The Destination AKL 2025 strategy has set a new direction for Auckland’s visitor economy, highlighting the need to focus on both destination marketing, and destination management. 

A key focus of the strategy is to develop and attract events in the shoulder and off-peak seasons. The strategy calls for those involved in the visitor economy to work collaboratively to ensure a more sustainable future for our region.

One of the key priority projects the team has been working on is developing a uniquely Auckland winter festival programme, aiming to attract more domestic and international visitors during the quieter winter months. 

The festival will centre on themes of lighting up the region and showcasing Auckland’s food and beverage offering as well as encompassing Auckland’s unique Māori and Pasifika identity. It will group together a range of existing and new events that align to the festival themes.

The festival will first occur in July 2019 then evolve and grow with each subsequent year. 

For the coming year we have received more than 30 applications for funding for events as part of this new programme.  

There are a wide range of events including 12 food related events, two large scale lighting events, and several smaller lighting events, as well as arts and music events. There is a good spread of events proposed throughout the Auckland region and taking place throughout the entire month of July. 

We are expecting many more events and activations to sign up in the coming months on a marketing-only basis. We will also be proactively talking to more of Auckland's restaurateurs and hotels about taking part in the winter festival programme.

We will have a range of assets available to those wishing to leverage the new winter festival programme including: 

• Access to festival identity assets, including logos, imagery, a marketing toolkit and guidelines 
• All relevant event information included in a festival microsite, an extension of (all festival advertising will drive to this site) 
• Expert advice to support the development of growth or marketing plans 
• Facilitation support with permitting 
• Supporting the event evaluation

The Winter Festival will include other events from Auckland Council's Matariki festival where they fit the key themes. 

The first year’s marketing campaign will focus on our domestic drive and fly markets and will be live from March through to July 2019.

For more information or to get involved with the marketing campaign activity email Domestic Marketing Manager Celeste Labana-Clayton; 

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