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Rotorua i-SITE takes on camping ambassador role

Rotorua’s i-SITEs are the first in the country to assign staff members as responsible camping ambassadors at free camping sites around the district.

The ambassadors are part of a national programme helping to educate travellers about New Zealand’s commitment to a tidy, clean and safe environment as the country gears up for another busy tourist season.

Graham Brownrigg, Executive Manager Visitor Services at Destination Rotorua, said he was keen to get involved as he sees it as an opportunity to extend the friendly visitor services his team already provides.

“We’re here to help people have the best experience in Rotorua and I see this initiative as a great way to support that,” he says.

“I got on board from the start because I saw it as another opportunity for our i-SITE staff to meet and greet visitors, providing responsible camping advice and directing them to some of the great things to do and see in Rotorua.

“We already offer manaakitanga to around 1.4 million people each year, so this new initiative seemed like a natural extension of our work.”

The ambassadors, in teams of two, visit five popular, free camping sites in and around Rotorua every evening. Besides assisting campers, they check the facilities and report back to Rotorua Lakes Council if anything needs repairs or cleaning. They are not there in an enforcement capacity, but if they notice anything untoward, they’ll report back to the appropriate channels.

The new ambassadors began their new roles yesterday but didn’t have much to report on. “It was a bit quiet out there last night,” Brownrigg said.

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