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Popular Tourism Operator To Announce New Name

March 7, 2005

New Zealand's Most Popular Tourism Operator To Announce New Name

One of New Zealand's largest tourist operators will undergo a major rebrand this month.

The New Zealand Maori Arts And Crafts Institute in Rotorua will launch their new name and new brand on March 21st.

Tourism leader and chief executive Andrew Te Whaiti says extensive research showed the name 'the New Zealand Maori Arts And Crafts Institute' wasn't memorable and didn't reflect the true nature of the experience.

"Research both in New Zealand and overseas proved visitors didn't recall our name, so we weren't benefiting from any word-of-mouth referrals," Te Whaiti says.

"With more than 600,000 tourists visiting each year - the majority of them first-timers - it is important our name is easy to pronounce and memorable to tourists.

"The word 'institute' only conjures images of an education facility – which of course we are – but that's not all we have to offer."

Established under an Act of Parliament in 1963, the Institute which is self funded, re-invests in the traditional skills of Maori arts and crafts to keep the culture alive.

Te Whaiti says while seeing the carving and weaving students in action is a popular aspect of their tourist operation, most people don't realise the Institute is a working school. Nor do they realise the Institute is home to the world's most accessible geyser and geothermal valley, or that cultural experiences are also on offer.

"The new brand will separate our three major attractions under one umbrella name, making them more marketable to appropriate tourist markets."

Assigning a new name to the long running Institute was a delicate process.

"It was important to us the new name came from within the organisation. It had to be a name that was acceptable to the local people and staff, but also one that works from a marketing point of view."

The rebrand process is also going to be quite a logistical feat. All New Zealand Maori Arts And Crafts Institute branded brochures, business cards, uniforms, website references and more, will need to be changed overnight.

"We are excited about announcing our plans to the industry – many people have been wondering for some time what we'll come up with."

Te Whaiti is tight-lipped about the name, which will remain a secret until it is revealed to media, industry players and invited guests on March 21 in Rotorua.

ENDS

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