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Central Otago Destination Management Plan

honouring the past, embracing the present, navigating the future

A World of Difference

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From Destination Marketing to Destination Management

From Destination Marketing to Destination Management

In almost every visitor destination around the world, the development of tourism has been market driven with a focus on the benefits that growing visitor spend can bring to national and regional economies. Historically less attention has been paid to recognising and managing the impacts (or burdens) of tourism growth on a destination’s environment, communities, indigenous cultures, infrastructure, capital projects, other productive sectors and workforces.

Until now, that is.


Tourism Central Otago: Destination Advisory Board

RaKAtahi Youth Internship Role

We have an intern role available for a 12-month term (up to 5 meetings) ideally suited to a student moving into Year 13 

Along with a genuine passion for Central Otago, we are looking for a young leader with an interest in developing their knowledge in destination management, community, tourism, product development and marketing.  

The purpose of the Destination Advisory Board is to provide support and guidance to the TCO team as they implement the Destination Management Plan.   

The Central Otago Destination Management Plan is available to read at


Contact us to find out more about the Intern Role

Central Otago's Approach

Central Otago has chosen to adopt a 50-year planning horizon. This ensures intergenerational changes in values and aspirations are built into the planning process alongside the acceleration in digital (and other) technologies, the emergence of new economic theories and political structures.

Central Otago District Council (CODC) was an early adopter of destination management (Central Otago Tourism Strategy 2018 -2028) understanding that a more balanced approach is necessary for tourism to make a positive and sustainable contribution to the district economy, the well-being of its communities and environments.

Using a values-based tourism model the strategy set out to double the value of tourism without doubling the number of visitors. It led to a range of game-changing projects designed to get the ball rolling towards a better future.

Rolling forward to 2022, the journey undertaken in development of this Destination Management Plan (DMP) has been far-reaching and inclusive of many rich sources of information and inspiration.

The DMP was commissioned by CODC with generous insight and guidance from Kāi Tahu and reference to the values that underpin Central Otago’s A World of Difference Regional Identity. The process has been overseen by Tourism Central Otago and their Tourism Advisory Board in consultation with key stakeholders, and reviewed by the officers and elected members of CODC .

Intergenerational Horizons - Bold Ambitions

Encouraged by the intergenerational thinking of mana whenua and CODC’s own values and planning philosophies, the 50-year rolling horizon adopted in the DMP is underpinned by research that identifies the aspirations for the future from a range of different perspectives, and working these perspectives backwards from there to the steps that need to be taken to realise those ambitions, broken into short, medium and long-term plans:

• a 50-year statement of ambition and the future states that have inspired the plan
• Ten long-term strategies to meet future challenges and leverage new
opportunities that arise
• a 10-year plan that will re-set overall direction
• a 12-month activity plan to build on that momentum
• a summary of the current state of initiatives already underway

This plan is for all the people and places that help to create the magic that sets Central Otago apart. It is for all those people who share, or will share, a strong affinity with Central Otago and want to see the magic live on for generations to come.

Honouring the past, embracing the present, navigating the future

Ko Te Toa i a Tini i a Mano o Te Takata

We possess the strength of many, it is the contribution of the multitudes that ensures success

View the Central Otago Destination Management Plan Summary

Destination Advisory Board

What is Destination Management Planning?

"Destination Management brings together different stakeholders to achieve the common goal of developing a well-managed, sustainable visitor destination.

It is an ongoing process that requires destinations to plan for the future and considers the social, economic, cultural and environmental risks and opportunities."

Source: MBIE Destination Management Guidelines

Regional Identity - A World of Difference

November 2005, Central Otago's leaders put the natural beauty of the region  first and will seek value rather than volume from Visitors.

A new philosophy and set of values were launched as part of a brand for the region:

Central Otago — a World of Difference.

The brand and values are described as a Regional Identity:

”We want to reinforce the things we DO want in terms of living, working and playing and to de—emphasise the things we DON'T want which harm our region and affect our eventual collective happiness."  Mayor Malcolm Macpherson

Community Plans - The local voice

Community plans are about obtaining local peoples' views on the place that they call home.

It involves celebrating the things that make their place special and creating a vision of what the community would like for the future. The community then identifies actions to be carried out to achieve this vision.

The plans also help Council, government departments, businesses, visitors, new people to the area and to understand the direction that community would like to go in the future. 

Fourteen communities have developed their own community plan. 

Central Otago Tourism Strategy - 2018-2028

Making 'A World of Difference' every day is the vision of the Central Otago Tourism Strategy.

The strategy puts the concept of value at the heart of tourism development in Central Otago and adopts the five central themes of the New Zealand Tourism 2025 Framework as foundations for the region's strategic priorities. 

Tourism Central Otago leads the implementation and development of the Central Otago Tourism Strategy 2018 - 2028 with the guidance and support of an external Tourism Advisory Board. 

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