Hawke's Bay needs more than wine, food experience, say NZTRI

The Hawke's Bay Visitor Survey asks people about their experiences in the region and records data about who they are, why they're visiting, what they've done and how satisfied they were.

AUT professor of tourism, Simon Milne, who had worked on similar initiatives around the country and the world, is working with Venture Hawke's Bay to track and use the information.

"We're getting a good range of ages, incomes, domestic and international," he said. "It gives us a good feel for what people are saying about their experience here."

A website was launched in August to gather pre-season information and final results would be available in April. One hundred and eighty people had responded so far, which was enough to draw some conclusions.

"The major message coming through is that the wine, food and climate make Hawke's Bay distinctive," he said. "But there were areas where we could improve."

Food and wine rated highly, but many commented on the lack of Maori cultural attractions and arts in general. A question about customer service also got luke-warm responses.

"There is more that can be added to the visitor experience," Mr Milne said.

It doesn't mean it's not there, or not good, but it's something a lot would like to see more of."

The survey is online at http://www.hawkesbaysurvey.co.nz/