26 Jun 2014

Call to dispel tourism stereotypes

7:48 am on 26 June 2014

Efforts need to be made to dispel stereotypes visitors have of Maori tourism, Maori Tourism Trade Day organisers say.

A demonstration at Whakarewarewa Village, Rotorua.

A demonstration at Whakarewarewa Village, Rotorua. Photo: PHOTO NZ

Auckland Council's tourism agency, which is running the trade event on Thursday, will host businesses from as far afield as the Chatham Islands to the Far North.

Chief Executive Brett O'Riley said global tourists were increasingly wanting an experience which involved story-telling, learning and connecting on a spiritual level, rather than just taking photos.

The trade day was a chance to help eliminate preconceptions some visitors had of Maori tourism, as there was still a perception Maori tourism was about haka and hangi, and work needed to be done to eliminate that myth, he said.

The event was a great opportunity for those in the Maori tourism industry to strengthen their relationship with the travel trade, Mr O'Riley said.

Last year more than 72 percent of the tourism operators which attended made three or more solid leads, he said.