketing coordinator Geoff Barnes.
Te Anau Community Fund
Meridian recognises the special contribution local
communities make to our hydro and wind operations,
and to the country s electricity sector.
The Community Fund gives your community a say on what local initiatives
are supported and funded by Meridian. The Fund, managed by a panel of
community members and Meridian staff, is about working together to help
bring about community outcomes of value.
The Meridian Manapouri Te Anau Community Fund is for the communities
of Te Anau, Manapouri, Clifden and Tuatapere, and will provide ,
to help community projects in this area over three years.
TO APPLY FOR FUNDING
The next closing date for Community Fund applications is August, .
For more information on the Community Fund, or for an application form, please
visit www.meridian.co.nz or email email@example.com
You can also call us on .
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