Photo by Pink Penguin Studio


To review and confirm the sustainable pathway for the Southland Murihiku tourism sector to recover and achieve its potential as a key diversification opportunity

Hump Ridge Track, Southland Murihiku


  • Before COVID-19, tourism was tracking well towards its goal of visitor spend reaching $1 billion by 2025. Reaching a high of $700m in 2020, with the closure of international borders it has been the most severely impacted sector but there is no doubt that it remains a key diversification opportunity for Southland Murihiku. The Southland Murihiku Destination Strategy 2019 – 2029 is the overall framework which guides how we develop, manage and promote the region as a visitor destination. It was reviewed 18 months ago and will now be reviewed again to ensure the successful recovery of this key diversification opportunity in a COVID-19 world.

  • Similar to how the first Strategy was successfully developed, an Advisory Group will be established to help guide the process to review the Strategy and achieve the outcomes of this workstream.

  • There will also be a key focus on understanding community sentiment towards this sector through research.

  • An inclusive consultation process involving the wider tourism sector and iwi will be facilitated which will inform the Strategy review. This will include a series of workshops which will focus on the key pillars of the Strategy – Governance, Infrastructure, Sustainability, Product Development, Marketing and Promotion.

Key Outcomes

  1. An updated Southland Murihiku Destination Strategy which provides a clear pathway for the recovery of the tourism sector in the region . This framework will:

    • Connect and provide context for other initiatives and planning currently underway including Milford Opportunities, Bluff Motupōhue 2020 Tourism Master Plan and Catlins Te Akau Tai Toka Tourism Strategy.
    • Seek to align with developments in infrastructure, amenities and services which benefit both locals and visitors, including the Invercargill CBD rejuvenation, more flights to Invercargill and new hotels.
    • Focus on the sustainable development and management of the Southland Murihiku destination considering decarbonisation efforts and climate change.
    • Ensure the views of the region’s communities are understood and at the heart of the overall approach.
    • Acknowledge and strengthen the valued partnership with mana whenua which will ensure the Southland Murihiku story is at the heart of any future approach.

Connection with other Workstreams:

The principles of this workstream will strongly underpin the overall Beyond 2025 Southland plan with close alignment to the following workstreams: