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Opening of Kiwi Encounter, Rainbow Springs, Rotoru

Opening of Kiwi Encounter, Rainbow Springs, Rotorua

The outstanding facility we are officially opening here today will certainly be a significant contributor to the guardianship of our iconic national bird.

Opening of Kiwi Encounter
Rainbow Springs

Good afternoon. It is a real pleasure to be here at Rainbow Springs today, in my capacity as Tourism Minister, to open this exciting new facility. I always enjoy visiting Rotorua - it's a place that brings together many of the elements that make New Zealand tourism so special.

In Rotorua, guests can enjoy cultural and farming activities, some of our greatest natural attractions, adventure tourism, or just take some time to kick back, relax and enjoy world-class accommodation and service.

Since 1932, Rainbow Springs has offered the chance for visitors to engage directly with New Zealand's unique environments, as well as learn about our natural heritage.

It is therefore fitting that this important destination is contributing to the conservation of our own national icon - the kiwi.

The Kiwi Encounter provides a truly unique experience for visitors-offering them the chance to both interact with our diverse environments and to help save the kiwi.simply by visiting.

Most of you are probably familiar with the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010. Developed through a strong government/industry partnership, the Strategy outlines three key areas of focus in building a truly sustainable tourism sector for New Zealand.

One is to have a vibrant tourism sector that contributes to the economy. Another is to embrace the spirit of manaakitanga or hospitality. And the third is to conserve and sustain our environment and culture in the spirit of kaitiakitanga or guardianship.

Well, Rotorua already knows a lot about hospitality - and I am glad to experience it whenever I visit. Few could deny the vibrancy or importance of tourism in this important destination.

And the outstanding facility we are officially opening here today will certainly be a significant contributor to the guardianship of our iconic national bird. The Kiwi Encounter is also a prime example of tourism's excellent working partnership with conservation. It's an attraction that will add greatly to our visitors' enjoyment and understanding of our natural heritage.

And it is just the sort of attraction that Interactive Travellers-our ideal guests-are looking for.

Interactive Travellers want unique, authentic experiences that involve real interaction with both people and environments.

They are interested in the context or history of the activities they choose, and are as keen as we are to engage with and protect the very environments and heritage that have drawn them here.

Kiwi Encounter fits this description perfectly. It's also an excellent opportunity for visitors-both domestic and international-to learn more about the plight of the kiwi, and the outstanding work that is being done to save our national bird.

And guests will leave this experience knowing that they have contributed to our ongoing conservation efforts.

This really is a win-win situation, with mutually rewarding opportunities brought together in a unique and innovative tourism product. I congratulate you on this initiative.

On that note, it is my pleasure to declare the Kiwi Encounter officially open. I wish you every success for the future.


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