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Whale Watch Proves Maori Tourism World Class

Whale Watch Proves Maori Tourism World Class

A dream that began around whanau kitchen tables in Kaikoura more than 20-years-ago has been realised on the world stage with Whale Watch Kaikoura taking the top international tourism prize from Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards.

“Whale Watch Kaikoura and the people of Kati Kuri’s amazing achievement recognises the unique way Maori tourism operators blend cultural and environmental practices and beliefs into a single, unforgettable, tourism experience,” says Maori Tourism Council chief executive, Pania Tyson Nathan.

Whale Watch Kaikoura beat out 2000 other competitors from around the world to win the prestigious award – becoming the first NZ business to do so. Last year New Zealand tourism in general won the top award.

“When visitors come to New Zealand they want to see our spectacular scenery but they also want to find out about Maori culture and people. Whale Watch Kaikoura’s win at the ‘world Oscars’ of tourism proves that Maori tourism operators are world leaders when it comes to innovation and determination,” says Ms Tyson Nathan.

“The fact that they continue to give back to their people and their community proves that even though they’ve been singled out as the top tourism attraction in the world – Whale Watch Kaikoura hasn’t forgotten where they come from and this is something that endeared them to the international judging panel.”

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