Monday, August 31, 2009

one third of tourists to dunedin want more maori

We have discussed ecocultural tourism a few times now.

This report adds weight

"commissioned by the Economic Development unit and supported by the City’s Māori Participation Working Party, has found that almost one third of tourists in Dunedin are interested in genuine Māori Cultural experiences. Over 50 of the 200 tourism businesses interviewed indicated that they believe incorporating Māori culture into their operations would add value to their business."

Yep tourists don't want to see little england they want maori culture - even in dunedin. And i know this to be true because i used to drive tourists out onetahua (farewell spit). The tourists i took for 6.5 hours wanted context, they wanted relevance to their own lives and the world and they wanted to know the stories, the legends. Even when discussing the geology, they wanted the indigenous view not the view from england. We, as a country, have to accept this, we as an iwi have to accept it too.

"Tourism Dunedin chief executive Hamish Saxton said tourists were interested in cultural tourism. Dunedin, often the first port of call for cruise ships, was ideally suited to new Māori tourism ventures. A Ngāi Tahu Tourism spokesman said tourists to New Zealand valued Māori culture and were keen to learn more and “we welcome studies that show this to be the case”.

Otakou rūnanga spokesman Edward Ellison said besides the city’s wildlife attractions, tourists wanted to know more about the history and culture of the area and the iwi should capitalise on that interest. "

Yes Edward is right and this should and must be driven through the regions or runaka.
And there are many ways to do it but the key is to make something happen. If we wait, by the time it gets organised it will be too late.

I thought that NT Tourism was producing a paper around this area. Has it been produced? Who has seen it? i hope it has been completed and that actions are being taken. Move now - don't wait around.

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