Latest News & Public Notices

Coromandel Town I-Site closed, for now...

26 November 2012

The Thames-Coromandel District Council (TCDC) has withdrawn its remaining funding from the Incorporated Society contracted to deliver the I-Site at Coromandel Town after recent financial reports indicated the organisation was technically insolvent.

"A decision in 2010 to significantly increase permanent staff was the Centre's downfall at a time when turnover and revenue were declining dramatically" said TCDC's Economic Development Manager Benjamin Day

"Turnover from sales was approximately $460,000 in 2010, but was in free-fall to a point where this year they'd be lucky to turnover $200,000; they never recovered or corrected from the mistake of increasing overheads during a recession".

Over the past 3 months, TCDC had been working with the I-Site to solve its cash-flow and debt problems by making joint-decisions with a newly appointed manager to reduce staff, operating hours and to cut back on non-core services, but it was too little too late said Mr Day.

"If the reforms we'd worked on these past few weeks had been implemented last year, the I-Site could have traded out of its difficulties, however its debt burden was too great and its revenue generating potential too low".

TCDC still has funding available for an Information Centre to be re-established, but is looking for a new group to drive the project.

Mayor Glenn Leach said that he thought Coromandel Town was too small for more than one group to deliver services for the tourism and business community and that the Business Association should be the lead agency in any business plan put forward to resurrect an I-Site.

"If a new I-Site is needed, we want the private sector to do the planning and develop the business case and present it to the Community Board and Council. We are a willing partner if the right people with good business acumen are leading and running it".

Technology is also having a major impact on I-Site revenue across New Zealand as more and more tourists turn to hand-held devices and computers to find information and to make bookings.

The Coromandel is still very well serviced with 5 Information Centres located at Whitianga, Thames, Tairua, Whangamata and Pauanui and with a very good tourism website at www.thecoromandel.com.

TCDC staff at the Coromandel Service Centre are handing out official Visitor Guides to tourists looking for a local Information Centre in Coromandel Town and are also directing them to the official tourism website and the other Information Centres on the Peninsula.


Your're invited...

Residents and ratepayers with views on an Information Centre for Coromandel Town have been invited by Board Chairman John Walker QSM to make a presentation at the Public Forum at the next Coromandel-Colville Community Board meeting on 3 December at 0900am.


We're working with Information Centres - find out what we're up to

For the past few months we've been working with the Information Centre network to help them improve their balance sheets.

Here's a brief summary of where we are at: (these clauses will be added to contracts with Council from 1 July 2013).

  1. Information Centres will merge their websites with Destination Coromandel (DC), to reduce costs and to start selling product online (revenue will be shared) - we are embarking on a major web project with DC and Information Centres to improve their website to cater for local tourism product and more e-commerce functionality. TCDC will only support one official tourism website on the Coromandel, not six or seven.
  2. All Information Centres will charge all bookings a commission at 10% (even members), increasing to at least 12.5% by 1 July 2014 (to give people time to budget this)
  3. All Information Centres are going to work together to develop a common fees and charges schedule and rate card by 1 July 2014
  4. All Information Centres want to participate in a project to investigate how we can share common overheads and create economies of scale for things like accounting services, phone and broadband services etc