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Kiwiana Culture - Cultural Tourism’s in hot demand

Media Release
16 June 2005

Kiwiana Culture - Cultural Tourism’s in hot demand

Buzzy bees, tikis, All Blacks, jumboots, kiwis, sheep and a ‘can do’ attitude – they all help define New Zealand culture.

Leveraging cultural tourism is high on the agenda today at TRENZ, the tourism industry showcase event, as a panel of leading cultural tourism providers present to media delegates on what New Zealand’s unique culture means for the future development of tourism.

“TRENZ is all about showcasing our best assets to international buyers. Our unique culture is New Zealand’s complete package – it is who we are, what we offer, our history and our environmental attributes – all of which are very attractive to international tourists. Selling it as a product, so to speak, is a huge growth area for New Zealand tourism,” says Fiona Luhrs, Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Association who organise TRENZ.

“The 400 New Zealand tourism operators at TRENZ are our premier tourism providers of quality experiences and products reflecting our kiwi culture. Our internationally award winning food and wine are a part of this, as are the adrenaline-pumping adventure activities which have seen good growth recently.

“The development of our unique offerings from the creative industry including; arts festivals, quality Maori cultural events, music, arts, crafts and our burgeoning film industry, are also fast becoming an integral part of our tourism industry. From the Wild food Festival in West Coast, the Diwali Festival in Wellington to the Chinese Lantern in Auckland – the ethnic diversity and edgy, ‘outside the square’ approach is apparent in our events programme around the country,” says Luhrs.

“Maori culture is, of course, completely unique to New Zealand and one which is a consistent growth area for tourism. Providing an experience that can’t be had elsewhere and giving visitors a real sense of Maori life and culture will always play an important role in our cultural tourism offering and is demonstrated in the number of Maori operators at TRENZ,” says Luhrs.

Tourism New Zealand research, conducted in 2003, looked at why visitors came to New Zealand and found that cultural aspects unique to New Zealand rated highly. Learning about the way of life from people of a different culture, experiencing local cuisine and sites of historic and cultural importance were highly regarded as attractive activities.

The Cultural Tourism panel includes local and international guests; Gregg Anderson - Tourism New Zealand Regional Manager Australia, Kirk Demeter - President of Down Under Answers from the United States, Chief Executive Maori Tourism Council - Johnny Edmonds and Director of the Rotorua Museum and Art Gallery, Greg McManus.

ENDS

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