Welcoming, supportive communities are a vital part of what New Zealand has to offer our visitors. Truly sustainable tourism businesses have to find ways to protect and enhance their social licence to operate within their local communities.
TIA's 'Tourism Story' project aims to find ways to support these businesses to tell their stories better, from the small town holiday park providing local employment opportunities and supporting local suppliers, to the big corporate donating thousands of dollars to environmental causes.
Part of the Tourism Story has been a four week partnership with Stuff, promoting four fantastic stories of tourism businesses helping their regions to the New Zealand public. You can read these stories below:
20 November 2018
While Murupara might not appear on any 'top destination' or 'must-see' lists, that hasn't stopped it from flinging open its doors to overseas visitors travelling with the hop-on-hop-off bus company, Stray New Zealand.
Four times a week over summer, up to 30 young overseas visitors from all over the world roll into Murupara on the bright orange Stray buses. The real magic happens when guests visit the Murupara Area School. Travellers help prepare food parcels for students from impoverished backgrounds and then visit the school to deliver them and share in a cultural exchange, which includes a performance by students and a Q&A session with their international guests. Read more.
27 November 2018
Long time mates Gavin Oliver and Chris Hollister were wondering how they could share their twin loves – the great outdoors and conservation – with others.
It's how the pair ended up with EcoZip Adventures, which offers state-of-the-art flying-fox ziplines and an eco-immersive forest walk on Waiheke Island. After whizzing high above the treetops of the Hauraki Gulf's second largest island, visitors of all ages and fitness levels get a chance to walk through 700 year-old native bush with trained guides who explain what they've been doing to combat the effects of deforestation. Read more.
4 December 2018
Murchison based Owen River Lodge flung open its doors for business in 2003, offering guided brown trout catch-and-release fishing to mainly international guests. It's a five star, accredited luxury lodge which began life as a run-down farmhouse.
But it's not just the global visitors that win. Felix has always been keen on giving back to the local community, employing local tradespeople to build the elegant rooms and modern facilities as well as local fishing guides, chefs and cleaning staff. Sustainability is also something that's close to Felix's heart, with Owen River Lodge committed to practices such as bottling and carbonating their own sparkling water pumped from the property, giving guests stainless steel instead of plastic water bottles and donating opened toiletries to a charity that re-uses them. And, of course, all the fishing is of the catch-and-release variety, ensuring fish stocks aren't depleted. Read more.
12 December 2018
Welcome to Bill Richardson Transport World, the largest private automotive museum of its type in the world. It's part of a sprawling empire 'Transport World' that also includes New Zealand's only heavy equipment playground, Dig This Invercargill.
"It's always been our hope that by developing unique visitor experiences we could create a point of difference for Invercargill to not only encourage visitors but also create a positive impact on the local economy," says O'Donnell.
The tourism hub has proven a major drawcard for visitors from outside the region, with 50,000 plus people flocking to Invercargill each year to get their fill of some of the world's best automobile collections or live out their digger driver dreams. Read more.