Beyond 'haka, hongi and hāngi' tourism

9:00 am on 27 August 2015

The organisation that represents Māori tourism operators says visitors to Aotearoa are wanting more than just a "haka, hongi and hāngi" experience and are now looking something more meaningful and authentic.

Haka Powhiri as Prince Harry enters Government House.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

According to a recent tourism industry report, New Zealand is on the verge of a tourism boom with overseas visitor numbers expected to increase over the next 10 years.

Chief executive of Māori Tourism Pania Tyson-Nathan said many Māori tourism operators were taking an innovative approach and offering manuhiri more activity choices.

"We have a huge variety of Māori experiences, including fly fishing, diving, hunting, rongoā (traditional medicine/therapies) and we've got Māori-themed restaurants and accommodation," Ms Tyson-Nathan, of Rongomaiwahine descent, said.

"In Rotorua, for instance, they have home-hosted dinners which are very successful, so it's the way we think about selling Māori tourism experiences".

Ms Tyson-Nathan said many middle-aged and elderly overseas tourists did not mind parting with their cash to go on guided walks, for instance, to learn about more about the Māori history that is attached to places.

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