Ka¯ piti emerg­ing as top tourist spot

Kapiti News - - News -

Ka¯ piti is emerg­ing as one of New Zealand’s hottest eco-tourism des­ti­na­tions as dis­trict looks to bol­ster its in­fra­struc­ture and be­comes more ac­ces­si­ble to tourists.

Ka¯ piti has some of the best eco­tourism of­fer­ings in New Zealand, in­clud­ing Ka¯ piti Is­land Na­ture Tours which won the En­vi­ron­men­tal Tourism Award at the New Zealand Tourism Awards held in Christchurch re­cently.

As the dis­trict poises for in­creas­ing vis­i­tor in­ter­est in what Ka¯ piti has to of­fer, coun­cil and the com­mu­nity con­tinue to work to­gether to plan fu­ture tourism devel­op­ment projects to sup­port that tourism growth.

The open­ing of Trans­mis­sion Gully in 2020 will make the area a more de­sir­able place to live while strength­en­ing busi­ness devel­op­ment and vis­i­tor at­trac­tion op­por­tu­ni­ties, WREDA, the Welling­ton Re­gional Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Agency said.

Air ac­cess to Ka¯ piti has been as­sured with Air Chathams re­cently launch­ing its 36 flights a week ser­vice be­tween Ka¯ piti and Auck­land.

It al­lows the dis­trict to di­rectly tap into tourists ar­riv­ing in Auck­land, which is New Zealand’s main en­try point for in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors.

The coun­cil says it is well pre­pared for in­creased in­ter­est from tourists with the launch ear­lier this year of the new des­ti­na­tion web­site and dig­i­tal plat­form kapiti­coastnz.com, cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Welling­ton Re­gional Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Agency.

The site shows Ka¯ piti in all its breath-tak­ing beauty and in­vites po­ten­tial vis­i­tors to ex­plore, do busi­ness and en­joy what Ka¯ piti has to of­fer.

Ka¯ piti mayor K Gu­runathan said de­vel­op­ing and main­tain­ing an at­trac­tive and in­spir­ing on­line vis­i­tor pres­ence is a hugely im­por­tant part of the eco­nomic devel­op­ment ac­tiv­ity which the coun­cil sup­ports through its des­ti­na­tion mar­ket­ing work.

“The site is an in­no­va­tive tool that sup­ports and en­hances the vis­i­tor in­for­ma­tion and at­trac­tion ser­vice of­fered by our lo­cal i-Site team based in Para­pa­raumu.”

He said the launch of the site couldn’t have been more timely, with vis­i­tor spend­ing and in­ter­na­tional guest nights both in­creas­ing.

In­ter­na­tional vis­i­tor spend­ing in Ka¯ piti in­creased by 10.6 per cent to $34 mil­lion in the year end­ing July 2018, ac­cord­ing to MBIE’s July Monthly Re­gional Tourism Es­ti­mates.

It also re­vealed that spend­ing from Chi­nese vis­i­tors alone in­creased by 41 per cent to $2.2 mil­lion over the same pe­riod.

Sta­tis­tics New Zealand’s Com­mer­cial Ac­com­mo­da­tion Mon­i­tor (CAM) for June 2018 also shows Ka¯ piti en­joyed a 4.8 per cent in­crease in in­ter­na­tional guest nights for the year end­ing June 2018, com­pared to the pre­vi­ous year.

This was off­set by a 3.5 per cent fall in do­mes­tic guest nights over the same pe­riod.

The CAM also re­veals the av­er­age length of stay for vis­i­tors in com­mer­cial ac­com­mo­da­tion over the past five years in Ka¯ piti was 2.23 days, ahead of Auck­land (2.04 days) and Welling­ton City (2.12 days).

WREDA chief ex­ec­u­tive Lance Walker said the door to the dis­trict is swing­ing wide open as more peo­ple dis­cover its range of at­trac­tions in­clud­ing eco-tourism, the world-class Para­pa­raumu Beach Golf Club, and the home of kiwi craft beer pi­o­neers Tu­atara.

“Ka¯ piti is a part of the Welling­ton re­gion that has out­stand­ing nat­u­ral beauty in­clud­ing the world class, preda­tor-free charm of Ka¯ piti Is­land. These sorts of eco-at­trac­tions are gain­ing in pop­u­lar­ity amongst tourists world­wide.

“We look for­ward to work­ing closely with the coun­cil to grow the re­gion as a tourist des­ti­na­tion and key part of our wider Welling­ton tourism propo­si­tion. Se­cur­ing air links with Auck­land through Air Chathams was an im­por­tant step, as the open­ing of Trans­mis­sion Gully in a cou­ple of years will also prove to be.

“Ex­cit­ing times are in store for Ka¯ piti.”

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