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Growth in ‘home hosting’ highlighted

8 February, 2005

Growth in ‘home hosting’ highlighted by conference

With ‘home hosting’ now one of the fastest growing accommodation sectors on the West Coast, The Development Trust has agreed to provide up to $15,000 to support the @HomeNZ Conference being held in Greymouth in July, 2005.

@HomeNZ is the brand name of the New Zealand Association of Farm and Home Hosts, an organisation representing accommodation providers operating in this niche sector throughout the country. It’s the first time the association has held its annual, national conference on the Coast. An estimated 250 participants from its 1000-strong membership will attend.

The conference aims to provide delegates with new ideas and information, through workshops and presentations. Local organisers say it’s also a valuable opportunity to showcase the West Coast of the Southern Alps, its people, its scenery and its facilities.

“This last objective is particularly important because hosts that operate near major airports and main centres often influence the subsequent travel plans of the tourists that stay with them,” says conference convenor, Kevin Piper.

“Therefore it’s vital we get as many members as possible to attend the conference, and that we make an excellent impression on them while they are on the West Coast.”

Kevin says the local organising committee is trying to keep the cost of the conference at a reasonable level to encourage members to attend. “That’s why sponsorship from the likes of The West Coast Development Trust, fundraising and careful planning are so important.”

Economical travel arrangements are being arranged for out-of-town delegates. “North Island people in particular perceive great difficulty in travelling to ‘remote’ parts of the country, so we are offering a plan where they can fly to Christchurch, spend a free night with a host (generously donated by the members of the Christchurch B&B group), then travel to Greymouth on the Tranz Alpine Scenic.” Kea Tours is organising the travel, and will offer post-conference tours to take people as far as Queenstown before they fly home.

With most presentations being staged at Shantytown, the local organising committee has adopted the conference theme “As Good as Gold ….”.

Television personality chef, Jo Seager, is the keynote speaker. She will speak about hosting as a concept, and run a workshop on ‘Eezy Peezy Breakfasts’. Other presenters will cover other subjects ranging from marketing and accounting to interior design.

Because of local interest, the committee has arranged for a public function with Jo Seager at the Regent Theatre on the afternoon of Saturday, 2nd July.

Paddy Sweeney of ‘Good Bastards’ fame will wind up proceedings on the 3rd of July.


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