Wednesday, October 7, 2009

transformational experiences - get maori involved

Listen to the expert.

"The tourism industry has its back against a wall and needs to question its core thinking to survive, a visiting expert says.

Strategic tourism consultancy Desti-Corp founder Anna Pollock said the traditional interpretation of seasonal travel trends was superficial and no longer worked.

Having worked in tourism for 30 years, Ms Pollock said the change the industry was facing was bigger than the economic downturn. It was more about a shift in philosophies than economic patterns.

"We are changing between two mindsets of how to exist and operate on this planet."

Countries such as Finland were using their design capabilities to create a tourism experience which amplified the natural environment.

As the dated industrial viewpoint faded and a more social and community focused imperative replaced it, visitors were already looking for "transformative" experiences.

New Zealand had positioned itself well to deliver that, but not without some work."

Transformative experiences - that is what encorporating maoritanga, in a meaningful way, will bring. We need to create journeys for our visitors, we need to create context and connection.

In my experience, visitors want to know, not just what it is, but what it means and how it relates to them. And it can be done quite easily because it is a mindset change.

It is time to rethink our whole strategy - 100% pure is a line that will only lead to disappointment because the expectations are set too high. No one, anywhere, is 100% pure, no one in this world can be.

Ngai Tahu have the perfect opportunity to really get a good start around ecocultural tourism. We have the land, we have the sea and the rivers and we have the people.

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