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Tourism Experts Head For Hanmer

Media release, Monday 23rd August, 2004

Tourism Experts Head For Hanmer

Natural hot pools, picturesque forests, clean country air and locals eager to share their slice of alpine life – just some of the reasons visitor numbers to Hanmer Springs continue to increase.

And now, like a lawyer on trial, or waiting on a table of waitresses, the tourism industry is coming to Hanmer Springs.

The i-SITE Visitor Centres network, synonymous with tourism the world over, is holding its New Zealand annual conference in Hanmer Springs from 5th-7th September. Whilst the 150 delegates will spend much of their visit attending workshops and seminars, many will sample the local restaurants and experience the many activities available in the town.

i-SITE has offices around the country and is often the first place tourists go to with enquiries about anything from where to buy plug-adaptors to where to stay and what to do in the area.

With visitor numbers to New Zealand on the up – the number of international visitors to Hanmer Springs was up 16 % in the year ending April 2004 – the role of I-SITE Visitor Centres is becoming increasingly important.

Graeme Abbot, general manager of the Hanmer Springs Thermal Reserve, is one of the conference speakers. “Hosting the i-SITE Visitor Centres conference is great for Hanmer Springs. These people are often the first point of contact with visitors and if they understand the area they will be able to pass that information on,” says Graeme Abbot.

While the conference is not intended as a showcase for Hanmer Springs, the fact that it is being held in the region will allow many important figures in tourism to see what is on offer first hand.

Speakers will include the Chairman of the New Zealand Tourism Board, Wally Stone, past president of Local Government and Chairman of the i-SITE Board, Kerry Marshall, broadcaster Jim Hopkins and industry representatives.

ENDS

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