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Kaikoura Gains Regional Tourism Status

Kaikoura Gains Regional Tourism Status

RTONZ membership a boost for local tourism body

On Wednesday (April 9) Kaikoura became New Zealand’s 30th Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) and member of Regional Tourism Organisations NZ (RTONZ), the coordinating and advocacy body for all the country’s RTOs.

Until now Kaikoura’s tourism marketing arm, Kaikoura Information & Tourism Inc. (KITI), held District Tourism Organisation status. RTONZ membership will help the newly formed Destination Kaikoura have a greater voice in domestic and inbound tourism matters, manager Glenn Ormsby said today.

“We’re a small region, but Kaikoura punches well above its weight when it comes to tourism attractions and activities,” he said.

Kaikoura, with its mountains-and-sea setting and myriad eco-tourism activities, already attracts up to 1 million visitors a year. Whale watching, dolphin, NZ fur seals and albatross activities, guided coastal and wilderness walks, kayaking and Maori culture tours are among its major draw cards.

The region’s eco credentials were recently further enhanced by becoming the first community in the Southern Hemisphere to gain Earthcheck Platinum certification and by Prime Minister John Key’s announcement of the Government’s agreement to implement the Kaikoura Marine Strategy, Te Korowai o Te Tai o Marokura, establishing new marine reserves and sanctuaries to protect Kaikoura’s wildlife.

“We’re delighted to welcome Kaikoura into our family of regional tourism bodies,” said David Perks, Chair of RTONZ. “Having Kaikoura at the RTONZ table gives recognition to a region that has outstanding natural assets that appeal to many international and domestic visitors.”

New Zealand’s 30 Regional Tourism Organisations are responsible for promoting their regions to domestic and international visitors. They vary in size, structure and the scope of the activities they undertake. Some are funded in part or in full by local councils; others by annual membership fees. All 30 however, act as a bridge between tourism operators, national tourism bodies, and local and central government.

ENDS

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